Data is Made Up of Stories: University-wide Futures from the Digital Humanities
Direct Encounters with History: Summer of Darkness and the Performance of Archive
Andrew and Anindita Basu Sempere, Principal of Digital Scenographic and Doctoral Candidate, Universite de Neuchatel
The Forum, Hughes-Trigg Student Center (3140 Dyer Street, Dallas, TX 75205)
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Situated at the intersection of computer science and the humanities, "Digital Humanities" typically refers to multimedia approaches to archiving or museum exhibitions or to the application of advanced data analysis and visualization techniques in a humanities context. While these approaches can elicit powerful insights, they are far from the only ways in which digital computation has changed our relationship to the humanities. Computational ideas and computational thinking have transformed our modes of communication and our methods of creating and consuming culture. They have also changed our techniques for crafting and telling stories and how we relate to history and narrative.
In this talk, we present a case study of the Summer of Darkness iOS app, a digital humanities project that tells the story of "The Year Without Summer" through real-time notifications, weather animations, and excerpts of letters, journals, and literary works by Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, Mary Godwin Shelley, Claire Clairmont, and John Polidori. Using techniques borrowed from theater, performance, and fiction, we examine how computation can be used to transcend “big data” and analytics to add an experiential aspect to digital humanities, turning an archive of material into a performance and facilitating a direct encounter with history.
Dr. Andrew Sempere is the principal of Digital Scenographic and a researcher in residence in digital scenography at La Manufacture (Haute Ecole de Théâtre de Suisse Romande) where he develops and researches new technologies for stage production. Andrew holds a PhD from École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, a Masters of Media Arts and Science from the MIT Media Lab and a Bachelors in Fine Art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He co-founded the Feral Research Coalition.
Anindita Basu Sempere is a doctoral candidate with the Université de Neuchâtel's Institute of English Studies where she studies place and poetics in twentieth-century American literature. She has an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, an MA from Boston University, an SM from the MIT Media Lab, and a BA in Computer Science and English from Wellesley College. Prior to joining UNINE, she co-founded The Writing Faculty, an online tutoring company where she was also the Executive Director. She was the Director of Education of Inspirica, a bespoke tutoring company, and a founding faculty member of a high tech charter school in Cambridge, MA.