Recordings from the University of Canterbury’s seminar, “The Frontiers of DH: Humanities Systems Infrastructure,” held November 12, 2015, are now available on YouTube. The seminar featured talks from Alan Liu (University of California, Santa Barbara), Paul Arthur (Western Sydney University), and James Smithies (Kings College London), aimed to “start thinking about what humanities systems infrastructure is, what it might become, and what values and goals should be used to develop it.”
Can digital humanities research and development be redirected from being primarily instruments of institution work to also becoming ways to act on institutions and their wider social impact? What methodological framework can assist the making of a revisionary “enterprise technology”? What kinds of scholarship, projects, and tool-building might constitute a critical digital humanities?
Infrastructure projects can be a powerful catalyst for building connections across disciplines, and between internal and external stakeholders. But to achieve the greatest benefits a priority needs to be placed on developing translational skills across the domains of humanities, IT and computer science.
Humanists are often resistant to conversations about infrastructure, viewing it as a topic better suited to managers and technical experts. By undertaking a humanities-centered systems analysis of our infrastructure however, we unlock a range of technical, cultural and socio-political issues – and create opportunities to develop a global humanities infrastructure of massive value to future generations.