The DH Lab UoC at present facilitates five primary projects which are headed by Principal Investigators affiliated to the Lab under three thematic areas: Digital Archiving, Digital Performance, and Pedagogical Intervention.

Digital Archiving

Sri Lanka English Newspaper Corpus (SLENC): The SLENC corpus is fashioned on the lines of the South Asian Varieties of English (SAVE) Corpus developed by the Department of English, Justus Liebig University, Giessen. The Corpus covers the period 2015-2018 and subsequent to compilation, will be analysed. Throughout the process of building the Corpus, staff and students will be trained on corpus linguistics, specifically corpus building and corpus analysis. To date, the Lab has hosted a reading session introducing the staff to corpus linguistics and, with the assistance of a visiting scholar from JLU, Giessen, conducted a corpus building and analysis workshop in September 2019.

The Gratiaen Literary Archive (Principal Investigator: Senior Prof. Neloufer de Mel): The Gratiaen Literary Archive is a project which is envisioned as a collaboration between the DH Lab UoC and the Gratiaen Trust. Its primary objective is to preserve noteworthy literature written in English in Sri Lanka. This project is presently being conceptualised with discussions and debates as to the ethics of making certain forms of writing, such as literature, open-access, and being used for non-commercial use, on a digital platform.

Digital Performance

“Edible Objects” :The DHLab, UoC facilitated this project in collaboration with Floating Space which offered mentorship to the English Drama Society of the University of Colombo (DramSoc). In the conceptualising of the performance, several lab sessions were facilitated by the DHLab, UoC throughout the year. This culminated in a performed installation titled “‘Edible Objects’: An Exploratory Response to Digital and Performance” set up at College House, University of Colombo during the Corpora, Archives and Performance: A Conference on Sri Lankan Languages and Literature (CAP 2019) hosted by the Department of English, University of Colombo in November 2019. The performed installation was followed by a presentation of the archive of the performance making process titled “The Making of an Unidentified Edible Object (UEO)” and a short discussion which engaged the audience and the participants in the politics of conceptualising the performance, as well as that of the digital, in everyday life. An archive of the production process can be viewed here.

Pedagogical Interventions

Enabling Digital Access (Principal Investigator: Shalini Abayasekara): The primary objective of the project is to promote the use of LMS as a facilitative pedagogical space for the Faculty’s students with disabilities, with its secondary aim being to introduce other assistive devices and practices that would enhance LMS use.