The “Digital Methods and Cultures” seminar introduces key themes, tools and concepts relating to digital study in the humanities. The sessions are structured around two complementary approaches: a “Methods” strand designed to offer an introduction to practical tools and techniques for research, and a “Cultures” strand focusing on theoretical responses to the cultural impact of digital technologies. The seminar will conclude with a discussion of how participants may incorporate these elements – both theory and practice – into their own research projects.
The “Methods” strand demonstrates how new digital tools can be used to enhance and develop research in the humanities. An introductory talk will offer attendees a comprehensive overview of the kind of techniques available, explaining different categories and offering guidelines for determining which methods may be useful for participants’ own research. We’ll then move into practical examples, inviting participants to share their own experience of digital research methods, and introducing exemplary case studies to illustrate how projects have engaged with, or been prompted by, new digital techniques. Finally, we will provide a step-by-step pathway for researchers new to the topic who are interested in using digital tools for current and future projects.
In the strand focused on “Cultures,” participants will consider theoretical perspectives on new technologies, placing the practical sessions on digital methods and techniques within a wider cultural context. Introducing the work of key thinkers who have examined digital technologies in terms of their effects on contemporary arts, culture and communications, a core talk and information session will offer a comprehensive overview of theoretical approaches. We will then move into closer emphasis on particular themes and debates; topics for discussion include ideas of cyborg subjectivity, the “posthuman”, interactivity and electronic texts, and the strand will end by inviting participants to share their views regarding the role of digital technologies in cultural production, consumption and research.
This seminar aims to encourage participants to (1) engage directly with digital methods as a way of expanding and/or augmenting their own research and (2) consider how the themes and theories covered may complement, enhance or alter ongoing research. With this in mind, we will conclude with a participant-focused discussion of how digital methods and theories intersect with a wide variety of disciplines and approaches within the humanities.