What is Humlab?

Humlab is a meeting place for the humanities, culture and information technology at Umeå University in Sweden. We do education, research and various kinds of development work relating to digital humanities, as well as digital culture and innovation. We work with students, faculty, industry relations, artists and many others.

Are you a place?

Yes, much of the work is channelled through our physical and digital environments. We have two labs in Umeå - one on the main campus and one on the Arts Campus. We also have offices for our staff in the Humanities building.

How long does it take to walk from one lab to the other?

About 15 minutes if you walk reasonably quickly. Walking is recommended. Finding parking can be a nuisance.

When was Humlab started?

It was started in the late 1990s, and was formally made into an "academic unit" by the University Board in 2000.

What can I do in Humlab as a student/researcher/teacher?

You can participate in different kinds of activities (seminars, workshops, courses, etc.). Most activities are open to anyone. If you are a student, your study programme may run courses together with Humlab. Researchers, students and artists may work on their own or Humlab-run projects in the lab. We are happy to discuss new projects, digital components of educational programmes or possible research targets. But above all, Humlab is a place to be, to just hang out and meet other people. Just come by!

What kind of people work in Humlab?

Programmers, humanities researchers (from art history to ethnology), communication managers, engineers, coordinators, project managers and others. 

Why do you have so many screens?

Screens are in some ways an interface to a computationally inflected world. They hold historical, material and cultural significance (just consider windows, paintings or medieval churches, or the number of computer and mobile screens used in cafés). Screens can also be integrated with various kinds of interaction technology. There are a number of screen installations in Humlab that challenge the conventional use of screens (in terms of orientation, number of screens, placement), including the screenscape in Humlab (11 screens around the room) and the floor screen in Humlab-X. And although screens are an important part of our infrastructure, we have many other kinds of technology and installations too.

I am thinking of spending extended time in Umeå/coming to Umeå as a student/postdoc/applying for a job. Where can I find more information about the place (Humlab, Umeå University, the city of Umeå)?

This blog entry (from December 2012) provides quite a bit of information and a few links. It was published in conjunction with a search.  An older piece, written by then postdoc Jenna Ng (now at the University of York), can be found here. The municipality of Umeå also publishes information: www.umea.se/umeakommun/funktionsmappar/sprak/languages/english.html and Umeå University's central webpages might also help: www.umu.se/english/ Tourist information can be found here: http://www.visitumea.se/Default.aspx?lang=en

What resources are available in Humlab?

Creative spaces, several virtual/digital platforms, workstations (powerful, both PC and MAC), physical computing gear, interactive floor screen, interaction screens (11 screens), sound studio etc. See here for more information.

What is the digital humanities?

Not a simple question, but simply put, our take is that digital humanities is what is between humanities and the digital. The digital is a tool, study object and medium. Humlab has a commitment  to the digital humanities, of course, but really our operation is about the humanities, culture and information technology.

I know you stream/broadcast seminars. Is there an archive?

Yes, check out this website out. We have 150+ seminars archived.