Provocations, Trouble, Privilege


The DHA2016 draft programme is up and ahead we have provocations, data trouble, and privilege to foment thought and debate on days 1 and 2.  

Registrations are open.

New Years Eve thunderstorm

Image credits: Flickr, Lee Turner CC-BY-NC-ND


The session has been created with the aim to stimulate thinking through a series of short ‘provocations’ and ‘reflections’ that encapsulate, and emerge from, key debates.

Data Trouble

Got trouble with your data?  What kind of trouble?  Philosophical? Technical? Political?

The first keynote up is Miriam Posner and she will talk about “Data Trouble” on day two of the conference.  In the abstract for her keynote Posner writes: “The term “data” seems alien to the humanities not just because humanists aren’t used to computers, but because it exposes some very real differences in the way humanists and scholars from some other fields conceive of the work they do.”

Trouble, is a dramatic word, implying: discovery, disobedience, disruption, danger, and, discord.  Posner describes the “data trouble” in the humanities as a “divide” that opens up new paths for humanities research.  Data trouble, may be just the kind of epistemological trouble the Australasian DH community like to get into!

The Digital Humanities in Three Dimensions

The second keynote up is Tim Hitchcock and he will talk about “The Digital Humanities in Three Dimensions”.  In the abstract for his keynote Hitchcock writes about the power of understanding the time and space in which words are spoken to gauge meaning: “Words uttered in a church are different to the same words addressed to a court or a confidant.  Words uttered in 1780 are different to the same words in 1840; and words spoken by a twenty year old woman, are different again to the same words emerging from the mouth of a 40 year old man.”

Meaning is wrought through investigation techniques and tools, and Hitchcock will talk about why privileging “text over image, time over place, and ‘big data’ over close reading.” are not useful distinctions in approach to digital humanities research.

Dr Miriam Posner

Dr Miriam Posner

Prof Tim Hitchcock

Prof Tim Hitchcock








Find out more about the conference keynotes.