The conference addresses the necessity to engage simultaneously
with emerging, creative knowledge practices in the humanities and
the critical-historical sensibilities about knowledge production
embedded in the humanities. It is argued that there is often a lack
of such combined perspectives and engagement in the digital
humanities and the humanities more largely. Where do we find
rigorous intellectual-material critique of knowledge production
platforms such as Scalar, ThatCamps and visualization studios? Who
questions the web as a default platform for digital humanities
projects? How can knowledge infrastructure best support humanistic
work? How can we better understand the interrelation between
artistic work, academic installations and cultural heritage
exhibitions? What lies beyond the visual? What is the epistemic
context of different genres of scholarly knowledge production? What
is the long and deep context of knowledge production in the
humanities and how does it have bearing on today's emerging genres
of scholarly knowledge production?
The co-temporal exploration of making and critical awareness
will be manifested through the setup and curatorship of the
conference in HUMlab at Umeå University. The two lab spaces,
one deeply embedded between the humanities and social science
departments and one placed between design, art and architecture on
the Arts Campus, will be used to host the conference and
accommodate a mix of modalities, materialities and processes. The
conference will host a range of first-rate scholars and makers from
a range of disciplines, perspectives and practices.
Invited participants will be asked to enact their
arguments/papers/presentations using infrastructure available in
HUMlab, including an interactive screenscape with 11 screens. They
will be provided with tools for uploading, simulating and situating
such content (images, film and audio). The use of slideware such as
PowerPoint and Keynote is discouraged/disallowed. Furthermore,
specific sessions will be concerned with critically reflecting on
the conditioning offered by the available (and other)
infrastructures. The intention is also to publish a rich online
manifestation of the conference as well as possibly a documentary
The conference is organized and supported by HUMlab, Umeå
University and chaired by Professor Patrik Svensson.
Important additional support comes from the Marcus and Amalia
Wallenberg Foundation (through Patrik Svensson's chair) and the
Media Places Project (Stanford-Umeå collaboration, funded by the
Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation).
Genres of Scholarly Knowledge Production is intended
and hoped to be a warm, intellectually and materially sharp, and
long-term engaging event.
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The cultural, institutional and material situatedness of the
production of knowledge provokes a set of deep humanistic
sensibilities and questions about matters such as the epistemic
status of documents (Gitelman 2014), the media archaeologies of the
moving panorama (Huhtamo 2013), psychological relationships between
screens and social perceptions (Robles, Nass and Kahn 2009),modes
of visual thinking (Carusi, Hoel, Webmoor & Woolgar,
forthcoming), multisensory enactment (Betts and Graham,
forthcoming), the epistemics of visualization (Drucker 2011),
critical making (Ratto 2012) and the social and institutional
foundation of scholarly publishing (Fitzpatrick 2011). Such work is
important in its particularities, but also demonstrates that
through history, technologically-inflected modalities, distribution
channels and infrastructures enable and condition knowledge
production. Without critical sensitivity and historical awareness,
we cannot even begin to understand the situatedness and
conditioning of contemporary knowledge production and knowledge
At the same time, emergent expressive modalities, the
intertwining of digital materials and scholarly production, the
centrality of spatially organized information and evolving artistic
practices encourage humanists to engage with alternative modes and
genres of scholarly knowledge production. One key challenge - at
the heart of the conference - then becomes to inflect our own
knowledge production and emerging practices with the critical
sensibility that we typically recruit when engaging with other
domains, knowledge communities and historical strata in our
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The conference is a one-track, dialogic and experimental event
and will mix different modalities (presentations, workshops,
critical making sessions, lightning talks, artist talks etc.). The
exploration of such modalities is in itself an important part of
the conference. Participants are encouraged to actively engage
across the whole program.
The conference will be loosely organized around themes. The
below list is not definite or final, and is likely to evolve over
time as the program shapes up.
