[Humanist] 23.315 events: democratizing knowledge

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Wed Sep 23 07:06:14 CEST 2009

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 23, No. 315.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Tue, 22 Sep 2009 15:34:35 -0400
        From: hastac-web at duke.edu
        Subject: Join HASTAC Scholars' forum on Democratizing Knowledge

/NancyKimberly has sent you a group e-mail from HASTAC./

Dear colleagues,

Many of you are perfect examples of, and experts on, our newest HASTAC
Scholars' forum: Democratizing Knowledge (to see the first posts, scroll
down). Public scholarship, community collaboration, action research,
civically engaged pedagogy -- I know the HASTAC community would love to hear
from you.

Here's the link:

Organizations like HASTAC [2], Imagining America [3], the Obermann Graduate
Institute for Public Engagement at the University of Iowa [4], the Center for
Teaching at the University of Iowa [5], and the Simpson Center for the
Humanities at the University of Washington [6] aim to democratize knowledge
to reach out to "publics," share academic discoveries, and invite an array of
audiences to participate in knowledge production.  Of course, emerging
technologies and media offer the potential to widen even further the reach of
public scholarship and the breadth of community partnerships.

More specifically, in the context of the digital humanities, democratizing
knowledge often refers to making scholarship public, to opening access to
university resources and research through, for example, the creation and
preservation of digital archives and journals.

For scholars, these projects afford rich possibilities for deep collaborative
work that is ongoing and historically absent from the humanities' scholarly

Yet practitioners of the digital humanities can also democratize knowledge by
collaborating with their community partners to produce public scholarship,
often through action research, experiential learning, and civically engaged
pedagogy, all of which ultimately re-situate and reformulate expertise.
According to Teresa Mangum (faculty at University of Iowa and co-director of
the Obermann Institute on Public Engagement), as with new information
technologies, public scholarship can radically redefine who finds, owns, and
gives knowledge.  Put this way, the goal is for practitioners to forward
research and pedagogy while serving the community in a way that is a truly
reciprocal partnership.

With democratizing knowledge and the digital humanities in mind, we are
interested in learning more about people's varying experiences in (and
theories on) the use of emerging technologies and media to make scholarship
public and/or produce public scholarship.

We invite you to join us as we discuss

+ The requirements, terms, goals, practices and hopes for public scholarship
or engaging with public(s) vary depending on the project and groups
interacting. What are your best practices for developing and implementing
projects with your community?

+ What are the benefits and risks to consider when developing
community-driven or joint academic-community projects?

+ How are terms like "democracy," "public," and "scholarship" mobilized in
digital humanities projects, for whom, and to what effects? What are the
assumptions, definitions, and desires attached to each of these terms?

+ How do community partnerships affect perceptions and deployments of
expertise? Does the notion of "the expert" change or collapse?"

+ How do you evaluate different forms of technology for your public knowledge
projects? Have some forms of technology been more useful or productive than


Nancy Kimberly
HASTAC Project Manager

[2] http://www.hastac.org
[3] http://www.imaginingamerica.org/
[4] http://www.uiowa.edu/obermann/
[5] http://www.uiowa.edu/%7Ecenteach/
[6] http://depts.washington.edu/uwch/index.php

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