Knowledge Machines: The Potential of the Digital. A symposium on alternative practices in humanities research
Saturday, 27 September 2014 from 10:30 to 18:00 (BST)
Canterbury, United Kingdom
San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
Even in today’s market-driven education system where a commonplace (self-)diagnosis for the humanities is that its condition is critical, the knowledge machines are far from broken. Socially relevant knowledge is produced, disseminated and consumed in a variety of creative ways, in which digital tools and methodologies increasingly play an important role. While acknowledging the crisis, we wish to move away from the discourse of negativity that is currently encompassing the humanities. We will showcase examples of affirmative engagement with the digital humanities, and trans-disciplinary critical and practical approaches to the oft-perceived stability of knowledge, the shelf life of ideas, and the contingency of meanings.
Knowledge Machines is a free one-day symposium which will showcase different approaches to using digital methodologies for the humanities. Videos, discussion points, and related materials will also be made available before and after the day on this website's blog, in order to move the discussion about the future of the humanities out of the usual confines of the conference hall, and into the digital sphere.
[Collaborative Humanities] Alixe Bovey: Senior Lecturer at the University of Kent who specialises in the visual culture of the later Middle Ages. Alixe has been the director of the University’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, and runs a PhD skills training programme Material Witness
[Posthumanities] Gary Hall: Professor of Media and Performing Arts in the School of Art and Design at Coventry University and Director of the Centre for Disruptive Media
[Digital Humanities] Julianne Nyhan: Lecturer in Digital Information Studies at UCL Centre for Digital Humanities, specialising in oral history and digital humanities
For more information please visit the conference website:
and our wiki discussion and resource platform:
11:00-11:30 Introduction to: digital humanities
Many experiments with alternative forms of scholarly communication have arisen from what has become known as the digital humanities, which has been defined as ‘not a unified field but an array of convergent practices’ (Presner and Schnapp, 2009). Digital humanists use digital tools, technologies and media as well as computational methods to supplement current research methods, whilst discussing how digital media and technology changes the way we do research.
Speaker: Julianne Nyhan
11:30-12:00 Introduction to: posthumanities
This strand of thinking focuses on the need to explore how as theorists, scholars and practitioners we can perform our work, roles, institutions and practices differently. This to examine more thoroughly, instead of taking for granted, the way that we produce, disseminate and consume scholarly knowledge. But also to analyse the potential implications of the digital for our ideas of the text, the book, authorship, originality and fixity, as well as for the humanist legacy still underlying most of our (digital) humanities work.
Speaker: Gary Hall
12:00-12:30 Introduction to: collaborative humanities
Digital tools, technologies and media can be seen to stimulate interdisciplinary collaborative work, including collaborations with non-academic partners such as cultural institutions (i.e. publishers, libraries and archives, museums, theaters, etc.) in an endeavour to disseminate research to a wider audience, to produce knowledge in a collaborative cultural and scholarly setting, as well as to closely align scholarly aims to societal and cultural needs.
Speaker: Alixe Bovey
14:00-15:15 Workshop 1 – digital humanities
Colm MacCrossan (Exeter University): EEBO-TCP project
Cressida Williams (Canterbury Cathedral): Doc Explore
15:15-16:30 Workshop 2 – posthumanities
Janneke Adema (Coventry University): Living Books about Life
Jan Loop (University of Kent): MEMS Working Papers
17:00-18:15 Workshop 3 – collaborative humanities
David Bennett (Coventry University): Siobhan Davies Replay
Kate De Rycker, Martina Pranic (University of Kent, Charles University Prague):
18:15-20:00 Wine Reception
Photo by DarrelBirkett
When & Where
TEEME and The Centre for Disruptive Media
TEEME is an international doctoral programme in early modern studies funded by the European Union. It is structured around a unique collaboration between university-based researchers in the Humanities and the cultural and creative sector in four EU countries (United Kingdom, Germany, Portugal, Czech Republic). The partnership will foster intercultural dialogue and disseminate the best research in history, literature and culture to the wider community.
The Centre for Disruptive Media
Disruptive Media is a term we have adapted from business where a disruptive media technology is one ‘that helps create a new market and value network, and eventually goes on to disrupt an existing market and value network’. The Centre for Disruptive Media is looking to meet the challenge of such digital technologies:
- by studying and researching disruptive digital technologies
- by experimenting with the development and use of disruptive digital media, including open source, open access, open data and open education resources, augmented reality, mobile and geolocative media.
- by disrupting and displacing the existing market by creating and exploring new economic models and new economies.