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New Digital Humanities Collaboration

Mar 04, 2013

Emerging from project B4 "Transcultural Visuality" and HRA expertise, several Cluster members have co-initiated “Archives of the Everyday”, a new collaboration with Leiden University and the University College London (UCL). The new collaboration will emphasise on Digital Humanities and start with a workshop from October 31 to November 2, 2013.

The "Archives of the Everyday" workshop aims to set up a research program that will explore both, emergent understandings of the archive, motivated in part by the burgeoning digital productions of our time, and the everyday as the locus of the ordinary, anonymous, and transient that so often has eluded the more eventful, political focus of much archival production. Centrestage of this endeavour are questions related to methodologies and concepts.

At the program’s core is an engagement with the construction of several collaborative digital archives connected to research carried out in Leiden, Heidelberg, and UCL. Foremost among these are the extensive Research Architecture being built by the Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe in a Global Context", the ongoing "Recording the Future" project on post-Suharto everyday life in Indonesia at the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV) Leiden, and current work in the Pacific by UCL researchers such as the Port Vila Mi Lavem Yu, an archive of everyday life that explores the nature of urban experience in Vanuatu.

Key questions include: How is digitisation affecting and altering the form, status, and power of knowledge, including the effects of how and where information is stored? What kinds of research and new research agendas are enabled by the creation of these relatively small virtual environments? How might the archiving of visual and audio-material entail different relations among such archives, digital objects, and the persons and collectivities from which they originate and to which they are beholden? What are the forms through which such archival knowledge and construction can productively be made to involve larger publics and what are the implications, possibilities and limitations of such publicity?

At the initiative of the Cluster’s Advisory Board member Prof. Patricia Spyer, the workshop is funded by the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS). Other members from the Heidelberg side are Prof. Barbara Mittler, Dr. Roos Gerritsen and Cathrine Bublatzky, as well as Eric Decker and Matthias Arnold (HRA).

Prof. Christiane Brosius is Professor of Visual and Media Anthropology and Speaker of Research Area B "Public Spheres" at the Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe in a Global Context". She is involved in several projects regarding digital resources.


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  • Christian memorabilia shop in Panjim, Goa. Photo: Christiane Brosius, 2010