Friday, November 6, 12:00-1:30 pm
Strozier Library 107K [map]
Data Modeling Mindsets and the Digital Humanities
Cultural heritage projects since the 1990s have provided sites for digital scholars to discover — or rediscover — what Ciula and Eide (2014) call various “modeling paradigms” through the implementation of digital methodologies such as database building and text encoding. Yet cultural historians and digital humanists do not always (or necessarily) agree on what constitutes a viable modeling paradigm, or share core assumptions about what modeling can achieve ontologically, epistemologically, and ethically. This tension is significant for most projects employing digital methods — from empirical studies of technological users to the construction of virtual archives — as it raises questions about what modeling achieves, how humanists (should) understand it, what logics or infrastructures may drive it, and whether it is best understood as a set of linked theories, or as one mega-theory of involvements among people, data structures, and symbolic languages.
Please join us for a discussion led by Dr. Richard Urban, Assistant Professor in the School of Information, whose own work scales disciplinary perspectives that sometimes act diametrically opposed. Using the Linked Women Pedagogues (LWP) project development as a set of practical problems to observe, Dr. Urban will lead us in an examination and discussion of the various ways that “data modeling” comes to mean for the humanities. As a continuation of other critical questions the group has raised about “networks,” “databases,” “ontologies,” and even “digital objects,” Dr. Urban will help us to explore how evolving data modeling mindsets can shape the objectives of digital humanities projects, as well as our assumptions of what constitutes DH work.
Participants are invited to read the following in advance:
- Ciula, Arianna, and Øyvind Eide. “Reflections on Cultural Heritage and Digital Humanities: Modelling in Practice and Theory.” In Proceedings of the First International Conference on Digital Access to Textual Cultural Heritage, 35–41. DATeCH ’14. New York, NY, USA: ACM, 2014. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2595207. [stable copy available in Bb]
- Flanders, Julia, and Fotis Jannidis. “Knowledge Organization and Data Modeling in the Humanities.” Women Writers Project. Northeastern, March 2012. http://www.wwp.northeastern.edu/outreach/conference/kodm2012/flanders_jannidis_datamodeling.pdf.
- McCarty, Willard. “Modeling: A Study in Words and Meaning.” In Companion to Digital Humanities (Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture), edited by Susan Schreibman, Ray Siemens, and John Unsworth. Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Professional, 2004. http://www.digitalhumanities.org/companion/view?docId=blackwell/9781405103213/9781405103213.xml&chunk.id=ss1-3-7&toc.depth=1&toc.id=ss1-3-7&brand=default .
- Van Zundert, Joris, Fotis Jannidis, Johanna Drucker, Geoffrey Rockwell, Ted Underwood, Mike Kestemont, and Tara Andrews. “What Is Modeling and What Is Not?” Lausanne – Switzerland, 2014. http://dharchive.org/paper/DH2014/Panel-671.xml.
and to browse the following resources:
- the website from Northeastern University’s Women Writers Project workshop, including several videos on the topic of “modeling mindsets”: http://www.wwp.northeastern.edu/outreach/conference/kodm2012/
- Iivari, Juhani. “A Paradigmatic Analysis of Contemporary Schools of IS Development.” European Journal of Information Systems 1, no. 4 (December 1991): 249–72. http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/ejis.1991.47. [for background on how he will frame “mindsets”] [stable copy available in Bb]
We hope you can join us,