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Call for Participation | Digital Arts & Humanities Lab: Methods and Practices

Jun 30, 2022 | 11:00 AM - 08:30 PM

Closing date for applications: June 17, 2022

In cooperation with the London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP), the Cluster of Excellence "Matters of Activity" (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) and the Cluster of Excellence "Temporal Communities"

The aim of this daylong event is to give PhD students and postdoctoral researchers in both the UK and Germany working across a wide range of arts and humanities fields a practical sense of the methods, theoretical questions and possibilities that are opened up by digital research. Sessions are organised around explorations of practical method, a range of overview conversations, smaller seminar-sized "show and tell case-study sessions" where researchers in the field discuss what they do and how they think about digital methods in practice – and a plenary to round off the day.

This first lab will run for one full day with a further iteration planned for the Fall 2022.

Date: June 30, 2022

Time: 10am – 7.30pm BST /11 – 8:30pm CET

Organizers: London Arts and Humanities Partnership; EXC 2020 "Temporal Communities" (Freie Universität Berlin); EXC "Matters of Activity" (Humboldt Universität Berlin).

Participants: A maximum of 40 participants in total – 20 from the UK and 20 from Germany.

Level of experience: none required.

The signing up process is via Expressions of Interest:
To register your interest in attending, please fill out this Google Form to provide some details about your research project, indicating your level of engagement with digital methods to-date, or if you have not yet engaged in digital methods, what interests you about joining the lab. We will confirm your space via email.

If you have any questions about the Digital Arts & Humanities Lab, please contact: dahlab2022@gmail.com

Closing date for applications: June 17, 2022.


Our lived experience has become intensely enmeshed with the digital. With it, digital arts and humanities research has rapidly accelerated across the globe over recent years, transforming how we think about and design our research. The Digital Humanities Lab will offer an introduction to the wide range of approaches to the digital arts and humanities, from computationally-informed analyses to projects that conduct inquiry through visual rendering. In the various sessions we will explore different examples that demonstrate how digital methods can be mobilized to expand research in the arts and humanities, as well as how they are transformed by the many research concerns to which they are applied.

The Lab’s objective is to introduce students and ECR scholars, new to "digital humanities practice" to methods and questions that open up digital research through the practice of digital humanities research, examining what is possible with digital methods in relation to, and in contrast with, established traditions of humanities, arts and practice-based research.


Thursday, June 30: Digital Arts & Humanities – Methods and Practices

10 – 10:45 am BST/11 – 11:45 am CET

Lab Introductions – Ramona Mosse

15min break

11 - 1 pm BST /12-2 pm CET

Case Studies 1: Session A
Network Analysis in Literary Studies
– Frank Fischer (Freie Universität Berlin) and Research Area 5, EXC 2020 Temporal Communities

In the last two decades, network analysis has found its way into literary studies. We will learn how to extract interaction data from literary texts, how to visualise and analyse them. We will address both the theoretical and practical aspects of these steps, including the implications of formalisation for the interpretation of data.

Case Studies 1: Session B
Interactive Exhibitions: The Museum between lab space and playground – Christian Stein & gamelab.berlin

Exhibitions no longer have to be merely the presentation of knowledge, the arrangement of objects and the instruction of the public. They can become interdisciplinary spaces of experience, interactive playgrounds and areas of discourse between experts from the most diverse backgrounds. With innovative concepts, contemporary exhibitions are moving into the realms of apps, virtual reality, digital games, data analysis and digital personalisation. What is possible here, what makes sense? How do you have to think differently about curation and museum research if you want to meet visitors at eye level? What skills are needed and what are the risks? Reaching into the digital is not a wonder bag that makes everything colorful and exciting, but must be well chosen - while being also courageous, experimental and willing to break with familiar narratives and roles. In this workshop, three radically innovative digital projects in museums will first be presented, showing the experiences behind the scenes - from the communicative challenges into the museum, to developers and visitors, the application of agile methods, the decisions for technical paths and the linking of content and technology. Concrete insights into technology, creative conception in the digital, necessary skills, effort estimates and workflows will then be presented and discussed. Participants will have the opportunity to develop their own questions and ideas and gather expert opinions on possible approaches to realization.

1 hour lunch break

2:00 – 3:00 pm BST /3:00 – 4:45 pm CET

Input Session I: Keynote Lecture
From Digital Humanities to Transmedia Arts: Where does technology meet the humanities? – Magda Romanska (Emerson College/metalab@Harvard)

This lecture introduces a variety of connections between art, humanities, and technology, from simple archival work through data visualization and computational text and archive analysis to complex interactive transmedial performing arts projects.  We will look at how the integration of art, humanities and technology can enhance and advance art and humanities research through project-based model developed and practiced at the metaLAB (at) Harvard. 

3:00 – 4:00 pm BST /4:00 – 5:00 pm CET

Input Session II: Current Debates
Introduction to Justice, Ethics and Feminist approaches to Data and Digitality – Lindsey Drury (EXC Temporal Communities, FU Berlin)

This session provides a quick overview of recent scholarship on data justice and data feminism, including Indigenous-centred approaches. Within it, I address Open Science standards, research design, and some of the pressing issues in current protocols and institutional structures relevant to Digital Humanities efforts. How can we think through the ethics of data collection? How do research communities participate in the problematics of big data? What are some of the issues that arise for research projects (from data modelling, design and visualization to project funding and implementation)? What does data justice look like? We will focus on some initial resources that have been pivotal to centring justice-oriented approaches within the Digital Humanities, querying how these can be put to use in the individual research projects of early-career researchers. 

15min break

4:15 pm – 6:15 pm BST/5:15 – 7:15 CET

Case studies 2: Session A
Dance Data, Embodied Knowledge, and Historical Inquiry – Kate Elswit (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama)

Dunham’s Data: Katherine Dunham and Digital Methods for Dance Historical Inquiry (AHRC 2018-2022, co-directed by Kate Elswit and Harmony Bench) is devoted to the questions and problems that make the analysis and visualization of data meaningful for dance historical inquiry, through the case study of choreographer Katherine Dunham. This case study will be structured around the award-winning project’s three core datasets, with focus on the kinds of embodied histories that may surface from the archives through a process of intentional data curation and visualization, and how dance-based knowledge practices might inform critical approaches to bodies and data across disciplines.

Case studies 2: Session B
Digital Humanities or Humanizing the Digital? – Annette Jael Lehmann (Freie Universität Berlin) & Kim Albrecht

The case study will introduce, exemplify and critically examine a collaborative project between Freie Universität Berlin, the Kestner Society, and the metaLAB (at) Harvard, researching the impact of Post Studio Concepts and Feminist Practices at CalArts 1970-77. The project “Tacit Knowledge. Post Studio/Feminism – CalArts (1970–77)” was linked to an exhibition called “Where Art Might Happen: The Early Years of CalArts” at the Kestner Gesellschaft and  Kunsthaus Graz. In addition, it leads to a publication at Spector books. We will explore the structure of our research complex, its questions, positions, and the role of digital technology within it. In addition, the session will elaborate specifically on the data and visualization practices of the project, providing a hands-on introduction to the use of online data in a historical context and introducing a critical method of countermapping these structures.

15min break

6:30 pm – 7:30 pm/7:30 – 8:30 pm

Participant Roundtable
Final Participant Feedback & Discussion Session, moderated by Tony Fisher & Ramona Mosse