11 Apr
11:00 - 17:45

Digital Research Infrastructure: What's in it for ME?

Digital research infrastructure is prevalent, ubiquitous, and seemingly ever-changing. At the same time, infrastructure - as long as it is functional - tends to be invisible. Hence, infrastructure (and the work needed to create and maintain it) often appears undervalued. Some of it is supplied by traditional infrastructures such as libraries. Others are disciplinary in the form of research projects, built and managed by the researchers or research communities that they serve. 

Many of us in the Global North are lucky enough to live in countries in which infrastructure recedes into the background until it does not function (like when the electricity or the wifi goes out) or there is a problem with the plumbing. But the creation of research infrastructure need not, and we would argue, should not be invisibilised. This is not least because of their normative entanglements with matters of fairness and justice, in terms of accessibility and representation.

The (material) politics of infrastructure have also been examined in inter alia science and technology studies and media studies.  How it is designed, the data it contains, the metadata, controlled vocabularies, and data structures used, can make visible or occlude traditionally marginalised voices, works, and individuals. This has profound implications for the ways in which we can carry out our research. And with the increasing availability of big data archives, issues of transparency, openness, and replicability become more acute. Thus as digital research infrastructures facilitate a greater and greater degree of our scholarship, as well as our students’ research, there is a strong argument for researchers to be more involved in their creation. 

Join us for this one-day symposium in which we will examine digital infrastructures for the arts, humanities, and social sciences from not only on a technical level, but equally importantly from feminist and social justice frameworks, in terms of who designs the infrastructure  we use and how our institutions value and reward our contributions in their creation. 

Keynote addresses will be given by Dr Laura Mandell, Professor of English at Texas A&M University who will speak on Building Infrastructures for the Future: the New Public Intellectuals and Dr Toma Tasovac, Director of the Belgrade Center for Digital Humanities (BCDH) and Director of the pan-European Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (DARIAH) who will speak on How Many Humanists Does it Take to Build a Research Infrastructure? Navigating the Challenges Technological and Cultural Change in Arts and Humanities

Three Panel Discussions will round out the event, on Labs as Infrastructure,  on Digital infrastructures - What’s in it for me? And the launch of the open-source #dariahTeach course Social Justice and the Digital Humanities. 
Download the full programme

There is no charge to attend the symposium and the welcome coffee, lunch, and a closing reception are free. Please Join us for  a stimulating day with much opportunity for discussion by registering here.

This event is hosted by The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Research Groups: Arts Media and Culture, and Science, Technology and Society Studies; and the Netherlands National Research School for Media Studies (RMeS)