Paris will host a week of Digital Humanities events from 8th – 12th June 2015. A ThatCamp will be organized by LabEx EHNE together with Cléo and the Campus Condorcet at the beginning of the week (8th – 11th June) which will be followed by #DHIHA6, a conference at the German Historical Institute Paris about Experiments in Digital Humanities. This meeting will provide an opportunity to exchange ideas and practices in a friendly and open atmosphere.
While experiments are fundamental to the Natural Sciences, the Humanities have traditionally rarely engaged in them. For the former, a hypothesis is tested on one or several datasets and possibly with different methods, again and again, until the results are considered solid; in the latter, it is usually one method that is applied, once, to one dataset. Aspects such as defining an experimental protocol, adjusting parameters, identifying and correcting biases, iterating a protocol or using different methods or different datasets do not belong to the research culture in the humanities. This affects not only the individual researcher’s methodological standards, but also the communicational and infrastructural context in which he/she works, from the place taken by teamwork to grant requirements, including such a major aspect as the integration of failure into the research process.
Like Sociology or Psychology, Digital Humanities evolve at the interface of these two polarized tendencies in research culture. While they address research questions which could not have been devised without the centuries of traditional humanities which preceded them, they are equally inconceivable without dataset comparisons, the development of new methods and iteration. What is more, these methodological fundamentals often transcend individual disciplines and require input from elsewhere – not only from computer science, but also, possibly, from related disciplines like history, literary studies or linguistics. It is precisely this kind of interdisciplinary – and experimental – way of doing research that brings together diversely tailored scholarly endeavours under the (meta)disciplinary umbrella of Digital Humanities.
This conference addresses the gap between the research culture with which Digital Humanists are equipped via their disciplinary backgrounds and the research culture they foster as Digital Humanists. Why does experimentation play a crucial role in the Digital Humanities? How does it contribute to defining the relationship between method and research question, often still in such a way that traditional humanists cannot “see” the contribution to the research question behind the digital contribution? Which institutional barriers can be identified that currently prevent the Digital Humanities from developing their full potential, leaving little room for iteration, comparison or failure?
#DHIHA6 will start on 11th June at 6pm at the German Historical Institute in Paris with a presentation by Julianne Nyhan (University College London). She will speak on the role of oral history and experiments in Digital Humanities. Friday will be dedicated to different workshops and laboratories. The conference itself will be an experiment, as we want to alternate presentation of prepared papers with other, highly dialogical forms of approaching and discussing the subject (ThatCamp, World Cafés etc.). It will be organised around 8 WorldCafés, 3 lounges and 4 laboratories, among them:
WorldCafé 1: Simulation in historical science
WorldCafé 2: Citizen Science and crowdsourcing
WorldCafé 3: What does not work? Failure in Research Projects
WorldCafé 4: How to define a protocol?
WorldCafé 5: Research infrastructure as experiments
Three different Data-laboratories
Media Lounge: Twitter, Interviews
Open Peer Review Lounge
In order to broaden the exchanges at the conference, 13 scholarships will be awarded to young researchers to enable them to attend this event: €300 for young French researchers and €500 for young researchers from other countries. The scholarships will contribute to transportation and / or accommodation cost (receipts required).
To submit an application, simply send before April 1st, 2015 a presentation of your research (15 lines) and a short explanation of your interest in the event (15 lines), to Suzanne Dumouchel, sdumouchel @ dhi-paris. fr
The working language will be English but applications can be sent in English, French or German. A reply will be sent around April 15th, 2015.
This event is organized by the German Historical Institute in Paris (DHIP), the consortium OpenEdition, the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, the Scientific Review Group HUM and especially enjoys the support of the European Science Foundation (covering 10 scholarships) and the Institute for Advanced Studies in Paris (3 scholarships).