Virtual Speaker  I

Professor James F. English- Director, Wolf Humanities Center, Faculty Director, Price Lab for Digital Humanities, University of Pennsylvania 

Jim English received his MA from the University of Chicago and his PhD from Stanford. His main fields of research are the sociology and economics of culture; the history of literary studies as a discipline, and British fiction, film, and television since the 1930s. His book Comic Transactions: Literature, Humor, and the Politics of Community in Twentieth-Century Britain (Cornell UP) explored the political unconscious of joke-work in the British novel from Conrad and Woolf to Lessing and Rushdie. The Economy of Prestige: Prizes, Awards, and the Circulation of Cultural Value (Harvard UP), a study of the history, functions, and effects of prizes in literature and the arts, was named Best Academic Book of 2005 by New York MagazineThe Concise Companion to Contemporary British Fictiona collection of essays about the scene and system of literary production in the UK, was published the following year by Blackwell. 

Date: Thursday 26th October 2017  |  Time: 4:30-05:00  |  Venue K-02 Auditorium 



 Virtual Speaker II

Dr. Ian Johnson - Honorary Associate, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Sydney, Australia

Dr Ian Johnson is an Honorary Associate of the Faculty of Arts, University of Sydney. Trained as a palaeolithic archaeologist, he was Director of the Archaeological Computing Laboratory, later Arts eResearch, at the University of Sydney from 1992 to 2015, where he taught digital methods in archaeology, developed tools forarchaeology and for the digital humanities, with a particular emphasis on collaborative databases, GIS, mapping and the temporal dimension, and participated in a wide variety of projects. Prior to joining the University in 1990, he worked for the Arkansas Archaeological Survey (1984-87) and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (1987-1990). 

His major technical development projects include Minark  (1980  - 1987; a microcomputer database management system for archaeology), TimeMap (1997 - 2003; time-enabled distributed-data web mapping), Heurist (2005 onwards; web-based academic information management) and FieldHelper (2004 onwards; management and metadata creation for fieldwork data). These software tools have provided the technical infrastructure for projects such as the Dictionary of Sydney, Macquarie Library’s MacquarieNet online encyclopaedia, Digital Harlem, Beyond 1914 and the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative, as well as several state sites registers and excavation databases.  

He is on the editorial advisory boards of Internet Archaeology and the International Journal of Humanities and Arts Computing, and is Chair of the Australasian chapter of Computer Applications in Archaeology International.


Date: Friday, 27th October 2017 |  Time: 1.00 - 2.00 pm  |  Venue: K-02: Auditorium


How much Digital Humanities? 

Ian Johnson, Honorary Associate, Faculty of Arts, University of Sydney.
Digital approaches to Humanities data can not only be productive of new scholarship but can also contribute to greater public involvement in scholarship. However, these new affordances come at a significant cost, not in technology, but in personal time to learn new techniques, to structure and collect data and to develop applications (in a broad sense, from simple databases through analytical workflows to web delivery). A digital approach requires much more exhaustive definition and recording of detail than a traditional analogue approach, and the researcher incurs either the time cost themselves or financial costs to hire staff for the more routine (data collection) or technical (design, programming, analysis) components. Digital methods are demanding. 
In this presentation I will question how far a project or researcher should go in the direction of digital approaches. The answer will depend very much on circumstances and on individual skills and inclinations. The first step, though, should be a thorough analysis of needs, and a realistic assessment of skills and support infrastructure available - a failure to recognise constraints can be just as damaging as poor design. 
For many projects a clear, explicit workflow and robust data management - even as simple as good directory and file naming, and reliable backups - may be all that is needed to support more traditional scholarship - a digital version of the 5x3 filing card. For others a complete digital workflow and even the development of new tools may be required. I will illustrate the argument with examples from the core requirement of all projects - the management of data.

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