Digital Cultural Empowerment

workshop / tutorial
  1. 1. Fredrik Palm

    Umeå University

  2. 2. Orla Murphy

    University College Cork

  3. 3. Shawn Day

    University College Cork

  4. 4. Nicholas Thély

    Université de Rennes 2

Work text
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Digital Humanities can act, and is acting, as an agent of digital cultural empowerment. Critical awareness of method and tools in Digital Humanities can bridge the gaps between the range of humanities corpora and the actual digital practices used to understand, analyse, and share them.

NeDiMAH is about bridging these gaps and work groups on Space and Time, and on Information Visualisation, have successfully worked together across disciplines to consider these tools and methods and to define critical design principles both for research itself and also for creating and using digital tools for different aspects of the research process.

The workshop will focus on digital cultural empowerment ­ in particular looking at the ways in which humanities participants are empowered through using visualisation outside traditional domains, and harnessing the power of digital techologies to explore culture outside the confines of textual, linear narrative and traditional publication. We will focus on visualisation as the representation of knowledge in a multiplicity of new, engaging and challenging approaches across humanities disciplines.

Answers to research questions are being represented in innovative ways and we are interested in how these differing approaches are applied across the humanities wthout losing the specificity of their respective domains:

- How do historians, linguists, geographers, and art historians use visualisation?

- How are archaeologists integrating innovative visual methodologies in their research and publication?

- How does visualising literature augment and sustain research practices?

- How can deep mapping increase our understanding of historical processes?

Over the past two years, workgroups in NeDIMAH have carried out an extensive survey of digital practitioners and their practices related to the use of visualisations and the representation of space and time. This work through a formal survey and through targeted workshops has been extensively mined and collated and the findings will be presented, shared, refined and form a guiding instrument for practise in these fields. This guide is the starting point of this workshop and its results will be shared and enriched by the participants.


- To bring together researchers with specific interests in method development considering the whole research process;

- To capture and share the experiences and progress of researchers developing or using visual methods either as an end­result or as part of the research process in different disciplines;

- To consider scholarly communication and to constantly redefine how we read visualisation and for what purpose.

Workshop organization:
Based on the survey and past workshops, we gathered evidence and have come to understand how different research questions can arise from these methods in terms of open data, collaboration, remediation, space, performance, impact and outreach and to that end, we welcome participation from researchers with innovative questions and methodologies to share in the workshop. This workshop will appeal to those who are beginning to experiment with visualisation as well as those with a deeper experience with visualisation, temporal, and spatial issues.

Participants are expected to prepare themselves by considering the following questions:

Data capturing: How is data collected?
Data modeling /data selections / data quality : How do we ensure consistency and high quality?
Representation/visualisation /complexity vs “easy to read” : What do you choose to represent?
Analysis : What does your reading of vizualization bring to you?
Purpose of visualization /Audiences: How do we make different representations for different audiences?
We propose to use 4 case studies as an inspiration/stimulation for sharing, discussing and summarizing participants’ experiences:

1. Datamining the Nordic Folklore database ­ faceted browsing aligned to research questions ­ 2. Visualisation of time/space 3. Literature re ­ presenting the text 4. Dataviz: Art or Representation of knowledge
This is a truly inter and transdisciplinary approach delivered by an international team that will highlight the variety of modes through which visualisation as a tool can facilitate exploration, knowledge creation, and understanding for researchers.

Target audience:
This workshop will target researchers with specific interests in methods empowering digital culture through using visualisation, particularly outside traditional domains. We will also be targeting invitations and mining the NeDiMAH network’s contacts from participants in NeDIMAH workshops, specifically time/space and infoviz workgroups, the DARIAH network and attempting to engage new participants who are attending DH through more broad invitation on mailing lists and discussion forums. We will also use our contact with UCLA (Johanna Drucker at UCLA ) as well as the CESTA lab at Stanford (Nicole Coleman, Zephyr Frank, Karl Krossner).

We will begin advertsing the availability of the workshop upon workshop acceptance and will make it available until target is attained. If there is more demand than anticipated we will establish a waiting list and can possibly deliver an additional workshop in the morning.

We anticipate 30 participants based on past workshop attendance at DH2012 using first come first serve principle. Registration will be done via the DH2014 registration website.

Detailed program Tuesday 8th of July 2014
13.30 Session I (1 hours):

Case Study/Provocation: Datamining the Nordic Folklore database
Case Study/Provocation: Visualisation of time/space.
Case Study/Provocation: Literature ­ reflection on current trends in visualization
Case Study/Provocation: From aesthetics to data visualization,is there a bridge between art and visualization?
Instructions for the work in break out group

One document per group of 6 answering the questions. Aiming at 5 groups.

14.30 -15.30 Breakout and discussions (1 hour)

16.30-17.30 Session II 1h

Reporting back from discussions Conclusions and further steps

Turn into an ongoing interactive document?

