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62632-01 - Seminar: Theory of Digital Humanities 3 KP

Semester Herbstsemester 2021
Angebotsmuster einmalig
Dozierende Jens Loescher (jens.loescher@unibas.ch, BeurteilerIn)
Inhalt One of the long-standing problems for digital humanities has been a lack of theory adequate both to digital computing machinery and to disciplines of the human sciences. We have names for aspects of a methodology, such as ‘distant reading’, ‘computational stylistics’, ‘quantitative history’ and ‘modelling’; we have debates, handbooks, edited collections, journals and organised online discussions – but no overall theoretical understanding of what makes digital humanities cohere as a disciplinary entity. A ‘discipline’ is, the Oxford English Dictionary tells us, what disciples, that is, students of a subject, do, but to have cogent reasons to clarify for others and for ourselves what we are in fact doing we need to theorise. This means first of all to sketch out what a ‘theory’ of digital humanities might look like. It is not to be assumed that this word ‘theory’ has one meaning for all. Its meaning varies by discipline.
Theory, that is, cannot be spun out of the air but needs examples to work from, and examples mean an historical understanding of the field we theorise. In the case of any slice of digital activity especially, theorising also requires interdisciplinary persistence and fortitude. One cannot, as some who self-identify as digital humanists are, innocent of the natural sciences and at least willing to struggle at the edges of mathematics. There are bridges to these other areas of enquiry. It will help to turn to earlier discussions, for example Alan Turing’s work or John von Neumann’s efforts to come up with a theory of automata (organic and artificial) or to the ‘ecological’ mind set of the first generation of programmers in the Bay area. For these ‘the machine’ is an object charged with agency. It is an object whose design and engineering we need to understand, as much as we can. As such, the computer is not just another technological invention. No tool leaves our ‘mode of thinking’ untouched, but the digital machine is radically adaptive to those who use it and to their lifeworlds. Furthermore it is sufficiently close to us cognitively that we are radically apt to adapt ourselves to it. Nevertheless, although the machine implements Boolean logic, its agency is not strictly, purely logical but subject to error and capable of nondeterministic performance.
This seminar will be held jointly by Prof. Willard McCarthy, King's College London, and Jens Loescher


Unterrichtssprache Deutsch
Einsatz digitaler Medien kein spezifischer Einsatz


Intervall 14-täglich
Datum 20.09.2021 – 13.12.2021
Zeit Montag, 14.15-18.00 Kollegienhaus, Seminarraum 103
Datum Zeit Raum
Montag 20.09.2021 14.15-18.00 Uhr Kollegienhaus, Seminarraum 103
Montag 04.10.2021 14.15-18.00 Uhr Kollegienhaus, Seminarraum 103
Montag 18.10.2021 14.15-18.00 Uhr Kollegienhaus, Seminarraum 103
Montag 01.11.2021 14.15-18.00 Uhr Kollegienhaus, Seminarraum 103
Montag 15.11.2021 14.15-18.00 Uhr Kollegienhaus, Seminarraum 103
Montag 29.11.2021 14.15-18.00 Uhr Kollegienhaus, Seminarraum 103
Montag 13.12.2021 14.15-18.00 Uhr Kollegienhaus, Seminarraum 103
Module Modul: Digital Humanities, Culture and Society (Master Studienfach Digital Humanities)
Modul: Methoden der Gesellschaftswissenschaften (Masterstudium: European Global Studies)
Leistungsüberprüfung Lehrveranst.-begleitend
Hinweise zur Leistungsüberprüfung Hausarbeit
An-/Abmeldung zur Leistungsüberprüfung Anmelden: Belegen; Abmelden: nicht erforderlich
Wiederholungsprüfung keine Wiederholungsprüfung
Skala Pass / Fail
Wiederholtes Belegen nicht wiederholbar
Zuständige Fakultät Philosophisch-Historische Fakultät, studadmin-philhist@unibas.ch
Anbietende Organisationseinheit Digital Humanities Lab