Logo Utrecht University

Digital Humanities Lab

News and interviews

3rd Colloquium ‘Encounters between Humanities and Computing’ at UU

On may 19 the third colloquium of the series ‘Encounters between Humanities and Computing’ will be held. Presenters are Mehdi Dastani, Associate Professor at the Department of Information and Computing Sciences, and Els Stronks, Professor of Early Modern Dutch literature at the Department of languages, Literature and Communication. They will speak about the recently-funded Golden Agents project.

The general aim of the Golden Agents project is to connect existing datasets on the production, distribution and consumption of various art forms in Amsterdam and the surrounding provinces in the Dutch Golden Age, to spot unseen patterns that explain the outburst of the creative industries at the time.

In order to do so, the large number of sources concerning different aspects of the creative industries of the Dutch Republic during its Golden Age that have been digitized in the last two decades (containing data about books, prints, silverware, poetry, paintings, etc.) will be connected and synchronized. The Golden Agents research infrastructure will enable interaction between various heterogeneous datasets by using a combination of multi-agent technology and semantic web solutions, supported by ontologies developed together with domain experts. In this presentation, Mehdi Dastani (Computer Science) will present a demo of what he has previously built to connect different datasets and explain the general architecture of the infrastructure that he is going to build for the Golden Agents project.

By way of a case study, to demonstrate what Golden Agents will offer to researchers, Els Stronks (Literary Studies) will discuss ongoing research into the role of young authors on the upcoming and flourishing book market of the Dutch Republic (1550-1800). By investigating the specific contribution of young authors to this market and by discriminating between roles of young adults and adults, combining quantitative digital experiments and qualitative textual analyses, she will demonstrate how the role of young talents in the consumption and production of Dutch books in the Dutch Golden Age is teased out.

This colloquium series is part of an intiative to strengthen the ties between the Humanities Faculty and the Department of Computing and Information Sciences. Whereas the presentations will be first of allaimed at researchers in both fields, students who are interested are encouraged to attend an participate in the discussions as well.

The colloquium will be held on Thursday May 19, Buys Ballot Building (Uithof, Princetonplein 5) room 0.17, starting at 16:15. There will be ample room for discussion, before and during drinks.