[CFP] Panel at DOT 2022 “Computational contributions to the Social and Cultural History of the Islamicate World”, deadline 14 February

DOT 2022 Panel: “Computational contributions to the Social and Cultural History of the Islamicate World”

The digital has become an integral part of contemporary human experience across the globe as well as our research practices to the extent that it has lost its conceptual significance. At the same time, the digital humanities (DH) have seemingly arrived at the conceptual and institutional centre of the humanities and social sciences. In parallel with an explosion of methods, theories, and disciplinary subfields, a reflexive turn within DH critically assesses digital technologies and their impact on scholarly knowledge production as well as the fields rootedness in the (neo)colonial Anglophone hegemony of the Global North. At the same time, DH face fundamental criticism from outside the field and stand accused of being wrongfully cherished by funders and practitioners—over-promising, yet constantly under-delivering. This is particularly true for those working on the cultural heritage of the Islamicate societies of the Global South. Our work is severely impacted by theories, methods, and tools ill-suited and often dysfunctional for our research questions and cultural artefacts resisting digitization, which requires mitigation strategies for every step in digital workflows. The burden for doing so is put on the individual scholar. In a double-bind, this inevitably leads to an even greater focus on methods, data collection, and tooling. The field of Islamicate DH, therefore, appears to be mainly concerned with digitizing cultural heritage.

The proposed panel aims at answering this call by showcasing current research projects on the social and cultural histories of the Islamicate societies with a focus on their results and the application of digital methods not only for representing historical arguments but for developing inherently new forms of historical knowledge. The panel is open to submissions in English, German, French, and Arabic and we particularly invite contributions from researchers from Islamicate societies.

We do not intend to limit the geographic or temporal focus nor do we value some methods over others but the following list shall indicate the breadth of potential approaches:

  • Computer vision
  • Text reuse detection
  • Stylometric authorship attribution
  • Network analysis
  • Topic modeling
  • Named entity recognition and disambiguation
  • Geographic information systems

Please submit abstracts of max. 250 words until 14. February 2022 to till.grallert@fu-berlin.de.

This panel has been accepted as part of the program for the 34th Deutsche Orientalistentag (DOT) to take place at Freie Universität Berlin between 12. and 17. September 2022 (https://dot2022.de/). The CFP has been published at https://www.hsozkult.de/event/id/event-115556.

Panel organisers: