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COMHUM 2018: Book of Abstracts for the Workshop on Computational Methods in the Humanities 2018

Laboratoire lausannois d'informatique et statistique textuelle

Piotrowski, Michael

It is often said that the digital humanities are “situated at the intersection of computer science and the humanities,” but what does this mean? We believe that the point of using computers in the humanities is not just to automatically analyze larger amounts of data or to accelerate research. We therefore prefer to understand digital humanities as (1) the study of means and methods of constructing formal models in the humanities and (2) as the application of these means and methods for the construction of concrete models in particular humanities disciplines.

The central research questions are thus correspondingly (1) which computational methods are most appropriate for dealing with the particular challenges posed by humanities research, e.g., uncertainty, vagueness, incompleteness, but also with different positions (points of view, values, criteria, perspectives, approaches, readings, etc.)? And (2) how can such computational methods be applied to concrete research questions in the humanities?

The goal of this workshop was to bring together researchers involved with computational approaches in the humanities with the objective of stimulating the research and exchange around innovative, methodologically explicit approaches, to encourage discussion among researchers and developers from different communities, and to help bridging the divide that still exists between the different disciplines involved in this field.

The workshop was organized by members of the Department of Language and Information Sciences (SLI) at the University of Lausanne, with the support of the Faculty of Arts: François Bavaud, Raphaël Ceré, Isaac Pante, Davide Picca, Stéphanie Pichot, Michael Piotrowski, Yannick Rochat, and Aris Xanthos.  It underlines the commitment of the Department of Language and Information Sciences (SLI) at the University of Lausanne to the computational dimension of the digital humanities, including formal and mathematical methods.

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