This week, I participated to a conference on Digital Humanities in Oslo. It was the first conference organized by the organisation Digital Humanities in the Nordic countries.
I presented a joint paper with my Humlab-colleague Anna Johansson, “The blindspot of Digital Humanities or What Ethnography can contribute.” Our presentation addressed the relation between digital humanities (DH) and digital ethnography (DE) with focus on the significance of small and thick data for understanding digital culture. Ethnography as the process and product of qualitative research is applied in several disciplines in the humanities in order to describe, explain and understand cultural practices, constructions and interactions. Although ethnography is an important method for the study of digital culture, it is rarely addressed in literature about DH. Our paper discusses the relation between DH and DE and explain how and why DE can be a productive contribution to DH with focus on reflexivity and ethics.
Longer abstract available here.
This year too, I will participate to the SIEF Congress, the biennal conference of the International Society for Ethnology and Folklore. This time, it takes place in Zagreb, Croatia, June 21-25.
Together with my colleague Robert Glenn Howard, from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, we organize the panel Inheritance of the digital: ethnographic approaches to everyday realities in, of, and through digital technologies.
I will also present a paper, Traditional knowledge: new experts:
The dualism of the Internet, inherited from on one hand an ideology of individual freedom, and on the other hand from efforts for the consolidation of institutional power, is reiterated in contemporary digital practices and discourses. The Internet is seen as a source of hopes and expectations for an increased democratization and empowerment that could benefit not least minority and marginalized groups. But it is also an arena where power structures, institutional and non-institutional, meet and develop. In this context, indigenous initiatives multiply, for instance for the revitalization of endangered languages, in activism and for knowledge production. Consequently, the recent increased use of digital practices implies that new experts and authorities emerge, challenging and bypassing institutional structures. As an effect of the re-shaping of the settings for knowledge production in (and by) digital practices, academic research is also to be re-defined and problematized. Scholarly expertise, academic authority and the role of the traditional producer of knowledge are challenged by the emergence of new experts and new forms of authority online. Based on knowledge and experience acquired from indigenous methodologies, this paper discusses the role, position and responsibility of the researcher in a context where the digital is becoming a natural part of everyday life.
Our new publication is out! Hybrid Media Culture. Sensing Place in a World of Flows (Ed. Simon Lindgren) is the result of a collaborative work in the Media Places project at HUMlab.
My chapter in this book, “The hybrid emergence of Sámi expressive culture”, focuses on how the Internet has become a site for adaptation of traditional cultural practices as well as the production and emergence of new ones. The chapter investigates the digital as the locus for expressive culture in a context of revitalization with the specific case of the Sámi, indigenous people of Scandinavia. The ongoing revitalization of Sámi culture and languages requires changing community attitudes, a process that can be observed online and offline. But more importantly, revitalization is a process that is initiated and put in practice on many scenes, and the Internet is certainly one of these. This study investigates the intersection, overlap, and tensions between online and offline sites. It exposes three dimensions of hybridity: between traditional aesthetic practices and their representations online, between the vernacular and the institutional, and between local and global aspects.
I want to share with you 2 interesting and inspiring talks that are available online.
Anders Ekström (KTH) visited HUMlab on April 14th and talked about Performing publics at the early twentieth-century fun fair.
Rita Raley from UC Santa Barbara was in HUMlab yesterday. Her presentation about Interactive text events is archived here.
These two seminars are part of HUMlab’s seminar series for the spring semester. All presentations are streamed and archived. Enjoy!