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Digital Humanities Lab

News and interviews

Upcoming: Digital Humanities Colloquium Series


A new colloquium series entitled ‘Encounters between Humanities and Computing’ will start on Thursday 18 February, 16:15, in the Buys Ballot
Building, room 0.65. The first colloquium will feature presentations by Pim Huijnen, postdoctoral researcher in cultural history, http://www.uu.nl/staff/PHuijnen/0 and Arno Siebes, professor of algorithmic data analysis,http://www.uu.nl/staff/APJMSiebes/0

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 all aimed at researchers in both fields, students who are interested are
encouraged to attend an participate in the discussions as well.

There is a growing awareness of the mutual benefit that may emerge from encounters between Humanities and Computing. Computational methods have been applied to many humanities research questions, providing new types of evidence and argumentation, but at the same time raising questions
about integration of these into humanities discourse. Many of the research questions that humanities researchers tend to have offer interesting commonalities with the research objects of computer science: the interpretation of messy cultural data, for example, the discovery of patterns, or the interactions between complex data types. Interdisciplinary collaborations can turn uit fruitful here. Addressing these questions with computational techniques requires a level of understanding and expertise that humanities scholars commonly lack, while computer and information scientists from their end are often rewarded by discovering new research questions when tackling these challenges. This series of colloquia will offer a platform for meeting informally, exchanging ideas and stimulating opportunities for these kinds of collaborations.

In the spirit of true interdisciplinarity, the colloquia will be held alternately between a humanities location in the city centre and one on the Uithof, which was recently rebranded as Utrecht University’s Science Park. Since a first, very productive meeting was held in the former location, this colloquium series will start in the Buys Ballot Building on the Uithof.

Each colloquium will be presented by two researchers, one from humanities and one from computing, working on related topics. In a 15-20 minute talk, each of the two will discuss their approach at conceptual level, facilitating mutual understanding of issues, with lots of attention to underlying
assumptions, bottlenecks and limitations. They will both share views on how the research could be enriched by collaboration. This will naturally
lead to a discussion with the audience that will disintegrate into further conversation over drinks

Please mark the following dates in your calendar:

– Thursday 18 February: Pim Huijnen and Arno Siebes (Uithof)
– Thursday 7 April (date to be confirmed): Floris Bex and Paul van den
Hoven (City Centre)
– Thursday 19 May: Mehdi Dastani and Els Stronks (Uithof)

Further information will follow a few weeks before each event. We hope to meet many of you at the colloquia.

Pim Huijnen, P.Huijnen@uu.nl
Frans Wiering, F.Wiering@uu.nl