Julianne Nyhan Inaugural Lecture
31 March 2023, 6:30 pm–7:30 pm
Examining the digital humanities as a site and ‘peoplescape’ of collecting and collections.
This event is free.
Gustave Tuck Lecture TheatreGower StreetLondonWC1E 6BT
The act of collecting and the making of collections are surely among the most fundamental and most enduring of human actions. Collections, whether of analogue things or of digital data, offer us a rich and complex landscape to explore all aspects of what it has meant, what it now means and what it might in time mean to be human. Through collections, individually and at scale, we encounter all manner of human agency, wonder, curiosity, taxonomic impulse and even cruelty. And even if it seems paradoxical, through collections we also encounter absence, loss and bias. The absences that haunt collections and the documentation that describes them grant important insights into the subjectivities that have shaped collections and their documentation over the longer term, raising questions about whose agency was and was not acknowledged in the creation of a given collection, and the grounds on which such decisions were made. Examining the digital humanities as a site and ‘peoplescape’ of collecting and collections, this lecture will draw on the research Nyhan has conducted on this over the past years, reflecting also on the 'grand challenges' of collections and absence for digital humanities.
About the Speaker
Julianne Nyhan is Professor of Humanities Data Science and Methodology at the Institut für Geschichte, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany. She remains a part-time Professor of Digital Humanities at UCL, where she leads the Towards a National Collection AHRC-funded project ‚The Sloane Lab: Looking back to build future shared collections‘. A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, she was formerly the Deputy- and Director of the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities (2018-2021) and Director of UCL’s MA/MSc in Digital Humanities (2017-2021). Her primary research interest is in the history of digital humanities, an area in which she has published widely. Her most recent book Hidden and Devalued Feminized Labour in the Digital Humanities: On the Index Thomisticus Project 1954-67 is published by Routledge.