How to Think Like a Humanist about Information | Public Lecture

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Bob and Sheila Hoerle Lecture Hall, University Center, 63 Fifth Avenue, UL105

The methods and practices of the humanities and humanistic social science disciplines have the power to transform our understanding of information and computation, while computational methods and quantitative approaches now offer new paths for inquiry in these disciplines.

In this lecture, Rachel Sagner Buurma, Associate Professor in the Department of English Literature, Swarthmore College, will show how. Examples drawn from work at the intersection of information science and humanistic text-based study will act as touchstones for a series of key questions in this emerging area. How can we grapple with the questions of scale raised by access to large digitized and born-digital corpora? How is our thinking about standards of evidence enriched by the encounter between longstanding models of evidence in the humanities and qualitative social sciences and the assumptions and affordances of computational methods and quantitative approaches? How are ideas about the representation and transformation of text being refreshed by theories and practices of algorithmic transformation? And what new histories and models of knowledge production do we need in order to contextualize this kind of work within our disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge worlds?