Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
#SG4: Embodied Archives Paper Session 1
Thursday, 25/Jul/2019:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Tassie Gniady
Location: Marquis C, Marriott City Center
capacity 60

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Transforming Archives in Indigenous Languages into Language-Learning Software

Alexa Little

7000 Languages, United States of America

43% of the world’s languages are endangered, and hundreds are no longer spoken. For Indigenous communities, access to archival materials is an important element of promoting and reviving their languages. However, many archival materials are in a format incompatible with language-learning or even user-friendly access.

We are a nonprofit that helps Indigenous communities sustain and revive their languages by creating digital courses.

In this presentation, we will demonstrate our simple process for converting archival materials in Indigenous languages into free language-learning courses. Our program is free and requires minimal technical ability. We will show how to structure a .csv or .xml file so that it can be processed by our software. We will also discuss some of the challenges of translating archival data into language courses, as well as the complicated issues of copyright, ownership, and access that can occur with Indigenous language projects. (In our case, copyright over the archival materials remains with the copyright holder, although copies of the courses are posted to our nonprofit website and the website of our donor.) Finally, we will display examples of courses and language-learning activities that could result from converting archival materials.

Our goal is to reach archivists and institutions who may have collections of Indigenous language materials, and to encourage them to make the materials accessible to community members who want to learn their heritage language.

Participatory Methods and Knowledge Generation to Support Decision Making under Uncertainties

Eveline Wandl-Vogt1, Enric Senabre2, Amelie Dorn1

1Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities-ÖAW, Austria; 2Open University Catalonia, Internet Interdisciplinary Institute, Dimmons, Spain

This presentation aims to introduce into participatory methods and knowledge generation to support decision making under uncertainties, and exemplifies this with a certain DH project (currently ongoing, 3 years, 4 european partners, multidisciplinary international european project with workpackage on open innovation).

The project aims to develop a multimodal, collaborative platform and share knowledge with the broad range of actors and stakeholders beyond the research community.

Community-based research, where communities can be involved as full partners in proposing and designing projects and solutions along with researchers, represents a challenge in modalities of interaction and as a relationship-building process. With its roots in the action-research tradition of social sciences, community-based research has recently integrated design thinking, with co-design as it’s more collaborative dimension. This way, collaborative creativity can combine visual and conversational modalities for the definition and solving of problems based on design, generating different types and forms of cross-organizational knowledge.

A key principle of co-design is to be able to involve community participants in two types of moments or stages that complement and feed each other : moments of divergence (group dynamics to be able to generate maximum options, ideas and possible variants) and moments of convergence (participatory techniques to select from among the options generated, focusing on them in a consensual and argued manner).

For this study, based on thay key distinction, the following three multimodal methods of co-design in community-based research were tested:

1) Dotmocracy or Dot-voting
a collaborative convergence technique for finding consensus

2) Conceptual Prototyping
(usually based on paper, or on very basic digital interfaces) allows to build the minimum enough to test ideas

3) Toolkits and Canvas
key mode of co-design, a set of canvas materials prepared by experts in participatory design dynamics

In this presentation the authors focus on the interaction with the communities and offer insights into first experiments based on a range of actors in all societal areas against the background of the Quintuple Helix model (1. University, Research, Science; 2. Government, Politics; 3. Media, Society; 4. Business, Industry; 5. Environment).

The results are described based on participant observation as well as interviews.

Digital Archives from Below: Notes from Alternative Toronto

Lilian Radovac

University of Toronto, Canada

Alternative Toronto is a pilot digital humanities project that is bringing the spirit of the History Workshop movement into the digital realm. A loose collective of historians, archivists, artists and activists, we're building a community-contributed archive of Toronto’s alternative cultures, scenes and spaces of the 1980s and 90s, with a special emphasis on pre-Internet antiauthoritarian, antiracist, and trans*/feminist/queer movements. Our goal is to document radical and countercultural microhistories of this period in order to facilitate intergenerational conversations about how local social and political change happens, while bridging the widening gap between scholarly and public research. As we grow and share our collection, we encourage contributors and visitors to envision what a permanent archive from below might look like.

In this presentation, I’ll discuss the project's rationale and working process and position it in relation to the wider social justice turn in DH, as exemplified by Documenting Ferguson, A People's Archive of Police Violence in Cleveland and Torn Apart/Separados, among other projects. In particular, I want to highlight the importance of interdisciplinary collaborations that combine data collection and visualization with critical historical and ethnographic research, with an eye toward helping contemporary activists to learn, connect and organize in the context of current social crises. I conclude by arguing that this approach is especially necessary in Canada, where social movement history is still under-documented in comparison with the U.S. and U.K., which in turn undermines our ability to resist the injustices of the present.

A Canadian Utopia: A Communal Approach to Digital Scholarship

Lydia Zvyagintseva

University of Alberta Libraries, Canada

This talk operates on the assumption that critique is important, but acts of imagination and possibility are necessary now more than ever, both in the academy and society more broadly. Inspired by Frederic Jameson reimagining utopia, I am responding to Gaudry and Lorenz’s call to envision a socially just Canadian academy beyond mechanisms of inclusion (2018). Recognizing contemporary debates of indigenization of academic spaces and programs in Canada, I am interested in adopting the ideas of a resurgence-based decolonial indigenization as an opportunity to apply the benefits of balanced power relations to all learners.

From this starting point, I explore the digital scholarship centre as a site for putting into practice Ranciere’s theories of radical intellectual equality and a commitment to intellectual liberation. I also draw on Leanne Betasamosake Simpson’s idea of land as pedagogy as a frame to reconsider knowledge creation and dissemination. My goal with this presentation is to create a space to ask the following questions: What should be the role of the academy in a society where the material conditions of its members have been met and the fundamental relationship is not based on exchange? Can the digital scholarship centre model non-oppressive organization approaches in the context of a research and learning institution?

As such, I focus on several issues as critical components of an imaginary digital scholarship and meaningfully inefficient approaches to knowledge production using technology. These include the importance of responsibilities as well as rights, learning by doing and community-based research, collaborative publication, digital citizenship, the tensions of openness and gatekeeping.

Digital scholarship centres, much like makerspaces in public libraries, have the potential to embody a commitment to public humanities. However, the very definitions of the public good and disciplinarity will require an epistemological reframing in such a proposed utopian context.

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