August 17, 2015
4 PM - 6 PM
Maude Fife Room (315 Wheeler Hall)
food and drink served
Open to the public
Clifford Lynch, "Humanities Scholarship in an increasingly digital world: evidence, analysis, dissemination"
As we consider the work of the humanistic (and indeed other) disciplines in an increasingly digital world, there are three inter-related issues that I believe are emerging as central concerns. The first is the curation and stewardship of the vast range of evidence that supports scholarly inquiry, including when and how to develop digital representations of pre-digital age materials, and how to deal with born-digital materials that comprise a growing part of this base of evidence. Here scholars, librarians, curators, archivists, editors, and others must come together, and we need a new discussion about which activities in this area genuinely rise to the highest levels of scholarship, and which are essential but perhaps more peripheral to the core scholarship. The second area I will consider is the traditional analytic work of scholarship and how that may be enhanced by both by new digital evidence bases and digital tools. Finally, I will consider the some issues in the publication and dissemination of scholarship in the digital world, and particularly the essential importance of ensuring scholars that their work will endure over the long term and not become digital ephemera.
Clifford Lynch has been the Director of the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) since July 1997. CNI, jointly sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries and Educause, includes about 200 member organizations concerned with the use of information technology and networked information to enhance scholarship and intellectual productivity. Prior to joining CNI, Lynch spent 18 years at the University of California Office of the President, the last 10 as Director of Library Automation. Lynch, who holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley, is an adjunct professor at Berkeley's School of Information. He is a past president of the American Society for Information Science and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Information Standards Organization. Lynch serves on the National Digital Preservation Strategy Advisory Board of the Library of Congress; he was a member of the National Research Council committees that published The Digital Dilemma: Intellectual Property in the Information Infrastructure and Broadband: Bringing Home the Bits, and now serves on the NRC's committee on digital archiving and the National Archives and Records Administration.
Alan Liu, "N + 1: A Plea for Cross-Domain Data in the Digital Humanities"
In experimenting with text analysis, machine learning, visualization, and other methods, digital humanists often study materials collected from specific segments of the human documentary record--for example: a study corpus consisting just of one of the following at a time: novels, poems, letters, newspapers, historical maps, crime records, political speeches, etc. Such corpora also tend to be tuned to the specific domain of a scholar's expertise (e.g., novels of a particular century and nation). In this short, speculative talk, Liu asks: what could be gained methodologically and theoretically by deliberately hybridizing domains--for example, pairing any two or three kinds, periods, or nationalities of materials in a controlled way? What would be involved, in other words, in giving digital humanities corpora some of the mixed quality of their uncanny doubles (alike yet dissimilar): "archives" in the strict sense and "corpora" in the corpus linguistics sense? The talk concludes with a presentation of aspects of the 4Humanities.org "WhatEvery1Says" research project (topic modeling public discourse about the humanities) that bear on the theme of cross-domain knowledge.
Alan Liu is Professor in the English Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has published books titled Wordsworth: The Sense of History (1989); The Laws of Cool: Knowledge Work and the Culture of Information (2004); and Local Transcendence: Essays on Postmodern Historicism and the Database (2008). Recent essays include "The Meaning of the Digital Humanities" (2013), "From Reading to Social Computing" (2013), "Where is Cultural Criticism in the Digital Humanities?" (2012), "The State of the Digital Humanities: A Report and a Critique" (2012), and "Friending the Past: The Sense of History and Social Computing" (2011). Liu started the Voice of the Shuttle web site for humanities research in 1994. Projects he has directed include the University of California Transliteracies Project on online reading and the RoSE (Research-oriented Social Environment) software project. Liu is founder and co-leader of the 4Humanities.org advocacy initiative.