Centre for Digital Humanities


Exploring Culture through Data: Digital methods & Data practices (Utrecht Summer School)

Date(s) - 15-08-2022 - 19-08-2022
All Day

Drift 13, 3512BR Utrecht

Please note that the dates for this summer school have not been finalized and may thus still be subject to change.

The accelerating datafication of society constitutes challenges and opportunities for humanities research. We welcome you, students and non-students, to join us in this crash course in data practices and digital methods.

This course will acquaint you with (methodological) fundamentals of data practices in the Digital Humanities. These will include data collection, data preparation, data visualisation, critical data and algorithm studies and network analysis. You’ll get an introduction to programming and Tableau and you learn to apply a Critical Data Perspective. Don’t be scared. You don’t need prior skills in data methods. Do you have a strong willingness to learn? Perfect. You definitely will learn a lot. Besides training these skills, you will work in small teams on a hands-on case. To top it off, guest speakers from several fields will share their experiences with data practices.

Datafication of culture

Culture is datafied at a terrifying pace. Not only are cultural artefacts digitised, social interaction online is automatically recorded and commodified. Everyday activities, movements, transactions, communications and environmental properties are stored either through (applications on) mobile phones, or the countless sensors, camera’s and other measurement devices spread out over the public spaces. Aside from the profound impact these data repositories have for society at large, they also constitute challenges and opportunities for research in the humanities. The need to occupy ourselves with data practices is twofold: 1) ‘big data’ affect society at large and the more it transforms the social and cultural domain, the more humanities scholars are needed to put their distinct expertise to use in describing, analysing and conceptualising the datafied society. 2) the data and analysis tools change research agendas as they can be used for analysing culture.

Studying culture through data

From Monday the 15th of August until Friday the 19th of August, we will host a full week of workshops, tutorials and guest lectures. In this course, you get acquainted with some of the (methodological) fundamentals of data practices in the Digital Humanities. You learn how to apply data analysis for research and how to review and inquire the data practices and tools. The days will be filled with tutorials and workshops in order to acquire methods and tools. The week will also be filled with lectures by prominent guest speakers from various backgrounds. And it does not stop there. By the end of the week you’re able to work on a real-world case. In small teams you apply your freshly gained skills.

Utrecht Data School

Driven by our research interest into datafication and how it affects citizenship, participation in deliberative processes, the public sphere and cultural production, we conduct our research within the societal domains of public management, (public) media and the public space. Using our own practice of entrepreneurial scholarship, we develop services and products that are useful for partners within said domains. Check the website for more information.

Application deadline: 8 July 2022

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