"Building community" at the national and/or international level in the context of the Digital Humanities

Adeline Joffres 1 Mike Priddy 2 Francesca Morselli 2 Thomas Lebarbé 3 Xavier Granier 4 Paul Bertrand 5 Xavier Rodier 6 Fabrice Melka 7 Jason Camlot 8 Stéfan Sinclair 9 Idmhand Fatiha 10 Caroline Abéla 11 Mehdi Chayani 12 Christophe Parisse 13 Céline Poudat 14 Véronique Ginouvès 15 Michael E. Sinatra 16 Emmanuel Chateau Dutier 16 Gimena del Rio Riande 17 Paula Ricaurte 18 Isabel Galina Russel 19 José Francisco Barron Tovar 19 Ernesto Priani Saiso 19 Martin Grandjean 20 Aurélien Berra 21 Olivier Baude 1 Stéphane Pouyllau 1
Abstract : Knowledge production has always act globally, and when it comes to the humanities early networks of scholars can still be traced in their letter correspondence. With the emergence of digital humanities more prominently in the 1970s, research communities have organized themselves in many different ways. The enthusiasm generated by the promises of what was sometimes perceived as a "new field" were to some extent echoed in new forms of institutionalization, to the point of defining a discipline in its own right. But the enthusiasms was also accompanied by a certain resistance of communities reluctant to introduce digital technology into their field. The term of "digital humanities" in these earlier days of adopting digital methods into the humanities created an area, a niche, inside which pioneers in Digital Humanities could gain critical mass. Today, where digital methods are far more widely applied, one can observe an almost opposite trend, the abandoning of a ‘specific label’ and a much broader advocacy concerning all humanities. What remains specific for DH communities is the close alliance between content providers (which themselves are in a process of digitisation content and access), humanities scholars applying digital methods, and computer scientists linking to new methodological achievements in their field. However, this alliance can express itself in very different forms of national and international organisation, and is far from following a specific model. This panel examines different ways of "forming a community" among digital humanities scholars and scholars in other fields, and other actors in DH. The contributions span a range from generic ways to design digital research infrastructures in the SSH, over national solutions to supranational coordination. The purpose of this panel is to unfold the diversity of the current "digital humanist movement”, not only to compare, but also to understand what is at stake for the actors involved and what impact the different forms of organisation have on creation and evolution of research communities. We further discuss issues of cohesion and durability. Through the papers presented, we will examine the impact of bottom-up, top-down and horizontal strategies as well as the adoption of hybrid solutions (organizational, disciplinary, methodological, scalar) in the design of research communities. This approach will allow us to put convergences and challenges into perspective and to question the re- compositions at work within SSH communities. This panel will highlight the experiences of SSH research communities from different cultures and organizations rooted at different levels of governance, such as some French communities structured around institutional nodes such as Maisons des Sciences de l'Homme (MSH), or research infrastructures at the national (TGIR Huma-Num) or European level (DARIAH ERIC); project based collaboration of research infrastructures (DANS, The Netherlands) and Canada (CRIHN); and professional networks and transnational associations related to digital humanities (e.g. Humanistica, the French-speaking association of digital humanities, or the Latin American network for digital humanities under construction). The comparison of the experiences presented will not produce a homogeneous and smooth image but will highlight differences in approaches and organisation. Even it seems nearly impossible to give account of every association that could be representative on a way to build community in DH, the chair of the session will make an introduction with a brief summary of this landscape. That said, besides the geographical aspect that we try to include, another is that we are giving voice to formal and informal associations such as the LatamHD network, that is just at an early stage and that is not yet defined in its goals. We decided to propose several solutions to deal with the diversity of needs and practises inside our communities and we wanted to present some of them to share our experiences and initiate discussions during this panel in order to develop collaborations with colleagues sharing the same kind of constraints. Thus, the objective is to have a broad discussion with the audience to broaden the perspectives to other experiences. This panel aims to contribute to the reflective work in the wider DH context about factors of constitution, consolidation and evolution of its research communities.
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Adeline Joffres, Mike Priddy, Francesca Morselli, Thomas Lebarbé, Xavier Granier, et al.. "Building community" at the national and/or international level in the context of the Digital Humanities. Digital Humanities, 2019, Utrecht, Netherlands. ⟨halshs-02182752⟩

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