Budapest, Hungary

Cultures of Dissent in Eastern Europe (1945-1989): Research Approaches in the Digital Humanities

online course
when 22 June 2020 - 30 June 2020
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 1.5 EC
fee EUR 450

This 7-day seminar in digital humanities research methods is designed to expose a new generation of scholars in Cold War history and culture to methods of analysis and discovery involving computational techniques. Designed and run by NEP4DISSENT (New Exploratory Phase in Research on East European Cultures of Dissent, nep4dissent.eu), COST Action 16213, the inspiration for the course is built around the transfer of knowledge from technologists and data scientists to humanists. In the course of the 7-day session the participants will have hands-on experience with the entire life cycle of a digital humanities project design, leading to a single, tangible outcome in the form of a fully searchable and interactive dataset usable for art-curatorial purposes. Faculty are drawn from several disciplines and areas of specialization, in close cooperation with: the Blinken Open Society Archives (OSA); the History Department at CEU; the Department of Network and Data Science at CEU; the Department of Hungarian Literature and Cultural Studies at ELTE; the COURAGE H2020 project; the Center for Digital Humanities at the Institute of Literary Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences (CHC); CLARIN-Poland; the Center for Digital History at the University of Luxembourg (C2DH) ; and the LAB1100 in The Hague.

The focus of this year’s Cultures of Dissent SUN course will be conceptual mapping. In addition to our usual practice of using digital history methodologies to track events and movements of historical actors, we will conduct several thought experiments on these methods might work with intellectual history and political thought. Some of our work towards this goal will be entirely analog, and resemble a typical seminar-style discussion, while other methods will include mining secondary literature, graphing institutional intersections, and cross-referencing different kinds of oppositional activities (academic, artistic, musical, performative, design) over time. As with all of our research in NEP4DISSENT, this training school will work across national contexts and languages, to truly reflect the diversity of cultural contexts in the region, and to push against the limits of comparative history.

Before the session begins in late June, we will identify three or four overlapping collections of digitized historical resources to analyze as a group; participants will be encouraged to bring in complementary research materials. During our course, we will further process, curate, and analyze these collections, creating a dataset in the Nodegoat online research environment (nodegoat.net) and a full-text corpus of a selection of the materials. After an intensive crash-course on data modeling of basic metadata (assuming no prior experience in this area), we will demonstrate how we might extract more metadata from full-text corpora using linguistic analysis. From this point we will teach/demonstrate/practice the relevant visualization methods: mapping, network analysis, and further steps text analysis, possibly laying the groundwork for a larger scale research project or interactive exhibit. Participants in the course will be able to observe and practice the whole process of data curation and analysis, but more importantly, discuss the research implications of our decisions at every stage.

Course leader

Jessie Labov, Center for Media, Data and Society, Central European University/Academic and Institutional Development, McDaniel College Budapest Budapest, Hungary
Piotr Wciślik, Digital Humanities Centre at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish

Target group

We expect to have about 20-25 participants. Our target audience is twofold:
1) the participants in the COST Action, whose travel, lodging and per diem would be covered by the Action’s budget;
2) students, scholars, archivists, and even activists with an interest in the intersection of Cold War history, opposition culture, and digital humanities.

Ideally, our participants would be evenly divided between these two groups. We see this SUN course as an opportunity to widen our network, to bring in relevant people we have not previously identified, and to offer a new set of skills and knowledge to the CEU community.

No prior knowledge of any computational methods, or even data-driven approaches to research are expected from the participants. However, we will be targeting scholars, librarians/archivists, and art and cultural heritage curators, who can bring first-hand knowledge of the main research area.

Participants will be expected to have either:
a) carried out a medium- to large-scale research project on a related topic; OR
b) have a clearly articulated interest in adding a digital component to their research design; OR
c) worked extensively as an archivist or curator with materials related to this topic

Course aim

The focus of this year’s Cultures of Dissent SUN course will be conceptual mapping. In addition to our usual practice of using digital history methodologies to track events and movements of historical actors, we will conduct several thought experiments on these methods might work with intellectual history and political thought. Some of our work towards this goal will be entirely analog, and resemble a typical seminar-style discussion, while other methods will include mining secondary literature, graphing institutional intersections, and cross-referencing different kinds of oppositional activities (academic, artistic, musical, performative, design) over time. As with all of our research in NEP4DISSENT, this training school will work across national contexts and languages, to truly reflect the diversity of cultural contexts in the region, and to push against the limits of comparative history.

Credits info

1.5 EC
CEU Summer University awards a certificate of attendance upon successful completion of the course. In order to gain this certificate, participants will be expected to attend and actively participate in all classes and complete assignments required by the course.

Fee info

EUR 450: payable until May 28, 2020
EUR 400: payable until March 30, 2020

Scholarships

A limited number of tuition waivers will be offered on a competitive basis.

NEP4DISSENT COST Action participants:
Travel and accommodation costs will be covered, and tuition fees waived for successful applicants who are already a part of the NEP4DISS