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  1. 1. Professor Andrew Prescott, King’s College London, AHRC Digital Transformations Theme Leader Fellow The Arts and Humanities in a Digital Age
  2. 2. Wordsworth, The Ruined Cottage, 1798 - Rural poverty and hunger - Effect of French Wars - Leading characters in poem engage in repetitive, alienated and meaningless tasks – in an almost machine-like fashion - The poem is haunted by almost spectral figures – elegy for a lost countryside
  3. 3. The Old Cumberland Beggar But deem not this Man useless.--Statesmen! ye Who are so restless in your wisdom, ye Who have a broom still ready in your hands To rid the world of nuisances; ye proud, Heart-swoln, while in your pride ye contemplate Your talents, power, or wisdom, deem him not A burthen of the earth! 'Tis Nature's law That none, the meanest of created things, Or forms created the most vile and brute, The dullest or most noxious, should exist Divorced from good
  4. 4. The Excursion, 1814 Meanwhile, at social Industry's command How quick, how vast an increase. From the germ Of some poor hamlet, rapidly produced Here a huge town, continuous and compact Hiding the face of earth for leagues - and there, Where not a habitation stood before, Abodes of men irregularly massed Like trees in forests, - spread through spacious tracts. O'er which the smoke of unremitting fires Hangs permanent, and plentiful as wreaths Of vapour glittering in the morning sun.
  5. 5. Coleridge: ‘We are daily advancing to the state in which there are but two classes of men, masters and abject dependents’. Calls for ‘a general revolution in the modes of developing and disciplining the human mind by the substitution of life and intelligence for the philosophy of mechanism which, in everything that is most worth of the human intellect, strikes Death’. Seeks studies promoting ‘’the harmonious development of those qualities and faculties which characterise our humanity’
  6. 6. Matthew Arnold, Literature and Science, 1882 ‘The great majority of mankind... would do well, I cannot but think, to choose to be educated in humane letters rather than in the natural sciences. Letters will call out their being at more points, will make them live more’.
  7. 7. 776 pieces of Shakespeare’s Plays from the First Folio, each of 1000 words, rated on two scaled principal components (1 and 4). The color key for the dots: Histories (green), Comedies (red), Tragedies (orange) and Late Plays (blue). Late plays are: The Tempest, The Winter’s Tale, Cymbeline, Henry VIII. Note Romeo and Juliet in the lower-left, History quadrant.
  8. 8. Biblical concordance in a 14th-century manuscript from Rochester: British Library, Royal MS 4 E.V
  9. 9. Long-standing tradition of quantitative analysis using computing by scholars such as the economic historian Roderick Floud working in the 1960s and 1970s
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  11. 11. Online Chopin Variorum Edition:
  12. 12. Electronic Beowulf
  13. 13. Text of Mark 1:1 in the British Library portion of the Codex Sinaiticus under standard light, showing corrections including insertion of the phrase ‘Son of God’.
  14. 14. ‘The digital humanities are what happens as soon as you start to use computers to study the humanities’ Willard McCarty As soon as we started creating Electronic Beowulf, we immediately became engaged with: • New research questions • New forms of access • New methods • New skills • New forms of presentation • New forms of collaboration and of working together
  15. 15. Debates in the Digital Humanities Formalism, Freudianism, structuralism, postcolonialism – grand intellectual cathedrals from which assorted interpretations of literature, politics and culture spread. The next big idea in language, history and the arts? Data. Instead of looking for new ‘isms’, digitally savvy humanists now argue, we should start looking at how technology is currently changing our understanding of what it means to do liberal arts. New York Times, November 2010 Does the digital humanities offer new and better ways to realize traditional humanities goals? Or does the digital humanities completely change our understanding of what a humanities goal (and work in the humanities) might be? Stanley Fish, January 2012
  16. 16. Digital Humanities Manifesto 2.0
  17. 17. Digital humanities (along with other ‘new’ humanities such as spatial humanities, environmental humanities, medical humanities) as a space for debating what the humanities is and should be Mark Sample: The digital humanities should not be about the digital at all. It’s all about innovation and disruption. The digital humanities is really an insurgent humanities.
  18. 18. What is Changing? • No longer an easily defined set of methods • Wide variety of formats: not just text but sound, image, moving image, animation, visualisation, making • Recycling: visualising, linking, mash-up • Cannot be confined within single disciplinary practice or structures • More experimental and ad hoc • Stronger cross-connections with practice-led research of different types, particularly in arts • Requires fresh appoaches to initiating and conceiving research • Reflects increasing availability of born-digital data; digitisation no longer at centre of agenda
  19. 19. Letter of Gladstone to Disraeli, 1878: British Library, Add. MS. 44457, f. 166 The political and literary papers of Gladstone preserved in the British Library comprise 762 volumes containing approx. 160,000 documents
  20. 20. George W. Bush Presidential Library: 200 million e-mails 4 million photographs
  21. 21. Visualisation of languages used in tweets in London in Summer 2012: Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, UCL:
  22. 22. Visualising milllions of books: The Industrial Revolution in the Ngram Viewer
  23. 23. Mapping Metaphor Project: University of Glasgow
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  26. 26. A Thousand Words: Advanced Visualisation in the Humanities Texas Advanced Computing Center Link:
  27. 27. Michael Takeo Magruder, Data Sea:
  28. 28. Jekyll 2.0: A React Hub project. Collaboration between Slingshot (Pervasive Game Developers) and Dr Anthony Mandal, Cardiff University: http://www.react- 20/
  29. 29. Available at:
  30. 30. Component and Behavior for Protein 1 Component and Behavior for Protein 2 Component and Behavior for Protein 3 ParametricModeling Quantitatively MapsSingle Cell Protein Levelsto Individual Qualitative Components
  31. 31. Data objects developed by Ian Gwilt, Sheffield Hallam University:
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  34. 34. v=cCYn7oQlLiA Eduardo Kac, Lagoglyph Sound System