Public lecture—Digital scholarship: Intersection, Scale, and Social Machines

David De Roure, photograph credit Angela Guyton
What: Digital scholarship: Intersection, Scale, and Social Machines 

Who: David De Roure

When: 17:15—18:15, Monday 11 December 2017

Where: Wolfson College: Leonard Wolfson Auditorium (map)

Access: open to all

Admission: free

Registration: not required
 

Today we are witnessing many shifts in scholarly practice, in and across multiple disciplines, as researchers embrace digital techniques to tackle established questions in new ways and new questions afforded by our increasingly digital society and digitised collections.

 

These methods include computational techniques but also citizen science, and the notion of Social Machines provides a lens onto this scholarly ecosystem. Looking ahead we see greater citizen engagement and increasing automation, with massive data supply through living in the Internet of Things and the adoption of machine learning. Ultimately this is about the role of the human in the future of research, and with it the ethics of responsible innovation.

 

Please join us for this public lecture and stay to continue the conversation at a drinks reception immediately following the talk.

 

David De Roure is Professor of e-Research at University of Oxford and Supernumerary Fellow at Wolfson College. Focused on advancing digital scholarship, David works closely with multiple disciplines including social sciences (studying social machines), humanities (computational musicology and experimental humanities), engineering (Internet of Things), and computer science (large scale distributed systems and social computing). He has extensive experience in hypertext, Web Science, Linked Data, and Internet of Things. Drawing on this broad interdisciplinary background he is a frequent speaker and writer on the future of digital scholarship and scholarly communications. His previous roles include Director of the Oxford e-Research Centre, and Strategic Advisor to the UK Economic and Social Research Council.

 

This public lecture is co-hosted by Wolfson College’s Digital Research Cluster, the University of Oxford e-Research Centre, and the Centre for Digital Scholarship as part of the workshop Enabling Digital Scholarship: present and future.

 

Photograph: by kind permission of Angela Guyton.

Semantic data and the stories we’re not telling

One of my earliest memories of television was James Burke’s series Connections. It was fascinating yet accessible: each episode explored technology, history, science and society, jumping across topics based on historical connections or charming coincidences. One episode started with the stone fireplace and ended with Concorde.

In a digital utopia, we would each be our own James Burke, creating and sharing intellectual journeys by following the connections that interest us. We are not there yet. Many very valuable databases exist online, but the connections between them are obscured rather than celebrated, and this is an obstacle for anyone using those data in education or research. In a previous post I described the problems that come from the fact that things have different names in different databases, and described a semantic web approach to link them together.

Building on this approach, web applications can help people create their own stories; choosing their own path through sources of reliable information, building unexpected connections. In this post I describe three design principles behind these applications. Let’s start with a story.

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Research Uncovered—The artist sleeps and the audience performs

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What: The artist sleeps and the audience performs

Who: Menaka PP Bora, David de Min, and Sebastiano Ludovico

When: 13:00—14:00, Monday 27 November 2017

Where: Weston Library Lecture Theatre (map)

Access: open to all

Admission: free

Registration is required

Blending technology and performance art for new experiences in viewing Bodleian collections

This performance talk highlights a new way for people to experience and interpret visual arts collections through performance and the latest technology in mobile apps, Velapp, the ‘world’s most natural video editor’. The talk uses Velapp to explore the challenges and opportunities posed by new technology on artistic responses to heritage collections.

During the talk the audience is invited to play with a sample Velapp mobile phone app, learning to shoot film and simultaneously edit while enjoying the performance of items from the Bodleian’s collections. This technological intervention enables members of the audience to produce mobile films while they watch the performance, editing as they continue to film. The experience becomes more entertaining and immersive.

Dr. Menaka PP Bora is a multi- award winning performing artist, choreographer, ethnomusicologist, actor, and broadcaster. Besides touring her sell-out solo shows in the ‘world dance’ scene and regularly appearing as Guest Speaker on BBC Radio, she is Bodleian’s Affiliated Artist and winner of the highly prestigious Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships 2016.

 

David de Min is a Tech Enterpreneur and Founder and CEO of Velapp. David is currently working on one of the most game-changing projects for the UK technology industry which will be very high profile, hugely impact the tech sector/economy, firmly place the UK on the map as a game changer in the tech world and drive phenomenal positive social change across Europe.

 

Sebastiano Ludovico is a talented young Artist and Tech Investor belonging to the Sicilian royal family in Italy. Based in London, Sebastiano exhibited his paintings at solo exhibitions from the age of 5 years. His works of art are particularly appreciated by Hollywood stars and international pop music artists and all funds raised from sales of his work are donated directly to children’s foundations and other charities, in particular the Samuel L. Jackson Foundation with whom he has collaborated with for the last 4 years.

This performance talk is hosted by the Centre for Digital Scholarship as part of the Research Uncovered series of public talks.

Bodleian Student Editions 2017–2018

Please note that these workshops are now fully subscribed for this academic year, 2017–2018. To express an interest in future workshops, please email Pip Willcox.

