Materials Library @ King’s

One of the more interesting research groups here at King’s. They do research into the materiality of flesh!

Materials Library is an interdisciplinary collaborative team that make objects, events and exhibitions that foreground materiality. We are also engaged in both scientific research and artistic practices that explore the senso-aesthetics of materials.

At the heart of all we do is the creation, curation and development of the physical space that is The Materials Library; a resource, laboratory, studio, workshop, and play pen for the material minded. A home to some of the most wondrous matter on earth, The Materials Library contains an ongoing collection of material-objects that foreground the materiality of stuff (link).

Winning Grants to support Postgraduate Study from the Voluntary Sector (by Luke Blaxill)

Our aim at Gradfunding is to help postgraduate students of any nationality, academic background, or subject area fund any aspect of their studies- be it living expenses, fees, or research, travel, and conference costs. We are an advisory agency which specialises in winning grants from the voluntary sector (e.g. charities, foundations, and trusts). The voluntary sector in the UK is large, and generous, and there are thousands of bodies with grant-making power totalling millions who are prepared to consider student applicants (thanks to Luke Blaxill for the link)


New Group: Social Software in the Digital Humanities

(This new group on may be of interest to punters.  It is primarily focussed upon ‘social software’ theory, techniques, and applications within the Digital Humanities.  As it is a new group, we are more than open about its skippering within the choppy Web 2 sea).

The aim of this group is to critically discuss and share thoughts about the use of social software applications, techniques, and principles within the Digital Humanities. Join this group here…

For the purpose of this group, the Digital Humanities is defied as the application of computational methods and associated tools to address specific humanities research problems. Distinct from general computing approaches, the banner term ‘Digital Humanities’ is an ‘attitude towards computing’ that is embedded within the research concerns of the disciplines and sub-fields that make up the humanities. The methods employed in the field may be used to uncover new knowledge about corpora or to visualise research data in such a way as to uncover additional insights and meaning. Succinctly the Digital Humanities (or Humanities Computing) is about structuring, analysing and communicating humanistic knowledge in a critical way using computing technology.

And as in many fields, the social and participatory architectural frameworks associated with ‘social software’ is increasing a part of the Digital Humanities. Social software is usually web-based and is a way for researchers to share data and research-labour that comprises of a series of debates about tool, socio-technical design, and concept choice. Social software may be one way to open up new styles of collaboration in the Digital Humanities between software developers, humanists, and audiences. Join in the conversation!

*Suggested topics may include*:

*Collaborative labour arrangements for researchers (collaborative work functions)

*Maintaining on-line communities

*APIs, web services, and mash-ups

*Trends in the blogosphere

*New Social Software Applications

*Community annotation and tagging

*Computer mediated communication

*Service oriented architecture

*Governance (bottom-up or top Down)

*Work-flow analysis

*Designing Research Deliberation


(This images; utilising a matrix approach to critically understanding Web 2.0 design can be found at the medienpaedagogik blog at: )

New Resource: British Literary Manuscripts Online c.1660-1900


(This new resource from the a private company Gale-Cengage Learning looks promising; at least according to the populist blurb in the Telegraph via the Melbourne Age.  Strange how the article fails to mention that it was a homophobic ‘scandal’  and fails to do justice to the true nature of Wild’s and Bosie’s relationship.  There is a self-reflective lenz that we probably need to reflect upon before we judge this tit-bit of history).

OSCAR Wilde’s clandestine relationship with the young Lord Alfred Douglas resulted in scandal and his eventual imprisonment. Now, the original letters laying bare the playwright’s love for the young “Bosie” are to be made available to the public for the first time.

The handwritten intimate correspondence is among 600,000 pages of British literary manuscripts and original documentation being put online — along with such items as early drafts of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, manuscripts by Robert Burns and Walter Scott and letters written by Charlotte Bronte.

In one letter to Bosie, dated 1894, Wilde writes: “My own dear boy — It’s really absurd — I can’t live without you … London is a desert without your dainty feet … but I have no words for how I love you — Oscar.” (link)

What is technological determinism?


Technological determinism is circulated, maintained, and advanced within the pre-existing hierarchies in the world in which we live. Determinism has its own political agendas, its own rules, its own contexts and hierarchies and antagonisms to an imagined ‘other’. Determinism utilises a proprietary language and culture and although it cloaks itself in ideas of inter-disciplinary, deterministic discourse discourages intellectual critique, dissent, and justifies itself with the high ground of capitalist practicality. Deterministic rhetoric is only interested in other knowledge so that it can demonise it, remediate it, appropriate it, make it better, wrestle it out of the hands of the ‘elite’ and make it more ‘democratic’, more in touch with ‘the people’.

I wrote this some time ago (link).  A rather disturbing report I recently read on Web 2 and Education prompted me to re-visit this writing

Press Release: Fedora Commons and DSpace Foundation Join Together to Create DuraSpace™ Organization

(This is indeed excellent news for the Open Repositories movement in terms of creating such a large player in the field and in terms of pooling the expertise of both organisation to help foster an open research commons online).
(Fedora hats…much more interesting than Press Releases!)
Ithaca, NY, Boston, MA — Fedora Commons and the DSpace Foundation, two of the largest providers of open source software for managing and providing access to digital content, have announced today that they will join their organizations to pursue a common mission. Jointly, they will provide leadership and innovation in open source technologies for global communities who manage, preserve, and provide access to digital content.
The joined organization, named “DuraSpace,” will sustain and grow its flagship repository platforms – Fedora and DSpace. DuraSpace will also expand its portfolio by offering new technologies and services that respond to the dynamic environment of the Web and to new requirements from existing and future users. DuraSpace will focus on supporting existing communities and will also engage a larger and more diverse group of stakeholders in support of its not-for-profit mission. The organization will be led by an executive team consisting of Sandy Payette (Chief Executive Officer), Michele Kimpton (Chief Business Officer), and Brad McLean (Chief Technology Officer) and will operate out of offices in Ithaca, NY and Cambridge, MA.

New Book: World Wide Web of Research

A new book will be released soon titled: World Wide Web of Reseach: Reshaping the Sciences and Humanities (Cambridge; the MIT Press). It is edited by Bill Dutton and Paul Jeffreys, both of Oxford. Dutton is Director of the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) whilst Paul Jeffreys is Director of IT at Oxford. I believe the book will be focussed upon the issues of eResearch in the Sciences and Humanities; very important issues for the Digital Humanities. The eResearch aganda primarily encapsulates data-reuse and research collaboration through such systems as VREs (Virtual Research Environments). We have a progamme in this field here at King’s called AHESSC (Arts and Humanities eScience Suport Centre). I look forward to the book; I tried to pre-order it on Amazon but with no luck. You can find Bill Dutton’s blog here..


(as researchers, perhaps we are spiders stuck in a web)