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Beyond humanities qua digital : Spatial and material development for digital research infrastructures in HumlabX

Foka, Anna; Misharina, Anna; Arvidsson, Viktor and Gelfgren, Stefan (2018) In Digital Scholarship in the Humanities 33(2). p.264-278
Abstract

Universities around the world have increasingly turned to digital infrastructures as a way to revamp the arts and humanities. This article contributes a fresh understanding by examining the material development of HumlabX, a research laboratory for digital humanities at Umea° University, Sweden. Specifically, we approach the empirical case as a timeline of research funding, projects, events, and deliverables to examine how the research laboratory as an organizational and material space developed and evolved in relation to new technology investments. Based on our analysis, we argue that while digital research infrastructures can, indeed, stimulate innovation in and around research, aimed to produce new knowledge, digital technologies... (More)

Universities around the world have increasingly turned to digital infrastructures as a way to revamp the arts and humanities. This article contributes a fresh understanding by examining the material development of HumlabX, a research laboratory for digital humanities at Umea° University, Sweden. Specifically, we approach the empirical case as a timeline of research funding, projects, events, and deliverables to examine how the research laboratory as an organizational and material space developed and evolved in relation to new technology investments. Based on our analysis, we argue that while digital research infrastructures can, indeed, stimulate innovation in and around research, aimed to produce new knowledge, digital technologies carry social and material implications that affect organizational processes. We show that while knowledge production processes at HumlabX were highly influenced by the infrastructural legacy of the past, they indeed directed scholars toward innovation. By discussing these implications in detail, we move beyond the debate of humanities qua digital, and demonstrate the need for scholars of digital humanities to engage in the development of policies for digital research infrastructures. Using a Swedish case study, we argue that research laboratories for the digital humanities must be scrutinized and should be fully exposed as socio-material organizations that develop, and should develop, over time. In particular, we stress the need to ensure that digital humanities laboratories are sustainable and open for redevelopment.

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author
publishing date
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Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Digital Scholarship in the Humanities
volume
33
issue
2
pages
15 pages
external identifiers
  • scopus:85055495110
ISSN
2055-7671
DOI
10.1093/llc/fqx008
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
0b827198-b20f-4330-a198-b4c4cd51541b
date added to LUP
2018-12-10 14:31:49
date last changed
2019-01-06 14:19:43
@article{0b827198-b20f-4330-a198-b4c4cd51541b,
  abstract     = {<p>Universities around the world have increasingly turned to digital infrastructures as a way to revamp the arts and humanities. This article contributes a fresh understanding by examining the material development of HumlabX, a research laboratory for digital humanities at Umea° University, Sweden. Specifically, we approach the empirical case as a timeline of research funding, projects, events, and deliverables to examine how the research laboratory as an organizational and material space developed and evolved in relation to new technology investments. Based on our analysis, we argue that while digital research infrastructures can, indeed, stimulate innovation in and around research, aimed to produce new knowledge, digital technologies carry social and material implications that affect organizational processes. We show that while knowledge production processes at HumlabX were highly influenced by the infrastructural legacy of the past, they indeed directed scholars toward innovation. By discussing these implications in detail, we move beyond the debate of humanities qua digital, and demonstrate the need for scholars of digital humanities to engage in the development of policies for digital research infrastructures. Using a Swedish case study, we argue that research laboratories for the digital humanities must be scrutinized and should be fully exposed as socio-material organizations that develop, and should develop, over time. In particular, we stress the need to ensure that digital humanities laboratories are sustainable and open for redevelopment.</p>},
  author       = {Foka, Anna and Misharina, Anna and Arvidsson, Viktor and Gelfgren, Stefan},
  issn         = {2055-7671},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {264--278},
  series       = {Digital Scholarship in the Humanities},
  title        = {Beyond humanities qua digital : Spatial and material development for digital research infrastructures in HumlabX},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/llc/fqx008},
  volume       = {33},
  year         = {2018},
}