18.00-18.40 Joint walk to resturant

Workshop leaders
Fredrik Palm

email: mobile: +46 70 3364438

Fredrik Palm is an expert in databases, GIS, visualization, web­development and have been working in HUMlab since 2001. He has good management skills and been involved in writing several research proposals in the EU frame programmes for Research and Development (FP6 and FP7).

Fredrik initiated the proposal of the QVIZ­project and was the assistant project manager of the FP 6 project (2006­2008). Fredrik has an Informatics degree and a teaching degree in History, Geography, Religion and Social sciences. Fredrik's role in HUMlab is to act a translator/broker between the needs of researchers and the potential of information technology.

Furthermore he has been involved as development coordinator in the BIOMAP (2008­2010), SHiPS (2009­2011) and the SEAD­project (2008­2013) and "Digital publication of Rock­Carvings at Nämforsen" (2011­2013).

He is also involved in the DIABAS­project (2003,2010­2013) and the ERC­founded project "Mapping the Jewish Sects of the Byzantine Empire" (2012­2013). He is also involved in the CITIZMAP­project founded by Vinnova (2011­2013). Fredrik Palm is also leader of a working group 2 "Visualisation" in Network for Digital Methods in the Arts and Humanities ­ NeDiMAH.(2011­2014)

Shawn Day

+353 (0)83 0024264

Shawn Day blends the aesthetic and informative as an entrepreneur, digital historian, economist. He lectures at University College Cork, Queen's University Belfast and Trinity College Dublin, in Digital and Medical Humanities and Social Computing.

His personal research explores the social and economic circumstances of the nineteenth century retail liquor trade and it's impact on family. He applies digital, spatial and social network analysis to the relationships between credit, respectability, and order in the Victorian community. Recent articles have examined the social dimensions of the Victorian public mental hospital using GIS and statistical modeling tools. Shawn has been involved in a number of successful and innovative digital humanities projects. These include large manuscript census databases in the 1871/1891 census project (University of Guelph), the national TAPoR text analysis portal project, the Canadian Network for Economic History (CNEH) and the Network for Canadian History and the Environment (NiCHE).

Shawn has blended his background in management economics with an entrepreneurial ethos to found a number of successful software development ventures in Canada and applies this experience to academic activities.

Orla Murphy

+353 (0)21 4902591

Orla Murphy is a lecturer in the School of English at University College Cork, in the Irish national, inter-institutional Digital Arts and Humanities PhD program, and co coordinator of the MA in Digital Arts and Humanities at UCC. She is interested in digital pedagogy and in working to create an online MA in Digital Cultures, launching in September 2014. Her research is focused on intermediality, on how the text is, was, and will be transmitted; how we read, represent, and share knowledge in new networked and virtual environments. She is co chair with Fredrik Palm, HUMlab Sweden, of the information visualisation working group in, (Network for Digital Methods in the Arts and Humanities) and vice chair of the EU CoST (Cooperation in Science and Technology) working group on algorithms and representing 3D; she is also Irish representative on the CoST transdomain action on Gender in Science and Technology.

Nicolas Thély

+33 681 86 87 81

Nicolas Thély is professor in Digital Humanities at Université de Rennes 2 (France). He teaches digital art and aesthetics. As an art critic and theorist he has published Vu à la Webcam (Essai sur la Web-intimité), (2002), Corps, Art Vidéo et Numérique (2005) and Mes Favoris (2007). Between 2007 and 2011, he has headed the Basse Définition research project design to show how algorithms such as PageRank, MP3, MPEG, and GIF have restructured the sensorial environment and creative power of contemporary artists. Since 2011, Nicolas Thély use digital tools and quantative methods to debate in aesthetics about Art critiscism. Last October, He organised with Alexandre Serres and Olivier Le Deuff THATCamp Saint-Malo (DH and design). He is professor referent for the digital humanities platform of the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme en Bretagne (MSH-B).

His last publications : Search terms : Basse déf. (dir.), éditions B42 ; Le Tournant numérique de l'esthétique, collection Art, pensée & Cie, (2011) ; "Rôle et enjeux du design graphique", THATCamp Paris 2012, Non-actes des non-conférences des humanités numériques, éditions de la Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, Paris, 2012 ; "Archiver le Web", Read/Write Book n°2 (Introduction aux humanités numériques), dir. Pierre Mounier, Open Edition Press, Paris, 2012.

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Conference Info


ADHO - 2014
"Digital Cultural Empowerment"

Hosted at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Université de Lausanne

Lausanne, Switzerland

July 7, 2014 - July 12, 2014

377 works by 898 authors indexed

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Conference website:

Attendance: 750 delegates according to Nyhan 2016

Series: ADHO (9)

Organizers: ADHO

  • Keywords: None
  • Language: English
  • Topics: None