Call for Papers: “The Computational Turn”, Centre for Research in Art Science and Humanity

9 March 2010, Swansea University

“The application of new computational techniques and visualisation technologies in the Arts & Humanities are resulting in new approaches and methodologies for the study of traditional and new corpora of Arts and Humanities materials. This new ‘computational turn’ takes the methods and techniques from computer science to create new ways of distant and close readings of texts (e.g. Moretti). This one-day workshop aims to discuss the implications and applications of what Lev Manovich has called ‘Cultural Analytics’ and the question of finding patterns using algorthmic techniques. Some of the most startling approaches transform understandings of texts by use of network analysis (e.g. graph theory), database/XML encodings (which flatten structures), or merely provide new quantitative techniques for looking at various media forms, such as media and film, and (re)presenting them visually, aurally or haptically. Within this field there are important debates about the contrast between narrative against database techniques, pattern-matching versus hermeneutic reading, and the statistical paradigm (using a sample) versus the data mining paradigm. Additionally, new forms of collaboration within the Arts and Humanities are emerging which use team-based approaches as opposed to the traditional lone-scholar. This requires the ability to create and manage modular Arts and Humanities research teams through the organisational structures provided by technology and digital communications (e.g. Big Humanities), together with techniques for collaborating in an interdisciplinary way with other disciplines such as computer science (e.g. hard interdisciplinarity versus soft interdisciplinarity).

“Papers are encouraged in the following areas:
  • Distant versus Close Reading
  • Database Structure versus Argument
  • Data mining/Text mining/Patterns
  • Pattern as a new epistemological object
  • Hermeneutics and the Data Stream
  • Geospatial techniques
  • Big Humanities
  • Digital Humanities versus Traditional Humanities
  • Tool Building
  • Free Culture/Open Source Arts and Humanities
  • Collaboration, Assemblages and Alliances
  • Language and Code (software studies)
  • Information visualization in the Humanities
  • Philosophical and theoretical reflections on the computational turn