Aliisa Råmark MA
Area(s) of interest: Digital Humanities, Heritage Studies, Memory Studies
Cohort/Start PhD: 2023-2024
MEMORISE: Virtualisation and Multimodal Exploration of Heritage on Nazi Persecution (Working title)
Overarching project: MEMORISE
Supervisors: Dr. Edwin van Meerkerk, Prof.dr. Paul Verschure
Duration: 15 September 2023 – 15 September 2027
The PhD project is part of an EU’s Horizon Europe funded project MEMORISE that aims to preserve and present Heritage related to Nazi Persecution (HNP) in the post-witness era. HNP appears in various forms such as diaries, letters and testimonies that capture memories of eyewitnesses, or registers like death records, deportation statistics and historical photographs that provide important contextual information to these memories. MEMORISE will create a framework to preserve and enhance HNP by virtualising and linking multimodal HNP data resources and by developing and offering novel digital technologies to the general public for accessing, exploring and engaging with HNP. These digital tools include the development of a novel smartphone app that narrates victims’ experiences on the basis of diaries, augmented reality (AR) solutions to enhance memorial site visitor experiences and a web-based interface that gives access to all materials and supports narrative virtual experiences for everyone, as well as a user model and AI engine to offer individualised experiences for users to learn about HNP.
The PhD research will focus on the evaluating and comparing the effectiveness of online and on-site virtual user interfaces for educating HNP through 400+ individual user and 20+ visiting group trials. The evaluation will conducted with combining qualitative and quantitative research methods to test how the public and stakeholders engage with the digital platforms, how the developed tools function in exploration and education, what impact the digitality has on heritage experience and whether individualisation of historical narratives helps with providing a better learning experience. A stakeholder approach is crucial for the research to understand the best policy for HNP education, and the opinions and concerns of groups impacted by Nazi persecution will be an integral part of estimating the best policy for education of Heritage on Nazi Persecution.