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2015 07-dh2015

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2015 07-dh2015

  1. 1. Digital Humanities as an Academic Department Panel on ‘Global Perspectives on Digital Humanities Expertise’ Paul Spence Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London Digital Humanities 2015 Conference, Sydney/3 July 2015 03/07/2015 01:48 ENC Public Talk 19 February 2013 1
  2. 2. Challenges of definition  What is our definition of ‘Digital Humanities’?  Factors affecting nature of a DH centre: 2  What do we mean by ‘centre’?  ‘Digital Humanities’ vs ‘Digital Scholarship in the Humanities’?  Connection to/grounding in other humanities disciplines  Fertile but uneven terrain  DH = dynamic field: scope for innovation / instability  There are challenges of definition which make it hard to present meaningful boundaries of scope and to reach general conclusions Support service Centre with full academic research agenda
  3. 3. What outcomes do we want?  What will the future landscape of knowledge creation look like in the humanities?  Academic evaluation  Career outcomes  What academic outputs will be produced in this new landscape?  Scholarly outputs of the future  Role of tools, models, datasets and other ‘non-traditional’ by-products & outputs 3
  4. 4. Global perspectives on DH expertise • Alternative definitions of the humanities, and digital scholarship more broadly • More research needed into architectures of participation in the digital humanities which foment the acquisition of expertise and enable a culturally balanced reception of its academic outcomes. • What are the geopolitics of academic production in DH, and how do they affect efforts to build expertise? 4
  5. 5. Evolution of Department of Digital Humanities (DDH)  Academic department since 2002; name change in 2011  Shift in focus – From emphasis on research grant capture (which allowed us to develop a lot of expertise in digital methods and tools – To an academic department with balanced portfolio of research and teaching  Teaching programmes now central – Four MA programmes • Digital Humanities • Digital Culture & Society (with KCL CMCI) • Digital Asset and Media Management • Digital Curation (with Humboldt) – PhD in Digital Humanities programme – BA in Digital Cultures opens in September http://www.kcl.ac.uk/artshums/depts/ddh/study/index.aspx 5
  6. 6. New directions – Much stronger focus on teaching, key cultural change for department – Logic of the REF (UK Research Excellence Framework) – Greater professional formality in overall process, and closer alignment in job titles and career paths with traditional academic and commercial sector – Career paths are less defined by latest state of funding grant capture and more closely identified with an academic programme with its own strategic focus – Tension practical grounding element (in taught courses) / ability to articulate complex research questions involving digital technology 6
  7. 7. How to define DH expertise/challenges  No ‘correct’ answer  Emphasis needs to be not on learning particular technologies, but on agility, mobility, creativity and critical thinking  Practice grounded in theory, and theory tested in practice  Emphasis on interpretation, scholarly enquiry, not ‘problem-solving’  Closer interaction with other areas of digitally mediated practice and scholarship 7
  8. 8. Contact: Paul Spence Department of Digital Humanities King’s College London paul.spence@kcl.ac.uk 03/07/2015 01:48 ENC Public Talk 19 February 2013 8

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