Textual editing workshops for undergraduates and postgraduates

Elizabeth Wagstaff letter, 2 May 1621

A collaboration between the Bodleian’s Department of Special Collections and Centre for Digital Scholarship, and Cultures of Knowledge, a project based at the Faculty of History

We are looking for enthusiastic undergraduates and postgraduates from any discipline to take part in workshops in textual editing culminating in the publication of a citable transcription.

Join the waiting list: see below for details

After a hugely successful pilot run—from which published transcriptions can be seen here—these workshops are in their second year, and are scheduled to take place on the following dates:

Michaelmas Term 2017

  • 10:00–16:30 Thursday 7th week, 23 November

Hilary Term 2018

  • 10:00–16:30 Wednesday 3rd week, 31 January
  • 10:00–16:30 Thursday 7th week, 1 March

Trinity Term 2018

  • 10:00–16:30 Wednesday 3rd week, 9 May
  • 10:00–16:30 Thursday 7th week, 7 June

Textual editing is the process by which a manuscript reaches its audience in print or digital form. The texts we read in printed books are dependent on the choices of editors across the years, some obscured more than others. The past few years have seen an insurgence in interest in curated media, and the advent of new means of distribution has inspired increasingly charged debates about what is chosen to be edited, by whom and for whom.

These workshops give students the opportunity to examine these questions of research practice in a space designed around the sources at the heart of them. The Bodleian Libraries’ vast collections give students direct access to important ideas free from years of mediation, and to authorial processes in their entirety, while new digital tools allow greater space to showcase the lives of ordinary people who may not feature in traditional narrative history.

Our focus is on letters of the early modern period: a unique, obsolescent medium, by which the ideas which shaped our civilisation were communicated and developed. Participants will study previously unpublished manuscripts from Bodleian collections, working with Bodleian curators and staff of Cultures of Knowledge (http://www.culturesofknowledge.org), to produce a digital transcription, which will be published on the flagship resource site of Cultures of Knowledge, Early Modern Letters Online (http://emlo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk), as ‘Bodleian Student Editions’.

The sessions are standalone, but participants in last year’s workshops have gone on to further transcription work with Bodleian collections and with research projects around the country, as well as producing the first scholarship on some of the manuscripts by incorporating material in their own research (from undergraduate to doctorate level). The first-hand experience with primary sources, and citable transcription, extremely useful for those wishing to apply for postgraduate study in areas where this is valued: one participant last year successfully proceeded from a BA in Biological Sciences to an MA in Early Modern Literature on the basis of having attended.

The sessions provide a hands-on introduction to the following:

  1. Special Collections handling
  2. Palaeography and transcription
  3. Metadata curation, analysis, and input into Early Modern Letters Online
  4. Research and publication ethics
  5. Digital tools for scholarship and further training available

To hear about future textual editing workshops and other events as they are advertised, please join the digital scholarship mailing list.

Participation is open to students registered for any course at the University of Oxford. If you would like to participate or to join the waiting list, please contact Carmen Bohne, Special Collections Administrator, carmen.bohne@bodleian.ox.ac.uk, and include:

  1. your ox.ac.uk email address
  2. your department
  3. your level and year of study
  4. particular access requirements
  5. particular dietary requirements

Please note that registration is only open for Michaelmas term’s workshop. You may register your interest in subsequent workshops: please state the dates on which you are available. Places are limited and will be confirmed for each term’s workshops at the start of that term.

The Bodleian Libraries welcome thoughts and queries from students of all levels on ways in which the use of archival material can facilitate your research. For an idea of the range of collections in the Weston, visit the exhibition Bodleian Treasures: 24 Pairs in the Treasury gallery in Blackwell Hall (http://treasures.bodleian.ox.ac.uk), where some famous items are illuminated through juxtaposition to less known items that prompt reflection on the concept of a treasure. Our next themed exhibition, Designing English, showcasing the graphic design of mediaeval manuscripts in English from Bodleian collections, will open in the ST Lee Gallery on 1 December. For the first two months it will be shown alongside Redesigning the medieval book, a display of contemporary book arts inspired by the exhibition and created as part of a workshop and competition run in collaboration with the English Faculty.

Research Uncovered—Reassembling the University: The Idea of a University in a Digital Age

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What: Reassembling the University: The Idea of a University in a Digital Age

Who: David M. Berry, University of Sussex

When: 13:00—14:00, Monday 5 February 2018

Where: Weston Library Lecture Theatre (map)

Access: open to all

Admission: free

Registration is required

In times of deep economic and political uncertainty there is a pressing need to revisit the constellations of concepts grounding the idea of a university. This talk will examine the relevance of ideas that assembled the university in differing historical periods to think about how we might reassemble these notions for possible new constellations of an idea of a university in a digital age.

 

David M. Berry is Professor of Digital Humanities at the University of Sussex and a visiting scholar at Lincoln College, University of Oxford. His recent books include Critical Theory and the Digital (2014), Postdigital Aesthetics: Art, Computation and Design (2015, with Michael Dieter) and Digital Humanities: Knowledge and Critique in a Digital Age (2017, with Anders Fagerjord). He was recently awarded a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship for his new research on “Reassembling the University: The Idea of a University in a Digital Age”.