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Digital Humanities
• Digital humanities umbrella term for the use of
digital methods in such humanities subjects as
lingui...
Our challenge is the human
• Humanities studies human behaviour and culture
• Human behaviour and culture is complex, mess...
@NUMBER = VITELLIUS C.XV
@NOTE = RENUMBERED: NOW FAUSTINA C.V
@NUMBER = VITELLIUS C.XVI, VOLUME ONE
@NOTE = CONTAINS FOLIO...
Cotton MS Otho E.xiv was added to the
collection between 1695 and 1734,
probably by Casley. Not in Smith or
Planta so has ...
Map showing location of bombs falling on London during the Blitz,
1940-1941:
www.bombsight.org
Bomb	on	Balham	tube	sta.on,	14	
Oct.	1940:	omi9ed	from	the	bomb	
census.
Unstructured time-based
media (film, sound, tv) very
important in many domains,
but presents complex
problems of representa...
Extract from a visual field analysis of Ken Loach’s
Poor Cow (1967). Even if we can locate the placing of
the camera, it is...
• In the humanities, no such thing as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ data. It
is the exploration and interrogation of data which is at th...
Over-arching themes of the
humanities
• Layers of Meaning: shifts in meaning, patterns of meaning, close
reading, thick de...
Challenges in the Digital Humanities
Challenges in the Digital Humanities
Challenges in the Digital Humanities
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Challenges in the Digital Humanities

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Short presentation for Alan Turing Institute workshop on heritage and cultural informatics at UCL, 10 November 2015. The picture only slides illustrate data of varying complexity.

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Challenges in the Digital Humanities

