University of Luxembourg | March 21, 2017
Groningen University (Slides in PDF)
Digital History as methodological interdisciplinarity: using tools, methods, and concepts from other disciplines to the benefit of historical research (Klein 2014)
Alignment of scholarly values with digital technology as two-way street:
What makes your discipline a discipline?
How is it different from Computer Science?
Why did you choose this discipline?
Disciplines can be described according to 2 aspects: cognitive & social
Technical terminology per field:
Becher (1987) Disciplinary discourse
Gieryn (1983) Boundary-Work and the Demarcation of Science from Non-Science
Boundary work: defining a disciplinary field by contrasting it with other fields
Just as readers come to know Holmes better through contrasts to his foil Watson, so does the public better learn about "science" through contrasts to "non-science."
Is Digital History a disciplinary activity?
[T]hose sets of practices, arrangements and mechanisms bound together by necessity, affinity and historical coincidence which, in a given area of professional expertise, make up how we know what we know Knorr Cetina (2007)
Disciplines demarcate a group of peers, concerned with specific techniques, and subjects
More flexible concepts are "community of practice" or "epistemic culture"
Why would we want to be interdisciplinary?
Wanneer er reden is om verschillende disciplines te onderscheiden ... is er tevens reden ze niet met elkaar te vermengen
Did any of you follow courses from other disciplines? Why?
What are limitations of your discipline?
Choi & Pak (2006) Multidisciplinarity, interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity in health research, services, education and policy
Gibbons (1994) The New Production of Knowledge
Mode 1: complex of ideas, methods, values, norms, and ensure "compliance with what is considered sound scientific practice"
|Mode 1||Mode 2|
Let's view interdisciplinary per the typology of Becher & Parry (2005)
"What do you call a grad student without a supervisor: Interdisciplinary." - @ChadGaffield
Interdisciplinarity is interesting, but not the easiest route to take
To be truly interdisciplinary, need coordination
[A]n arena in which radically different activities could be locally, but not globally, coordinated Galison (1996)
The assumption is that the different communities in this 'arena' cannot coordinate actions on a global scale
Why not? For example, why can't history and computer science do that?
Cannot judge one discipline in the terminology of another
No neutral ground on which to compare the two
Define common goals
Create a shared language: pidgin/creole
Establish shared practices?
[T]he process by which the beliefs and practices of one community diffuse across the boundaries of another and subsequently alter the second community's practices and interpretations Barley (1988)
What kind of trading zones do we see with Digital History?
|Collaboration||Digital History as inter-language - A new discipline?
- McCarty (2005)
|Digital History as fractioned trading zone - A dual citizenship for practioners and research objects?
- Svensson, Klein, Hunter, Rieder & Röhle
|Coercion||Digital History as subversive - Historians assuming the practice
of Computer Science, but not the expertise (or vice versa)?
|Digital History as enforced - A power struggle of who decides what the digital technology will do?
- Mounier (2015)
Problem: DH discussed as a homogeneous phenomenon, a single trading zone
Commonly assumed the category of digital humanities TZ
Two different types: boundary objects and interactional expertise
[O]bjects which are both plastic enough to adapt to local needs and the constraints of the several parties employing them, yet robust enough to maintain a common identity across sites. They are weakly structured in common use, and become strongly structured in individual site use.
Star & Griesemer (1989)
Related to the earlier mentioned pidgin
Evans & Collins (2010) describe 3 forms of expertise:
Both types of experts share the same social environment
Interactional experts can share the discussion, but not add in practice
Interdisciplinarity can then occur on several levels:
Global incommensurability between disciplines
Within trading zones: local coordination
Acculturation: what happens when you are long enough in a TZ?
Sit in groups of 4, with people from different backgrounds
Discuss the following questions
Academia structured into disciplines
Interdisciplinary research promising for engaging with a subject from different perspectives, but not easy
Within interdisciplinary contact, trading zones form to coordinate language and practices
Trading zones can either take the form of: