Public lecture and workshop as part of the series Interdisciplinary Lectures and Colloquia on Key Concepts in the Humanities and Social Sciences of the doctoral program Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies.
This lecture will present an introduction to some of the big questions to be grappled with during our AHRC towards a National Collection-funded project entitled 'The Sloane Lab: Looking back to build future shared collections' (2021-24). Our project will aim to devise automated and augmented ways, of mending the broken links between the past and present of the UK's founding collection in the catalogues of the British Museum, Natural History Museum and the British Library. For this, we will use the collection of Hans Sloane (1660-1753) as a microcosm through which to explore the technical, infrastructural, conceptual, historical and social challenges faced in bringing together digital cultural heritage collections so as to help audiences use, learn and benefit from them. A key aim of the project is to facilitate richer, more critical understandings of the origins and development of museum collections by devising computational and conceptual approaches to the detection and exposition of often-hidden processes like colonialism, empire and slavery that have shaped collections and their classifications. Sloane's collection was created through the economic, political and culture processes of Britain's increasing global entanglements of the 17/18th century, to which the infrastructure for a 21st-century national collection must respond. The project will explore how we might develop new computational approaches to the detection and visualization of loss, absence and bias, so as to help publics, researchers and cultural heritage organisations to shape and engage with digital technologies in new ways.
The lecture will take place 14:15-15:45.
Before there will be an interdisciplinary workshop discussing PhD inputs as well as a reader by Prof. Nyhan.
Friday, December 3, 2021, 10.15 am – 2.00 pm (incl. lunch break), online via Zoom
Part 1 of the colloquium is dedicated to the discussion of the lecture and the texts suggested by the guest. In Part 2, a core group present their PhD thesis, speaking for about 20 minutes on how concepts like "Digitality/Digital Culture(s)" and related concepts connect to their research questions and which aspects of the texts are of particular relevance to their own work. The presenters raise questions for the discussion with their peers, which should contribute to the development of their thesis. Finally, in Part 3, the conversation will open up again so that the other PhD or advanced MA-students have an opportunity to address issues related to their projects.
Prof. Dr. Julianne Nyhan is Associate Professor of Digital Information Studies in the Department of Information Studies and Director of the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities. Her research among others focuses on the history of Digital Humanities, Oral History as theory and practice, Critical Heritage Studies especially its intersections with Digital Cultural Heritage, The history of Computing especially in the Humanities, Digital Humanities including the semantic markup, modeling and analysis of historical sources and lexicographical / linguistic material, the history of information and classification architectures, especially those used in dictionaries and object catalogues