DH@lboro is an interdisciplinary, cross-school research group in the digital humanities led by the School of Arts, English and Drama. Bringing together colleagues working in English, Linguistics, Publishing, Drama, Fine Arts, Graphic Communication and Design, History, Social Science, Business and Economics, Computer Science and the Library, the group provides a regular forum for discussion and knowledge exchange on all aspects of digital humanities, digital media and digital environments. DH@lboro considers the pervasiveness of the digital in contemporary culture and society and the phenomenology of our interaction with the digital in the arts, visual culture, communication, cultural heritage, and literary studies. Its mission is to study these digital ecologies and foster the development of new digital models and tools.
The work of the group cuts across the following key areas.
Digital methods in arts practice and research
The digital functions as a means for discovery and understanding, in digitally-enabled research as well as more broadly in arts and cultural practice. Explorations in this area look at how the use of digital media can be used and exploited to stimulate and create new, meaningful insights and experiences at the intellectual, cognitive or emotional level. Researchers from the Arts and Drama are creating innovative, practice-led research in digital storytelling helping communities narrate, capture and share experiences that affect them and their environment. Their contribution to Drought Risk and You (DRY) Project, a multi-stakeholder project funded by theNERC, ESRC, EPSRC, BBSRC and AHRC (2014-2017) on drought risk management, resulted in the development of a resource that used narrative practice to increase interpretative competence of people enabling to better understand, participate in, and influence scientific research and decision-making processes. Work is ongoing in Digital Innovation in Cultural and Heritage Education in the light of 21st Century Learning, supported by the Erasmus+ Programme, Strategic Partnership KA2, a project that aims to create a theoretical framework and practical toolkit (such as a web app to make digital stories) to integrate digital resources and opportunities in primary education.
Within this area we study artefacts – the book, the text, the archive, the art work, the corpus – in analogue and digital form. Looking at born-digital and digitized objects, this research looks at ways in which readers, publishers, artists, archivists and curators engage with the computer screen and its technologies for the purpose of accessing, preserving and displaying textual material and paper artefacts. By looking for common ground in a collaborative, cross-disciplinary forum, we seek to provide a new account of the artefactual “form” and its accessibility in the digital environment. Three projects that operate in this area are: Editing Aphra Behn in the Digital Age (funded by the AHRC), After the Digital Revolution: Bringing together archivists and scholars to preserve born-digital records and produce new knowledge (funded by The British Academy) and Understanding the Meaning of Dance: The Potential for Kinesemiotics (supported by Loughborough University’s CALIBRE programme).
Serving as an epistemological entry into the digital humanities, this area of interest is concerned with an understanding of/in the digital. With a view to developing a new theoretical perspective of and critical take on the digital humanities, we are engaging with questions about how users deal with the apparent loss of materiality in the digital; how people engage with and understand how digital data, digital tools, digital media, and digital networks operate; what affordances, efficiencies or obstacles the digital offers; and so on. Under this umbrella we are looking at further conceptual and methodological implications and conclusions that are emerging from the research carried out in the above two areas about the digital as a heuristic, hermeneutic and even meaning-making device or medium. This area involves researchers at Loughborough working in knowledge and information management, data mining and visualization, and digital curation, with debates about Open Access and Creative Commons providing an important focus too.