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Performing the Digital Humanities in contemporary academia

In this talk I interrogate the position of Digital Humanities in the contemporary university, particularly (but not exclusively) in British academia. I open up the question of what the role of Digital Humanities might be in this conjuncture, which sees the arts and humanities often marginalised by academia. At the same time, though, the contemporary world presents a number of wider social, political and technological challenges that the arts and humanities may be well equipped to address. I draw on my recent work on the importance of feminist theories of performativity (particularly Karen Barad’s and Judith Butler’s) to unpack the functioning of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and data-driven methods and policies, as well as the injustices and inequalities they generate. I invite the Digital Humanities to enter in a critical dialogue with contemporary technology by taking into account at least two aspects. Firstly, technology has always been central to the constitution of what we call “the human”. Secondly, Digital Humanities can itself be a generator of social and political inequalities or, conversely, an important tool for redressing such inequalities. I conclude by considering the role of feminist performativity in rethinking what it means to perform Digital Humanities responsibly today.

Federica Frabetti is Principal Lecturer in Digital Media at the University of Roehampton. She has a diverse professional and academic background in the humanities and ICT and has worked for a decade as a software engineer in telecommunications companies. She is the author of Software Theory (2015). She is also an editor and translator of The Judith Halberstam Reader (Italian). In 2011 she edited the special issue of the academic journal Culture Machine, “The Digital Humanities Beyond Computing” 12.

14.50 Break

15.00 Roundtable:

Dr Eugene McSorley (Associate Professor of Experimental Psychology
Head of the Active Vision Lab  |  Director of the Behavioural and Experimental Social Sciences Lab)

Dr Dominic Lees (Associate Professor of Filmmaking, AI research group)

Dr Mara Oliva (Associate Professor in US History, DH Champion, Digital Humanities Quarterly Editor)

15.30 Q&A

15.55 What’s next (DH CoP and Hub – future events) & close

To book your place (online or in person) please contact the Hub’s DH Champion, Dr Mara Oliva – m.oliva@reading.ac.uk

Details

Date:
26 October
Time:
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:
Event Tags:

Venue

Edith Morley Building, G25
University of Reading, Shinfield Rd
Reading, RG6 6EL United Kingdom