Digital humanities

Seminar invitation: Beyond programming as primary computing skill

Friday, May 18th, 2018

The Digital Humanities invite you to the seminar: Beyond programming as primary computing skill: the case of the PDF file format – Jean-François Blanchette

Jean-François Blanchette is an Associate Professor at the Department of Information Studies at UCLA. His research focuses on the computerization of bureaucracies, the evolution of the computing infrastructure, and the materiality of digital objects. He is the author of Burdens of Proof: Cryptographic Culture and Evidence Law in the Age of Electronic Documents (MIT Press, 2012) and co-editor of Regulating the Cloud: Policy for Computing Infrastructure (MIT Press, 2015). He is the director with Snowden Becker of the “On the Record, All the Time” project, which examines the impact of surveillance technologies to archival education and practice.

Abstract for the presentation:

LIS programs have been faced for years with the question of how to best teach students adequate information technology skills. In past decades, the answer often took the form of basic computing literacy (how to write an email, how to set up a basic database), but today, the consensus is that the most obvious representative of such a skill is the mastery of a programming language. Indeed, coding is supported today by a wide range of organizations as the most direct path of entry into the computing professions and as a requisite skill for all future workers in the knowledge economy.

In this presentation,  Jean-François Blanchette challenges this assumption as it applies to graduate students enrolled in LIS programs. He will argue that the teaching of coding aligns with a conception of computing primarily grounded in its mathematical character as an “engine of logic.” However, an equally important understanding of computing lies in its nature as an engineered system dedicated to the coordinated use of limited computing resources (processing, storage, networking). Of particular importance are the design strategies of modularity and hierarchical aggregation, which allows computing systems to allocate resources, manage complexity and technical change, while providing specific pathways for growth and functional evolution. These resources and strategies constitute the actual materials and tools used by engineers to design, operate, and maintain the extraordinarily complex assemblage of software and hardware components that constitutes networked computing.

For students, such as those in LIS, whose career success depends on the proper anticipation of the impact of information technology on their field of professional practice, such an understanding is more effective than learning to code. Using the PDF file format as example,  Jean-François Blanchette demonstrate how this approach can be used to anticipate the evolution of the format and its impact on, e.g., digital preservation, open data, accessibility, and the future of scholarly communication.


The Digital Humanities (DH) seminar series is aimed at providing a forum for relevant DH discussion in the region and beyond, inspiring collaboration with wider audiences about the emerging field of DH field and University’s DH Initiative, thus both strengthening the DH Initiative’s established network, as well as creating a space for collaboration between universities and cross-sectoral partners at national and international levels. Please find more information at their website.

The Seminars are open to everyone, but we would appreciate if you would register your attendance via

Call for Papers – Digital Humanities Congress 2018

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018

The University of Sheffield’s Digital Humanities Institute is delighted to announce its Call for Papers for a three-day conference to be held in Sheffield, 6th – 8th September 2018. The Digital Humanities Congress is a conference held in Sheffield every two years. Its purpose is to promote the sharing of knowledge, ideas and techniques within the digital humanities.

Digital humanities is understood by Sheffield to mean the use of technology within arts, heritage and humanities research as both a method of inquiry and a means of dissemination. As such, proposals related to all disciplines within the arts, humanities and heritage domains are welcome. Proposals are welcome from academics, researchers, postgraduate students, professionals from within the cultural, heritage and information sectors, technologists and SMEs. Proposals are welcome from UK and international contributors. Contributors can propose individual papers, or sessions of three or more papers on a related theme.

Koraljka Golub from the Digital Humanities environment here at Linnaeus University encourage you to submit a paper and/or attend the congress. The deadline for submitting papers are on February 28th. For more information about the call see the congress website.


Digital Humanities Seminar: Open Data in the Age of Big Data Capitalism – Arwid Lund

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

Arwid Lund, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Cultural Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Linnaeus University will give a talk within the emerging field of Digital Humanities (DH) that is a part of the DH Seminar series hosted by the Digital Humanities Initiative at the Linnaeus University.

  • Date: 6 December 2017
  • Time: 13:00-14:00
  • Location: K1040, Building K, Växjö

Abstract: Open Data in the Age of Big Data Capitalism, Arwid Lund

The digital world has transformed the conditions for discussing freedom within liberalism. Private property more obviously clashes with the freedom of speech (the public sphere), when the costs of mediated and reproduced art, journalism, information and literature nears zero and the exchange of these takes fluid forms, similar to social communication. The concept of “open”, similar but still opposite to “free”, has taken on an accentuated ideological importance in this context, but so have also alternative visions of intellectual commons. This article contains a case study of Open Knowledge Network’s perspective on openness’ relation to private property and capitalism in the informational field. It does so first through an analysis of the network’s understanding of the copyleft principle, and second through an analysis of the organisation’s view on open business models. A theoretical reading of classical political perspectives on the concept of freedom supports the analysis. One result is the identification of a central ideological lacuna in absent discussions of unconditionally opened-up resources that strengthen the accumulation cycle of capital. This logic favours the negative freedom of closed business models in the competition with open ones that could foster more positive notions of freedom, although open business models are generally advocated and commons are mentioned as desirable. In a dominant ideological formation, openness is used to promote its opposite in the economic field. (more…)

