Knowledge Organization and Data Modeling in the Humanities Providence (Rhode Island, March 14-16, 2012)

26 Jan 2012 - 00:00

The Centre for Digital Editions in Würzburg and the Brown University Center for Digital Scholarship are pleased to announce a workshop entitled “Knowledge Organization and Data Modeling in the Humanities.” This event, sponsored by a generous grant from the DFG/NEH Bilateral Digital Humanities Program, brings together digital humanists, humanities scholars, and information theorists to consider how digital methods of knowledge representation in the humanities have developed during the past thirty years. Through theoretical papers, case studies, panel sessions, and discussion, the workshop will explore how the various models now available to us shape and inflect the research objects we create and the research we undertake with them.

For a full schedule, list of invited participants, and abstracts please see

Although the workshop itself is limited by time and space, we would like to encourage virtual participation in several different ways.
Between now and the workshop event, we'll be highlighting each session and its participants in turn on the workshop web site, inviting questions and preliminary discussion. We also invite virtual participation in the workshop via twitter and chat; more detail on that will be forthcoming. All comments, questions, and contributions will be of great value to us in writing the final white paper, which (together with the presentations) will be published online.

To frame the presentations and discussion we will keep in mind a set of larger theoretical and strategic questions, which will be the focus of the white paper arising from the workshop:

Why do certain ways of modeling humanities data feel natural to us, and what hidden assumptions (about texts, artifacts, usage, and scholarship) do they reflect?
Do data models reflect real information structures or create them?

  • What are the practical and strategic advantages of specific models in specific contexts?
  • What are the latent or explicit politics of knowledge representation systems?
  • What do we learn from changes in representational models over time?
  • What new developments in information modeling might hold value for the humanities?
  • What are the most urgent and compelling research questions in information modeling for the humanities? where are these being
  • addressed?
  • Where are information modeling issues visible in the work of digital humanities scholarship? what is their practical impact and where can insights into information modeling improve the effectiveness or quality of these projects?
  • How do information models and humanities scholarship intersect, and where do we see them exerting mutual pressure on one another? what can information modeling learn from humanities scholarship and vice versa?