Keynote Speakers 2012


Julia Flanders

The video recordings of the Keynote Speakers for DHA2012 are available online.

Julia Flanders is the Director of the Women Writers Project, part of the Center for Digital Scholarship in the Brown University Library. She is one of the founding editors of Digital Humanities Quarterly, and has served as President of the Association for Computers and the Humanities and as Chair of the TEI Consortium. Her research focuses on digital text representation and editing, digital scholarly communication practices, and the politics of digital work in the humanities

Rethinking Collections Digital “collections” are self-evident and also mysterious: convenient, ubiquitous aggregations that both express and conceal methodology, history, motive, agency, and textual theory. Who authors a collection? How are collections constituted and held together? How do curated collections differ from just-in-time, user-generated, or dynamic collections? How are digital collections evolving, and how are they changing the way we think and work?

Alan Liu

Alan Liu is Professor and Chair in the English Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he teaches in the fields of digital humanities, British Romantic literature and art, and literary theory. He has published three books: Wordsworth: The Sense of History (Stanford University Press, 1989), The Laws of Cool: Knowledge Work and the Culture of Information (University of Chicago Press, 2004), and Local Transcendence: Essays on Postmodern Historicism and the Database (University of Chicago Press, 2008). Liu is principal investigator of the University of California’s multi-campus research group on Transliteracies: Research in the Technological, Social, and Cultural Practices of Online Reading and a founding member of the new 4Humanities (“Advocating for the Humanities”) initiative.  Previously, he founded and directed the UC Santa Barbara http://transcriptions.english.ucsb.eduTranscriptions Project and served on the Board of Directors of the Electronic Literature Organization.  Some of his other online projects include the“>Voice of the Shuttle and The Agrippa Files (general editor).

Close, Distant, and Unexpected Reading: The Modern Paradigm of Literary Analysis  This talk approaches the debate about “close” vs. “distant” reading in an unusual way by recovering the early 20th-century institutional scene of American New Critical close reading. Assisted by first-hand interviews he conducted with Yale English Department emeriti in the 1980’s, Liu shows the conformance of both close and distant reading to a modern idea of “analysis.” Ultimately, close vs. distant reading is not a choice. It is a single structure of knowledge that the academy evolved to adapt to contemporary “knowledge work” society. But the adaptation arrives just in time to be upset by today’s new epistemological debates–e.g., between knowledge via algorithmic “analytics” and via Web 2.0 crowd sourcing. Beyond analysis and its higher-order acts (interpretation, critique), are there unexpected knowledges that the digital humanities can help the humanities contribute to society?

Peter Robinson

Peter Robinson is Bateman Professor of English at the University of Saskatchewan. He is developer of the texual-editing program Collate, used by many textual editing projects worldwide, and of the Anastasia electronic publishing system. He is active in the development of standards for digital resources, formerly as a member of the Text Encoding Initiative and as leader of the EU funded MASTER project, and currently as a member of the InterEdition project.

(Big Digital Humanities? Keynote Panel, Thursday 29 March, synopsis below)

Harold Short

Harold Short has an educational background in the Humanities and in Mathematics, Computing and Systems. Following 11 years at the BBC, has worked at King’s College London since 1988. He was Director and Head of Department in the Department of Digital Humanities (formerly Centre for Computing in the Humanities) until retirement in September 2010. He helped develop the three MA programmes in DDH: Digital Humanities, Digital Culture and Technology, Digital Asset Management, and worked with Willard McCarty and other colleagues in developing the world’s first PhD programme in Digital Humanities. He has wide experience of collaborative research in a large number of projects across many Arts and Humanities disciplines

(Big Digital Humanities? Keynote Panel, Thursday 29 March, synopsis below)

John Unsworth

John Unsworth  In February of 2012, John Unsworth begins an appointment as the Vice-Provost for Library and Technology Services and Chief Information Officer at Brandeis University. He moves to this post from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he has been Dean of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign from 2003 to 2012. In addition to being a Professor in GSLIS, at Illinois he also held appointments in the department of English and on the Library faculty; also,from 2008 to 2011, he served as Director of the Illinois Informatics Institute, a campus-wide organization that serves to coordinate and encourage informatics-related education and research. During the ten years before coming to Illinois, from 1993-2003, he served as the first Director of the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, and a faculty member in the English Department, at the University of Virginia. For his work at IATH, he received the 2005 Richard W. Lyman Award from the National Humanities Center. He chaired the national commission that produced Our Cultural Commonwealth, the 2006 report on Cyberinfrastructure for Humanities and Social Science, on behalf of the American Council of Learned Societies, and he has supervised research projects across the disciplines in the humanities.

(Big Digital Humanities? Keynote Panel, Thursday 29 March, synopsis below)

Big Digital Humanities? Research policy has for some time been fostering the formation of large programmes of activity, beyond the scale of the individual project. These programmes are designed to have critical mass and sufficient heft to solve large problems. They seem to fit the nature of DH well: widely collaborative, technology-heavy, combining disciplines in strenuous or unexpected ways, crossing across institutions, and stressing the innovative rather than the traditional in methods and in what is learned or built. Looking at the experience so far with “Big DH”, what is the overall record of success? In particular, what can we point to that has had impact in constituencies beyond DH itself? Thinking of programmes which have had disappointing results, as well as the successful ones, are there any obvious guidelines for good design, and for good execution, on this scale? Is the way forward to propose still larger, broader research programmes, to think of more federated models, to encourage smaller, more focused projects, or to stay with the mix that we have?



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