Our Infrastructure Symposium in London, brought together the foremost thinkers in Digital Humanities and Social Sciences from around the world to discuss how we might properly recognise the value of Infrastructure as a research output.

The humanities are confronted not only with digital culture, tools, and methods, but a vast and continually expanding global cyber-infrastructure that underpins, enables, and challenges the work we do. The scale of this infrastructure, which ranges from physical wires threading across nations and under oceans, to library search systems, government databases, economic processes, international governance protocols, and humble desktop software, raises a plethora of issues related to epistemology and our relationship to cultural and intellectual production.

This symposium aimed to reset the conversation about that infrastructure, by bringing together people interested in a very wide range of humanities infrastructure, from hacking Raspberry Pis to managing trans-national archives, building humanities laboratories, engaging in big data research, and managing teams of people. The goal was to interrogate our assumptions about what humanities infrastructure is, in order to block, hack, break, and deform our collective infrastructure-enabled futures. By timing the event immediately before DH 2016 Krakow we aimed to seed ongoing conversations.

In addition to exploring humanities infrastructure, afternoon workshops discussed the establishment of a Digital Humanities Critical Infrastructure Collective and the possible production of a website, pamphlet or pamphlet series, edited anthology, large-scale funding proposals, media art installations, and/or future panel discussions to accompany it.

The day provided animated and constructive discussion and debate and has lead to groundwork for an Infrastructure Collective and secured a commitment from many participants to move the agenda forward.

Alan Liu summed up the challenges to be discussed in his opening address and the other notable speakers are included in the videos below to show some of the breadth of the debate.

KDL need to thank all the participants at the symposium for their generous insight:

  • Bob Allen, Yonsei University
  • Sheila Anderson, King’s College London
  • Paul Arthur, University of Western Sydney
  • Jean Bauer, Princeton University
  • Geoff Browall, King’s College London
  • Arianna Ciula, Roehampton University
  • Mark Cote, King’s College London
  • Ginestra Ferraro, King’s College London
  • Luis Figueira, King’s College London
  • Elliott Hall, King’s College London
  • Mark Hedges, King’s College London
  • Tim Hitchcock, University of Sussex
  • Neil Jakeman, King’s College London
  • Roman Klapaukh, Victoria University of Wellington
  • Conny Kristel, NIOD, Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies
  • Faith Lawrence, King’s College London
  • Alan Liu, UC Santa Barbara
  • Carleigh Morgan, King’s College London
  • Geoffroy Noël, King’s College London
  • Daniel Powell, King’s College London
  • Andrew Prescott, University of Glasgow
  • Laurent Romary, INRIA / DARIAH
  • Charlotte Rouche, King’s College London
  • Tom Salyers, King’s College London
  • Sydney Shep, Victoria University of Wellington
  • Anna-Maria Sichani, Huygens ING
  • James Smithies, King’s College London
  • Paul Spence, King’s College London
  • Peter Stokes, King’s College London
  • Matt Symonds, University College London
  • Simon Tanner, King’s College London
  • Melissa Terras, University College London
  • Deb Verhoeven, Deakin University

Prof. Alan Liu, UoC, Santa Barbara

Prof. Andrew Prescott of Glasgow.

Prof. Tim Hitchcock of Sussex.

Jean Bauer, Associate Director The Center for Digital Humanities, Princeton

Prof. Sheila Anderson, King's College London

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