Stephen Ramsay: Melbourne December 12

Title of lecture: Found: Data, Textuality, and the Digital Humanities: Please register for this Information Futures event here:

Time: Monday, December 12, from 9.30 – 10.30 in the Wood Theatre, Arts West, University of Melbourne (Map: Building 148, Next to Old Arts and Baillieu Library)

In this presentation in Melbourne, Stephen Ramsay will discuss some of the latest research in the Digital Humanities. This includes applying methods to analyse the vast array of digital collections developed over past decades. These methods provide additional layers of scholarly interpretation and thus uncover new insights.

Computational processes generate lists: lists of numbers, lists of words, lists of coordinates, and lists of properties.  We transform these lists into more exalted forms of visualisations, maps, information systems, and software tools. However, the list remains the fundamental data structure of computing, from which most other facilities are derived.  We nearly always create lists whenever we treat the world as data.

But what sort of *texts* are these, and can we consider them the same way we consider other texts within the humanities?  In this paper, I offer some meditations on the nature of lists and suggest that it is the lack of information they provide  and how that paucity licenses narrative and explanation  that allows us to imagine computational representations as texts that can play a fruitful role in the broader context of humanistic inquiry



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