Turning literary & historical texts inside out with XML in Canada

Ref: 10002717


Final year students enrolled on BA English programmes enrolled on the module: ENGL3099 Textual Studies Using Computers are eligible to participate in this opportunity. Given the nature of the visit, this opportunity would also be beneficial to all undergraduate English students in their second or final year. The maximum number of places on this opportunity is 30 and the minimum the trip will go ahead with is 10. DMU staff will be accompanying the group.

DMU students are only eligible to receive one academic-led trip bursary per year. Please check our eligibility criteria for further details.


This is a 6 day field trip to the Electronic Textual Cultures Lab (ETCL) at the University of Victoria on the beautiful Vancouver Island of Canada’s east coast. At the ETCL, students will learn advanced techniques in the interrogation of literary/historical texts that they have marked up in the encoding language XML.

The academic study of literary/historical texts is increasingly digital and computational and across the world there are but a few centres of international expertise where cutting edge research in this field is being undertaken. The Electronic Textual Cultures Lab at the University of Victoria in Canada is one such centre.

This opportunity to learn hands on just what it means to do laboratory-based work on literary/historical texts is intended to transform how students conceive of the subject discipline. The work to be undertaken on the field trip is project-based and collaborative, which is also an unfamiliar working method for most students of literary/historical texts, but is increasingly the way that the various fields of cultural engagement are pursued. Experiencing this first hand will broaden students’ understanding of just how literary/historical investigations are being undertaken in the world’s leading sites.

Cultural activities

As a location in which to learn these things, the Canadian province of British Columbia has an extraordinary combination of the familiar and the unfamiliar, the latter most notable in its climate, landscape, and culture. The field trip includes provision of time to learn about this amazing place, and in particular to experience the unique culture of Vancouver Island. British Columbia is both part of Canada and, culturally, it is inevitably also part of the US Pacific North East that it adjoins, with Seattle less than 100 miles away.

As a 19th century colonial creation, British Columbia has a recent history of both conflict and hybridization with the area’s First Nations that has generated a vibrant cultural synthesis that students will be able to experience on this field trip.

Travel and accommodation

  • Travel – Students are required to independently book their travel.
  • Accommodation – The faculty will book accommodation for this opportunity, and students will be expected to pay the full amount following confirmation of their place.

Contact details

Visa information

To take part in this trip you are responsible for ensuring that meet Canadian immigration requirements.

British Citizens don’t usually need a visa to visit Canada for short periods. Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. No additional period of validity beyond this is required, but if your passport has less than six months remaining when you arrive in Canada it may take longer to pass through immigration control.

Further information will be provided to all accepted students who require a visa at the pre-departure session. If you have any questions email dmuglobal@dmu.ac.uk. If a visa is required, you are responsible for applying for one with sufficient time to receive it before departure. Please be aware that immigration decisions are made by individual embassies.

Key Information

  • Departure date: Saturday 12 January 2019
  • Return date: Saturday 19 January 2019
  • Estimated cost of travel and accommodation: £820
  • Students will also be required to pay for: UK and in-country transfers, cultural visits, food and drink, and visa (if applicable)
  • #DMUglobal bursary: £400
  • Deadline for application: Monday 12 November 2018 9am