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Before moving to the Department of Digital Humanities, James was founding director of King's Digital Lab and Deputy Director of King's eResearch. He has a doctorate in History and has taught in History, English, and Philosophy as well as Digital Humanities. Before working at King's James worked at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, as a Senior Lecturer in Digital Humanities and Associate Director of the UC CEISMIC earthquake archive. He has also worked in the government and commercial IT sectors in the United Kingdom and New Zealand, as a technical writer and editor, business analyst, and project manager.

For more information, visit James Smithies' website

Research interests and PhD supervision


  • Digital Humanities
  • History and Philosophy of Computing
  • Infrastructure Studies
  • Research Software Engineering
  • eResearch

My approach to Digital Humanities is outlined in The Digital Humanities and the Digital Modern (2017). I have participated in and remain interested in a wide range of research areas, from digital history and literature, minimal computing and digital creativity, to infrastructure studies. I have an active interest in applied research, research software engineering (RSE), laboratory studies, and eResearch. I am also interested in theoretical and methodological approaches to digital humanities research, and the history and philosophy of computing.

Selected Publications

James Smithies, Sarah Atkinson, Elliott Hall, ‘Applied Digital Humanities and the Creative Industries in the United Kingdom’, Digital Humanities Quarterly 16, no.2 (2022).

James Smithies, The Digital Humanities and the Digital Modern (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017).

James Smithies and Arianna Ciula, ‘Humans in the Loop: Epistemology & Method in King’s Digital Lab’, in Routledge International Handbook of Research Methods in Digital Humanities., ed. Kristen Shuster and Stuart Dunn (London: Taylor and Francis, 2020), 155–72.

James Smithies et al., ‘Managing 100 Digital Humanities Projects: Digital Scholarship & Archiving in King’s Digital Lab’, Digital Humanities Quarterly 13, no. 1 (2019).

James Smithies, ‘Full Stack DH: Building a Virtual Research Environment on a Raspberry Pi’, in Making Things and Drawing Boundaries: Experiments in the Digital Humanities., ed. Jentery Sayers, Debates in DH (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2018), 102–14.


I teach a variety of digital humanities topics, including structured and linked open data, rapid response, product development, project management, software engineering, and coding and the humanities. In previous roles I have taught topics in artificial intelligence and society, New Zealand history and literature, and the history of computing and technology.