1. History and Context: Genres of Scholarly Knowledge
2. Making Knowledge
3. Critiquing Knowledge Production Platforms
4. Enacting Cultural Heritage
5. Artistic Exhibitions, Installations and Enactments
6. Mapping as Interpretation and Narrative
7. Academic events and presentation infrastructure
8. A critical discussion of the conference-specific
infrastructure and processes
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Among confirmed participants are Moa Sandström (Umeå
University), Jonathan Sterne (McGill University), Pamela M. Lee
(Stanford University), Nick Sousanis (University of Calgary), Finn
Arne Jørgensen (Umeå University), Alan Christy (UC Santa Cruz),
Lars Cuzner (artist, Oslo), David Theo Goldberg (UC Humanities
Research Institute), Anne Balsamo (New School), Christer Nordlund
(Umeå University), Nishant Shah (University of Leuphana & the
Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore), Todd Presner (UC Los
Angeles), Anders Ynnerman (Linköping University), Shannon Mattern
(New School), Simon Lindgren (Umeå University), Erica
Robles-Anderson (New York University), Anna Johansson (Umeå
University), Fred Turner (Stanford University), Miriam Posner (UC
Los Angeles), Zephyr Frank (Stanford University), Märit Simonsson
(Umeå University), Lauren Klein (Georgia Tech), Peter Bennesved
(Umeå University), Matthew Ratto (University of Toronto), Johan
Hallqvist (Umeå University), Danielle Albers (UW Madison), Lisa
Parks (UC Santa Barbara), Pelle Snickars (Umeå University), Ben
Kafka (New York University), Rachel Deblinger (UC Santa Cruz), Anna
Misharina (Umeå University), Nicole Coleman (Stanford University),
Eleanor Betts (Open University), Franco Moretti (Stanford
University), Lewis Webb (Umeå University), Samantha Gorman
(University of Southern California), Cecilia Lindhé (Umeå
University), Molly Steenson (UW Madison), Andrew Prescott
(University of Glasgow), Fredrik Palm (Umeå University), Jenna Ng
(University of York), Moa Eriksson (Umeå University), Jennie
Olofsson (Umeå University), Brian Johnsrud (Stanford University),
Johanna Drucker (UC Los Angeles), Nicolò Dell'Unto (Lund
University), Jeanne Jo (University of Southern California), Phil
Buckland (Umeå University), Carrie Rentschler (McGill
University), Mats Deutchmann (Umeå University), Jacob
Gaboury (Stony Brook University), Kerstin Smeds (Umeå University),
Amy A. DaPonte (Baylor University), Mandana Seyfeddinipurnu (SOAS,
University of London), Thomas Nygren (Umeå University), Carolina
Bäckman (dancer and choreographer) and Jonathan Worth
(photographer, DML Lab, Coventry University).
Please note that four of these participants will participate in
a distributed manner.
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The conference program can be found
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The conference has open slots for about twenty participants.
Every participant is expected to suggest a topic/abstract for a
lightning talk (6 minutes) employing a HUMlab screenscape of 11
screens using one image/medium per screen (videos will be looped
and all start as the lightning talk starts). See here: http://bambuser.com/channel/humlab for examples
from an earlier event (but please do not let these examples
constrain you). More technical details will be given at a later
stage. Proposals should include a title, affiliation, abstract (no
more than 3 paragraphs), a short description of the alignment with
one of the session themes listed above (no more than 1 paragraph,
or an argument for a new theme, no more than 2 paragraphs). This is
a great opportunity to present research ideas, planned projects or
completed work (of any kind relevant to the conference theme), and
get constructive feedback.
Also, potential participants who are interested in providing a
sustained critique of knowledge production platforms such as Scalar
and HyperCities are asked to contact Patrik Svensson at firstname.lastname@example.org
by September 5. Please indicate the platform/s under consideration
and describe the critical perspective/s you would like to bring to
the discussion. We are primarily looking for participants who have
not been directly involved in the making of the platforms to be
critiqued. Please also include some background information about
your own work and interest in the conference.
There is no conference fee, but full participation is expected.
No-shows not indicated by three weeks before the conference
(November 17) will be charged SEK 3000.
Ph.D. candidates (not Umeå University affiliated Ph.D.s) can
apply for a travel stipend (maximum SEK 3500/person, limited number
of stipends). Please indicate this information in your proposal
(including a brief rationale).
Proposals should be emailed to email@example.com
by September 5, 2014. The proposals should be sent as a text file
or a pdf file. Please incorporate your name in the file name. You
will be notified for your participation by September
Please direct any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chair: Patrik Svensson. Conference coordinator: Emma Ewadotter.
The conference is a HUMlab team effort carried out with the support
of national and international partners.
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Betts, Eleanor (ed.). Forthcoming. Senses of the Empire:
Multisensory Approaches to Roman Culture. Ashgate.
Carusi, Annamaria, Hoel, Aud Sissel, Webmoor, Timothy &
Woolgar, Steve. Forthcoming. Visualization in the Age of
Drucker, Johanna. 2011. "Humanities Approaches to Graphical
Display," Digital Humanities Quarterly, 5:1.
Fitzpatrick, Kathleen. 2011. Planned Obsolescence:
Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy. New
York University Press.
Huhtamo, Erkki. 2013. Illusions in Motion: Media Archaeology
of the Moving Panorama and Related Spectacles. MIT Press.
Ratto, Matthew. 2011. "Critical Making: Conceptual and Material
Studies in Technology and Social Life". Information
Robles, Erica, Nass, Cliff, & Kahn, Adam. 2009. "The social
life of information displays: On the psychology of screens".
Human Computer Interaction, 24(1), 48 - 78.
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