How to reflect on DH collaborations

Towards a hermeneutics of cross-disciplinary collaboration in the humanities

One of the defining characteristics of digital humanities is the emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration.[1]Klein, J. T. (2014). Interdisciplining Digital Humanities: Boundary Work in an Emerging Field (online). University of Michigan Press. https://doi.org/10.3998/dh.12869322.0001.001[2]Spiro, L. (2012). “This Is Why We Fight”: Defining the Values of the Digital Humanities. In M. K. Gold (Ed.), Debates in Digital Humanities (online). University of Minnesota Press. http://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/debates/text/13 The different facets of digital humanities research, such as computer technology, data management, and humanistic inquiry, call for experts with different backgrounds to collaborate. But how to study or reflect on DH collaborations? In this post I introduce a blog series in which I will develop a vocabulary for collaborative DH.

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References   [ + ]

1. Klein, J. T. (2014). Interdisciplining Digital Humanities: Boundary Work in an Emerging Field (online). University of Michigan Press. https://doi.org/10.3998/dh.12869322.0001.001
2. Spiro, L. (2012). “This Is Why We Fight”: Defining the Values of the Digital Humanities. In M. K. Gold (Ed.), Debates in Digital Humanities (online). University of Minnesota Press. http://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/debates/text/13

Collaborations as Trading Zones

DH is clearly a meeting of different communities. To better understand DH therefore requires the investigation of this ‘meeting’. A concept that has gained in popularity to describe the meeting between different communities is trading zones, which I will elaborate in this post. Using this concept, differences and commonalities between meetings of DH collaborations can be investigated and mapped.

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DH: between disciplines, communities, and cultures

DH: between disciplines, communities, and cultures

In order to understand engagement in DH, one aspect to describe is the configurations of participating people. One approach would be to consider the interactions between different disciplines such as history and computer science. In this post, I will reflect on the concept of disciplines, and discuss alternative concepts of communities of practice and cultures.

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PhD Comics The Mountain Top, by Jorge Cham

The mountain and the valley: 2019 will be exciting

2018 has been a great year for my wife and me. The most exciting moment was when we welcomed our second son Rowas into the world. Now that he’s almost one year already, the nights are getting easier, giving more energy to concentrate. And I will need my concentration, for 2019 promises to be an exciting year in which I have a mountain to climb, and a valley to explore.

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What makes DH interdisciplinary?

Abstract: Power Asymmetries of eHumanities Infrastructures

In the final week of October the annual IEEE eScience conference will take place in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. This will be my first eScience conference, and I look forward to seeing how the eScience community is similar to or different from the digital humanities community. I have submitted a paper applying findings of my PhD research to the development of eScience infrastructures for the humanities. Specifically, my paper discusses the problems of power asymmetry in collaborations, with scholars dependent on infrastructures developers, and of knowledge asymmetry, with scholars lacking the knowledge necessary to influence the practices of infrastructure developers. A first difference between the eScience and DH communities I already observed was in the reviews of my submission, which found my topic of interest but lacking in a (technological) solution to the problem. Unfortunately, I do not have a solution readily available, but I have extended my power relation circle with a possible way out in the development of know-howBelow you can find the abstract for my paper, and the poster I will present at the conference (designed by my wife).

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DHBenelux 2018 submissions

This week will be the fifth instalment of the DHBenelux conference. Last year, the conference was held in Utrecht, and this year the conference stays close, moving to Amsterdam. I forgot to apply to be a reviewer (oops!), but the organisation was kind enough to provide me all the data of submissions for my analysis. In this post I will analyse the submissions, authors, and keywords from abstracts. For the previous years see my analyses of 20172016, and 2014-2016.

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DHBenelux Abstract: Boundary practices in digital humanities

Next week the annual DHBenelux conference will take place in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Here I will present the results of my online survey of digital humanities collaborations, focusing on boundary practices and the distance between collaborators. Below you can find the abstract of the paper.  For those not able to come, follow the hashtag #dhbenelux. And if you are able to come, see you next week!

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Models of Infrastructures for the Humanities

Last week I was at ECHIC 2018 in Leuven, which focused on infrastructures in the humanities. The conference was small, allowing very integrated discussions in a single-session format, combining participants with backgrounds in the humanities, as well as a large number of librarians. This variety in backgrounds, and the shared concern over infrastructural problems of sustainable data storage and access in itself was already an interesting demonstration of my paper’s point that digital humanities brings infrastructure into focus. In this blog post, I want to draw a bit of the debate around the main question of the conference: do the humanities require their own research infrastructures?

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