Digital Humanities – Theorie und Methodik “Data Literacy and Digital Humanities”

The lecture series on „Data Literacy and Digital Humanities“ is an integral part of the lecture series “Digital Humanities – Theorie und Methodik”, which was founded in the Wintersemester 2014/15 by Elisabeth Burr with the aim to fill the term “Digital Humanities” with meaning by presenting the broader scholarly public with theoretical and methodological questions which play a role in Digital Humanities.

The digital universe is growing very fast and the amount of information contained in data is exploding. The mining of these data has ethical, social, and political consequences. In order to think through these consequences a new kind of literacy is needed, which could also be called ‘data literacy’ if we define it according to Chantel Ridsdale as “the ability to collect, manage, evaluate, and apply data in a critical manner”.

But how should we teach data literacy in the Humanities?

The Digital Humanities are characterised by a cross-disciplinary and collaborative nature, by project orientation, hands-on practices and the use of cultural heritage data, and by the aim to integrate and create domain-specific knowledge with computational methods and tools while reflecting their application and use critically. As such Digital Humanities would seem to offer everything that students need to become not only literate in their specific Humanities field, but to acquire at the same time data literacy and skills like problem solving, computational and critical thinking.

As the data which play a role in Digital Humanities are themselves multiform and comprise among other types visual, audio, geospatial, temporal, and statistical data, we can even say that by studying Digital Humanities students become meta- or transliterate and thus able to employ their knowledge, competencies and skills in very diverse social and professional domains.

In order to support the claim that doing Digital Humanities involves becoming (meta- / trans-) data literate and to illustrate the acquisition of data literacy in diverse Humanities-specific courses offered at different levels of university education, we have brought together an international group of specialists.

Preliminary programme

  • 8 December 2020 Alex Bia (Universidad Miguel Hernández, Elche, Spain): “Data science and digital humanities: a feasible merge?”
  • 22 December 2020 Diane Jakacki (Bucknell University, Lewisburg, USA): „Theory and Praxis: REED London, Data Literacy, and Research-Based Learning“
  • 19 January 2021 David Wrisley (NYU Abu Dhabi, UAE): “Data Transliteracy: Creativity and Cooperation across Knowledge Cultures”
  • 2 February 2021 Denis Arnold / Bernhard Fisseni (Leibniz-Institut für Deutsche Sprache, Mannheim, Germany): “(Digital) Research Data and Metadata”
  • 16 February 2021 Carol Chiodo (Harvard University Library, Cambridge, USA) / Lauren Tilton (University of Richmond, USA): “Images as Data”

More lectures in 2021 will be announced soon.

The lectures (including ample time for discussions) will be given virtually via Zoom every other Tuesday from 5:15pm to 6:45pm. The series starts on 8 December 2020. 

Interested participants are kindly asked to register at the latest by the Sunday before each event so that access data can be sent to them. The number of places is limited.

Registration for the next event
16 February 2021 Carol Chiodo (Harvard University Library, Cambridge, USA) / Lauren Tilton (University of Richmond, USA): “Images as Data”