  1. 1. Digital Humanities • Digital humanities umbrella term for the use of digital methods in such humanities subjects as linguistics, history, literature, theology, etc. • Ranges from approaches akin to media studies to specialist linguistic computing • Earlier focus on method (‘methodological commons’); I will focus more on domain content (will emphasise humanities challenges, and less the digital)
  2. 2. Our challenge is the human • Humanities studies human behaviour and culture • Human behaviour and culture is complex, messy, contradictory, deceptive and rich in layers of meaning • The humanities explores these complexities, and never reaches firm conclusions (or wishes to) • V.H. Galbraith: ‘The past itself is dead, and the books we write tombs of learning, except insofar as they live in the consciousness of their readers. So conceived, we travel pleasantly, but by the nature of things we never arrive’ • Stuart Hall: humanities data is always reread in the light of the past, the present and the future
  3. 3. @NUMBER = VITELLIUS C.XV @NOTE = RENUMBERED: NOW FAUSTINA C.V @NUMBER = VITELLIUS C.XVI, VOLUME ONE @NOTE = CONTAINS FOLIOS 1-302 @NUMBER = VITELLIUS C.XVI, PART TWO @NOTE = CONTAINS FOLIOS 308-545 @NUMBER = VITELLIUS C.XVII @NUMBER = VITELLIUS D.I (ARTICLES 2-7 ONLY) @NUMBER = VITELLIUS D.II @NUMBER = VITELLIUS D.III (ARTICLES 3, 4 AND 9 ONLY) @NUMBER = VITELLIUS D.IV (ARTICLES 3, 5 AND 7 ONLY) @NUMBER = VITELLIUS D.V (ARTICLES 5-6 ONLY) @NUMBER = VITELLIUS D.VI @NUMBER = VITELLIUS D.VII @NUMBER = VITELLIUS D.VIII (ARTICLE 6) @NUMBER = VITELLIUS D.IX @NUMBER = VITELLIUS D.X @NUMBER = VITELLIUS D.XI (ARTICLES 1, 3, 8 AND 11 ONLY) @NUMBER = VITELLIUS D.XII (ARTICLES 1-4 AND 10 ONLY) @NUMBER = VITELLIUS D.XIII (ARTICLES 5-12 ONLY) @NUMBER = @NUMBER = VITELLIUS D.XIV @NOTE = BURNT IN 1731 @NUMBER = VITELLIUS D.XV (ARTICLES 2 AND 4 ONLY) @NUMBER = VITELLIUS D.XVI @NUMBER = VITELLIUS D.XVII @NUMBER = VITELLIUS D.XVIII @NUMBER = VITELLIUS D.XIX @NOTE = MISSING: WANTING IN 1696 @NUMBER = VITELLIUS D.XX (ARTICLES 3 AND 10 ONLY) @NUMBER = VITELLIUS E.I @NUMBER = VITELLIUS E.II (ARTICLES 22-23 ONLY) @NUMBER = VITELLIUS E.III @NUMBER = VITELLIUS E.IV (ARTICLES 8-9 ONLY) @NUMBER = VITELLIUS E.V @NUMBER = VITELLIUS E.VI @NUMBER = VITELLIUS E.VII (ARTICLES 1, 3, 6, 8 ONLY) @NUMBER = VITELLIUS E.VIII @NUMBER = VITELLIUS E.IX (ARTICLE 3 ONLY) @NUMBER = VITELLIUS E.X @NUMBER = VITELLIUS E.XI @NUMBER = VITELLIUS E.XI, OLD COVERS @NUMBER = OTHO D.VI @NOTE = MISSING: WANTING IN 1696 @NUMBER = OTHO D.VII @NUMBER = OTHO D.VIII @NUMBER = OTHO D.IX @NUMBER = OTHO D.X @NUMBER = OTHO D.XI @NOTE = CONTAINS ARTICLES 1-3, 8, 9 AND 11 ONLY @NUMBER = OTHO E.I @NUMBER = OTHO E.II @NOTE = BURNT IN 1731 @NUMBER = OTHO E.III @NUMBER = OTHO E.IV @NUMBER = OTHO E.V @NOTE = BURNT IN 1731 @NUMBER = OTHO E.VI @NUMBER = OTHO E.VII @NUMBER = OTHO E.VIII @NUMBER = OTHO E.IX @NUMBER = OTHO E.X @NUMBER = OTHO E.XI @NUMBER = OTHO E.XII @NUMBER = OTHO E.XIII @NUMBER = OTHO E.XIV @NUMBER = TIBERIUS A.I @NOTE = TRANSFERRED TO BRITISH LIBRARY ORIENTAL COLLECTIONS @NUMBER = TIBERIUS A.II @NUMBER = TIBERIUS A.III @NUMBER = TIBERIUS A.IV @NUMBER = TIBERIUS A.V @NUMBER = TIBERIUS A.VI @NUMBER = TIBERIUS A.VII @NOTE = ARTICLES 5*, 5**, 5*** ARE PLACED SEPARATELY @NUMBER = TIBERIUS A.VII, ARTICLES 5*, 5**, 5*** @NOTE = FORMERLY APPENDIX XXXIX, ARTICLES 1-3
  4. 4. Cotton MS Otho E.xiv was added to the collection between 1695 and 1734, probably by Casley. Not in Smith or Planta so has remained effectively concealed until recently. Galba E.xiv also added after 1695 and before 1734, and not in Smith or Planta. However, probably never owned by Cotton.
  5. 5. Map showing location of bombs falling on London during the Blitz, 1940-1941: www.bombsight.org
  6. 6. Bomb on Balham tube sta.on, 14 Oct. 1940: omi9ed from the bomb census.
  7. 7. Unstructured time-based media (film, sound, tv) very important in many domains, but presents complex problems of representation
  8. 8. Extract from a visual field analysis of Ken Loach’s Poor Cow (1967). Even if we can locate the placing of the camera, it is the direction of the shot which is significant. Cinematic location comprises many different components (time, space, gaze, sequence, etc.) but cinematic geographies are still fictitious.
  9. 9. • In the humanities, no such thing as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ data. It is the exploration and interrogation of data which is at the heart of the humanities • Bowker (2006): Raw data is both an oxymoron and a bad idea; to the contrary, data should be cooked with care • Huggett (2014): Data are not 'out there', waiting to be discovered; if anything, data are waiting to be created. Information about the past is situated, contingent, and incomplete; data are theory-laden, and relationships are constantly changing depending on context. • Kitchen and Lauriault (2014): Data are situated, contingent, relational, and framed, and used contextually to try and achieve certain aims and goals
  10. 10. Over-arching themes of the humanities • Layers of Meaning: shifts in meaning, patterns of meaning, close reading, thick description, intertextuality • Archaeologies: the accumulations of data, meaning and significance; the layered meaning for place • Power: structures of power (gender, class, race); canonicities; cultural forms • The gaze: how do we as readers / observers / creators interact with cultural objects? • Materialities: in a manuscript, music or painting, there is no separation between information and the medium carrying it. The information is shaped by and dependent on its material carrier. Transforming the carrier transforms the information

Short presentation for Alan Turing Institute workshop on heritage and cultural informatics at UCL, 10 November 2015. The picture only slides illustrate data of varying complexity.

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