Hi There! I’m Wout, and I’m a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Antwerp (Belgium). I started this blog at the end of 2015, when I was working on my thesis in the field of Digital Humanities – more specifically on the subject of Digital Scholarly Editing.
I had just handed in my dissertation, and had a little more time on my hands as it was being assessed, so I decided to finally start that blog that I had been wanting to develop for some time. I wanted it to be a mix of personal and professional posts, so I bought some hosting, installed WordPress, designed a template, called my new website “Bytes and Bikes”. To get a little head start on filling my blog up with content (and avoiding the dreadful “blank page”), I grabbed some blog posts and progress reports from websites that I had developed for my work as a PhD student (the Bytes), threw in some recipes that I had written for a friends’ blog some time before (the Bites), and wrote a couple of posts on the cycling trips and workouts that I was getting into (the Bikes). You can still see the remnants of those days in my posts’ categories (and menu items in the website’s navigation bar).
Since then, I’ve committed to posting new content on this website with intermittent success. As was to be expected, my slow spell in academia didn’t last long. After defending my dissertation in December I was offered a position in Antwerp – but since there was only room for a parttime position I had to look for another job to either supplement or replace it. Not too long after, though, I applied for an Experienced Researcher position in the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action Initial Training Network on Digital Scholarly Edition called DiXiT – and got the job.
The position was in a different country, and at another department – so I moved to Sweden for a year, and got more acquainted with Library and Information Science. It was a very enriching experience – both professionally and personally – but it was also extremely busy, movingg to a new country, working myself into a new research field, and travelling so much. So I wrote a couple of blog posts for the DiXiT network, but that was about it.
And then the year was over, and I needed a follow-up project. So I moved back to Belgium, where there was a full-time position for me now, that was also very closely related to my newly acquired experience, in the world of Library and Information science. As the coordinator of the inter-university DARIAH-VL (and later CLARIAH-VL) project(s) building bridges between academic Humanities researchers and library professionals and researchers. Which is where I’ve been working since.
Now, two years later, I wrote a couple more blog posts, but not many. But in 2020, I’m hoping to pick it up again. I moved the website to its current URL (www.woutdillen.be), wrote this new About page, and will be tackling my DH Projects page next. I also hope to find some time to design a new layout for the website, but it may still be a while before I can make time for that. But first, I’ll focus on content. There’s a lot of small and larger DH-y projects I’m working on these days, so I hope to find some time to write more about those. Wish me luck!
3 February 2020