Citizen Humanities Comes of Age: Crowdsourcing for the Humanities in the 21st Century

Citizen Humanities Comes of Age: Crowdsourcing for the Humanities in the 21st Century, King’s College London, September 9–10, 2015

Research in the humanities was once the preserve of an academic and professional elite, conducted in universities, libraries, museums and archives, with clear criteria for belonging to the communities undertaking it. In the last ten years however, science and business, which shared this culture of exclusivity with the humanities, has found these boundaries challenged through crowdsourcing, and have flourished as a result. This collaborative and interdisciplinary symposium, organized jointly by KCL’s Department of Digital Humanities (DDH) and Stanford University’s Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA), seeks to explore the ways in which humanities and cultural heritage research is enriched through scholarly crowdsourcing. It brings together the unique perspectives on the subject that DDH and CESTA have developed over the past three years, including DDH’s Crowd-Sourcing Scoping Study funded by the AHRC (URL), and Stanford’s Humanities Crowdsourcing research theme. These activities represent the cutting edge of humanities crowdsourcing in both its theory and its practice; and the symposium’s main aim is to build a bridge between the two. It will include presentations from this emerging field’s leading scholars and practitioners.

The meeting will explore the arc between the inception of humanities crowd-sourcing as a method of data processing adopted largely uncritically from big science, to its present instance as as means of interrogating fuzzy and disparate humanities research data in new ways using ‘non-professional’ engagement and input, and to future possibilities involving completely new ways of co-producing humanities research across increasingly blurred institutional and professional boundaries.

Registration is £20, including lunch on both days and refreshments.