Scholarly Primitives - DARIAH Annual Event 2020

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Scholarly Primitives - DARIAH Annual Event 2020

In this community we present abstracts and outcomes of the DARIAH Annual Event 2020 which will take place virtually in the fall. 

Scholarly Primitives

It has been twenty years since John Unsworth first formulated scholarly primitives as a set of recursive and interrelated functions that form the foundations of research activities across disciplines, theoretical frameworks or eras. Ever since, these basic scholarly functions  -- discovering, annotating, comparing, referring, sampling, illustrating and representing -- have proved to be useful not only for categorizing the fundamentals of knowledge production in the humanities, but also as a framework for conceptualizing Digital Humanities tools which support these processes.

The time is ripe to revisit and freshly interrogate both the notion and the scope of scholarly primitives. To what extent does this particular set of scholarly primitives still correspond to our understanding of what humanities scholars do on a day-to-day basis? Has our understanding of research workflows changed over time significantly enough to require a new classification? Can we -- and should we -- put our conceptualization of scholarly primitives into a historical perspective as an expression of a particular stage in the development of Digital Humanities? Have scholarly primitives been conceptually robust enough to keep up with the field, which now includes big data, visual analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence? Finally, are scholarly primitives -- and the way we speak of research as we build tools to support it -- free of ideology and bias? 

These theoretical questions frame and encapsulate the challenges of building a digital research infrastructure and developing state-of-the art tools that aid humanities scholars in their work. They make us think about whether research infrastructures are capable of supporting each stage of the research process and how we can best assess their scope and effectiveness.  They also bring into focus the question of whether the development of new tools and methods is simply changing the practicalities of conducting research, or whether it is also expanding the horizons of knowledge production in the humanities in more fundamental ways. What are the gaps and discontinuities in our understanding of scholarly primitives and, more generally, DH tools and methods that we should address in order to build comprehensive, flexible, dynamic, open and sustainable research infrastructures?

DARIAH is happy to announce John Unsworth as keynote speaker at the Annual Event 2020. 

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April 23, 2020
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