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Workshop ‘The History of Digital Cultures’

Our culture today is thoroughly digital, with people living, working, and playing online and through digital technologies such as personal computers and smartphones. This opens up a broad and rich field as well as an imperative for cultural historians to engage with it. Digital culture also confronts cultural historians with novel types of sources, such as emails, chatroom conversations, social media posts and digitally produced images, that present new methodological challenges.

This workshop, led by Dr Jochen Hung, will introduce students to this new field of research, discuss ways to engage with it and help them develop their own research projects about the history of digital culture.

Learning aims and outcomes

  • Common conceptions and definitions of digital culture and its history.
  • A range of scholarly methods used in cultural history and how they can be applied to digital cultures.
  • An understanding of how to develop their own research project, including finding a research question, appropriate methods and sources.

Indicative programme

09:30 – 10:30: Introduction and presentation

10:30 – 12:00: Can we write a cultural history of the digital? If so, how? – Discussion of core concepts and approaches

12:00 – 13:00: Lunchbreak

13:00 – 14:30: Groupwork: developing a research project about digital cultures

14:45 – 16:30: Presentations

Preliminary Literature:

  • Charlie Gere, ‘What is Digital Culture?’, in: C. Gere, Digital Culture. Reaction Books, 2008, pp. 11-20.
  • Fred Turner, ‘Can we write a cultural history of the Internet? If so, how?’, Internet Histories, Volume 1 (2017), Issue 1-2, 39-46.

Registrations open early September