Two outstanding scholars from the inaugural cohort of Cambridge Digital Humanities’ new PhD in Digital Humanities have been selected as Gates Cambridge Scholars. Emmanuel Iduma and Sonia Fereidooni, who begin their doctoral studies at CDH in October, join the Gates Cambridge Class of 2024, a cohort of 75 new scholars studying diverse disciplines who represent 69 different nationalities in total.

Emmanuel Iduma

After qualifying as a lawyer in Nigeria, Emmanuel Iduma studied art criticism and writing at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Over the past 15 years, he has developed a diverse body of work that spans criticism, memoir, photography and fiction, including three books and a digital platform for African photography, as well as varied editorial and curatorial projects.

In my writing, criticism, and curatorial work to date, I have been interested in the ways photographs explore human dignity in complex ways. I am grateful to come to Cambridge as a Gates Scholar, and as part of the inaugural cohort of a PhD in Digital Humanities. While here, I intend to use computer vision techniques to explore how the circulation of conflict photographs shapes perception, especially about the African continent. I hope, in addition, to develop a curatorial and ethical framework for engaging with photographs in an age of misinformation and AI-generated imagery.



Sonia Fereidooni

Born in Eastern Canada and raised in rural Washington-State in the US, Sonia Fereidooni completed her BS in Computer Science & Data Science, her BA in Sociology, and her MS in Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington. As a student at the UW Allen School, she won the Allen AI Outstanding Engineer Scholarship in 2023. Her research explores three different branches of Computer Science: (1) AI Bias, Ethics, Fairness, and Governance, (2) Commonsense Reasoning and development in AI, (3) Designing equitable pedagogies in Computer Science curricula. She also has significant industry experience in AI development at Google Brain, DeepMind, and AI2.

During my PhD in Digital Humanities at Cambridge, I hope to research how to effectively legislate AI governance in protection of intersectional identities from the Global South, especially in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia. I hope to pursue fieldwork in critical areas that are most adversely-affected by the recent accelerated developments of AI, and research how it is that AI can be universally-regulated to avoid such outcomes. In deep gratitude, I am honored to join the Gates Cambridge community and continue to learn about the humanities’ intersections with technology from scholars of other fields.


Commending the scholars’ success on behalf of the CDH community, Professor Caroline Bassett, Director of Cambridge Digital Humanities, and Dr Leonardo Impett, convenor of the MPhil and PhD in Digital Humanities, share their congratulations:

Congratulations to Emmanuel and Sonia, our two Gates scholars. We are excited by their research proposals and thrilled that these exceptional scholars will join the first ever cohort of our Digital Humanities PhD programme next year. 

Graduate students are at the heart of this exciting and fast-growing field at Cambridge and we are grateful to the Gates Foundation for supporting a number of outstanding scholars at CDH. We look forward to welcoming a phenomenal inaugural cohort of PhD students, including Emmanuel and Sonia, to Cambridge this Autumn.

Could you be our next Gates Scholar in Digital Humanities? Applications for entry in the academic year 2025-26 will open in September 2024.

Find out more about the PhD in Digital Humanities at

Find out more about the MPhil in Digital Humanities at

Find out more about the Cambridge Gates scholarship programme, the University of Cambridge’s flagship international postgraduate scholarship programme, at

  • Posted 17 Apr 2024

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