Emerging Information Field, iSchools Organisation, and Potential for Linnaeus University

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

Michael Seadle, Executive Director of iSchools and the Dean of Faculty of Arts at Humboldt University and Sam Oh, iCaucus Chair-elect and the Head of School of Library & Information Science and Data Science Department at Sungkyunkwan University will be talking about the emerging information field, organisation of iSchools and the potential it has for Linnaeus University and the region.

The core idea is to establish iSchool (information School) at Linnaeus University. An iSchool refers to university-level research and education in the information field (iField) which relies on interdisciplinary approaches to enrich and facilitate generation, transfer and curation of data, information, and knowledge by the widespread use of technology in order to maximize the potential of humans.

The iSchools Organization today involves over 70 prestigious universities from around the world such as: University of California, Berkeley; University College London; University of California, Los Angeles; Cornell University; Carnegie Mellon University; University of British Columbia; University of Hong Kong; Humboldt University of Berlin, to mention a few of those ranked among the top 50 universities in the world. The University of Washington was one of the first iSchools that was instrumental in developing the iSchools movement into what it is today.

More about the iSchools organization can be found at and related project at Linnaeus University at

/Tamara Laketic

Visualization focus in Phoenix, Arizona

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

During October 1-6, 2017 Andreas Kerren, professor and Rafael Martins, Post-doc in Computer Science at Linnaeus University attended the IEEE VIS Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. IEEE VIS is the absolute top-level conference in the area of Visualization and this year they had, state-of-the-art presentations from the biggest names in the field.

During the conference Rafael Martins presented a paper at a co-located workshop, the 2nd Workshop on Visualization for the Digital Humanities (VIS4DH). The purpose of the workshop was to propose new research directions in visualization for the digital humanities, to familiarize the visualization research community with the problems faced by digital humanities researchers, and to foster future collaboration between visualization and digital humanities research.The paper presented by Rafael Martin is entitled StanceXplore Visualization for the Interactive Exploration of Stance in Social Media

The conference had a very strong focus on the combination of Machine Learning (ML) and Visualization, both from the perspective of interactive steering of ML techniques and also explaining the inner workings of complex techniques such as Deep Learning. There was also a lot of discussion about Visualization literacy, meaning, how people understand Visualization and how to improve on this.

Overall the conference was productive and full of interesting and diverse work and we are looking forward to see how the new insights can become valuable in from a DISA-perspective.


Seminar series within Digital Humanities

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

Digital Humanities Initiative at Linnaeus University with the support of Department of Cultural Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Humanities is happy to present a seminar series in the Digital Humanities (DH) field.

The DH Seminar series is aimed at providing a forum for relevant DH discussions in the region and beyond, inspiring collaboration with wider audiences about the emerging field of DH field and LNU’s DH Initiative, thus both strengthening the DH Initiative’s established network, as well as creating a space for collaboration between universities and cross-sectoral partners at national and international levels.

Seminars planned for the autumn of 2017 are

  • 25 September 13.00-14.30 (M1051), What’s in a name? – Metadata and the curation of access to digital audiovisual collections: Dagmar Brunow, Senior Lecturer, Department of Film and Literature, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Linnaeus University
  • 17 October 13.00-14.30 (K2084), Too much information? – Negotiating the archives of the web: Jane Winters, Professor, Institute of Historical Research, School of Advanced Study, University of London
  • 28 November 13.00-14.30 (K2054), Some perspectives on digital and critical text editions: Elisabet Göransson, Associate Professor, Centre for Languages and Literature, Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences, Lund University
  • 06 December 13.00-14.00 (K1040), Open Data in the Age of Big Data Capitalism: Arwid Lund, Senior Lecturer, Department of Cultural Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Linnaeus University

The Seminars are open to everyone, but please register by sending an email to


Co-chairing at BESC2017

Monday, May 29th, 2017

BESC 2017 is the 4th International Conference on Behavioral, Economic, and Socio-Cultural Computing and will take place in AGH – University of Science and Technology, Krakow, Poland / 16-18 October, 2017. BESC 2017 aims to become a premier forum for researchers and industry practitioners from data mining, artificial intelligence, statistics and analytics, business and marketing, finance and politics, and behavioral, economic, social and psychological sciences can meet, present and together identify future research directions.

Our own Koraljka Golub, Accociate Professor and involved in the DISA work in Digital Humanities will be Co-chairing the track for Digital Humanities during the conference.