May 29, 2014, by Katharina Lorenz
Digital Humanities Network: the Digital Media Lab at UNNC (May 14, 2014)
Last week Nottingham’s Digital Humanities Network held its first event, part of a series over the next few months of exploring Digital Humanities facilities across the Nottingham campuses and its partner institutions.
The first of these visits was to UNNC, Nottingham’s campus at Ningbo China, where colleagues have been busy setting up the “Digital Media Lab”, a resource which shares features with the Digital Humanities Centre on Nottingham’s UK Park campus, from whose genesis it has learned.
The Humanities and the Digital
We have been using digital tools for a while now across the Arts and Humanities – some of us more comfortably than others. Still, there is no way around the fact that digital technologies are here to stay in our disciplines – and indeed that our work can greatly profit from them because they help us do things we did before quicker, cheaper, and more accurately; and also because they allow us to do things we did not even know we would want to do a decade ago, but now turn out to have great benefits for an enhanced understanding of our subjects. The best example remains the Old Bailey Online project.
One of the key challenges of “going digital” for humanities scholars is the necessity of collaboration – collaboration in order to find experts who might be able to point to – or, better: provide! – the necessary technical skills to pursue our research questions through the digital; and collaboration in order to access the hard- and software necessary to carry out this research once we have identified what we want to do, and how we want to do it.
Our series of facilities visits (mostly via video-link) addresses this need for finding out who (and what) might be out there to help us in our work (and also lure some of those in who are not currently considering themselves “digital”).
The Digital Media Lab at UNNC
The first event brought together, on the Nottingham UK side, representatives from the Centre of Advanced Studies, IT Services, and members of two now completed projects, the AHRC Digital Transformations network “Data – Asset – Method. Harnessing the Infinite Archive” and the AHRC Creative Economy and Knowledge Exchange project “From Archive to Asset”.
Our hosts on the Ningbo side, all based in UNNC’s School of International Communications, took us through a series of presentations, on the general structure of their Digital Media Lab and on some of the exiting research and teaching projects they carry out, ranging from the analysis of narrative in games (including Pokemon on Twitch TV!) and transmedia storytelling to (teaching) the impact of using Google Search, and to open journalism and film co-creation. All presentations can be accessed below: