The international workshop WEDHIA is part of the 4-year Talent Cultivation Project for Digital Humanities (TCDH) sponsored by R.O.C.’s Ministry of Education. The project and the workshop are engaged in the idea of consilience between science and the humanities. While various efforts have been tried before TCDH, the gulf between science and the humanities remain blatant (Slingerland and Collard, 2011). The current ICT and digital revolution can either deepen the gap or, if properly channeled, facilitate consilience. It is the latter the essential goal of TCDH. To do so, TCDH runs a large-scale experiment by encouraging the novel course designs that integrate digital technology into the education of the broadly defined humanities. In the meanwhile, WEDHIA is organized as a platform to connect the international communities of scholars, pragmatists, and policymakers with similar pursuits.
While many utopians and skeptics hopes and fears, respectively, the arising of the ICT and the digital revolution, few would argue that the purview of the humanities has extended beyond its conventional boundary and become increasingly interdisciplinary. The emergent cyberspace is not just a reflective duplication of the humanities in the physical space. It has become a standalone dimension where humans “live” and nurtures a new, cyber kind of humanities. Furthermore, Humans’ thoughts, conversations, and actions occurring and recorded in the “cloud”, in turn, affect their lives in the physical space, which creates another new domain for the humanistic scholars by working in these two spaces and their interactions.
What is said above about the digital humanities also applies to the digital economy. Cyberspace is no longer just to facilitate the physical market. Cyberspace itself is a market. What we see more is the intertwining between the physical market and the cyber market. In the cyberspace, the development of ICT narrows, if not closes, the gap between humanities and economy by making the recording of ordinary people’s lives possible and thus flourishing the revealing of individuality in both the domains of the humanities and economy. To the former, this feature of ICT promotes the bottom-up approach in humanities, such as the bottom-up history. To the latter, this feature makes customization one of the key competition factors among enterprises, which in turn stimulates the return of economy to humanities and narrative as described in Humanomics by Vernon L. Smith and Bart J. Wilson (2019).
With the transformation and fusion mentioned above in mind, this workshop will continue the theme of WEDHIA 2018 on investigating the pedagogical innovation in humanities and its economic and social significances. However, instead of the influence of ICT, this investigation will focus on the impact of ICT on the interdisciplinary dialogues, collaboration, and hence the consilience among science, humanities, and social sciences in the era of big data.
We invite submissions of abstracts relating (but not limited) to the following aspects of digital humanities and digital economy:
• Consilience among ICT/digital humanities/digital economy
• Democratization of programming and design in the courses of digital humanities and digital social sciences
• Course planning and curriculum design involving the application of big data
• Spatial humanities and spatial social sciences
Each of the four topics of interest will be briefly described as below.
Consilience among ICT/digital humanities/digital economy
The consilience has been used as the analytical framework to review the essence of each course under the TCDH project. In this conference, we will continue the discussion on the consilience between science and the humanities in the context of the current ICT and the digital revolution. From the pedagogical viewpoint, we welcome the submissions to address innovative course designs that transform an old-fashioned course into a modern one by not only using new methods but also exploring or experiencing with alternative ontologies. We also welcome the submissions to address the division-of-labor issue in course planning and curriculum design, specifically on the balance between the use of technology and the learning and discovery of knowledge, as well as on the dynamics of the teaching teamwork, i.e., the conversations and collaboration among instructors with different disciplinary backgrounds, from science (engineering) to the humanities, specifically in the ethos of the “two cultures” (Snow,1959, 1963).
Democratization of programming and design in the courses of digital humanities and digital social sciences
The second topic of interest is the democratization of science, programming, and design. Differing from the first topic of interest, this one has a focus on students or learners. We choose this topic because one of the significant pursuits of TCDH is to guide each student to become a designer or a maker, which is popularly known as the maker movement. Many tools used by our instructors are actually designed to facilitate this democratization pursuit, including Scratch, Unity, APP Inventor 2, Arduino, and even 3D printers. While the idea to train everyone to be an inventor or designer has been what many great early thinkers advocated, such as Jean Piaget (1896-1980), Seymour Papert (1928-2016), and Mitchel Resnick, it becomes more pressing now in `this second machine age’ when many jobs will be handed over to smart technology (Brynjolfsson and McAfee, 2014). In this topic, we welcome submissions on the use of the tools designed for the democratization of science, games, designs, and software development. We also encourage submissions on the industrial implications in the direction of the maker culture, maker movement, hackathon, open-source economy, peer production, co-creation, fabrication lab, placemaking, glocalization, and community design.
Course planning and curriculum design involving the application of big data
Many courses have already exposed students to social medium data and collaboration with big data enterprises. Nevertheless, the essence of big data, from the scientific use to the ethical concern, is not easy to harness not only for students but sometimes also for instructors. However, doubtlessly, big data brings in revolutions for both the humanities and the social sciences; because of so, a new kind of humanities and social sciences have been built upon the increasing availability of big data. It is time to pause for a moment to reflect upon the revolutionary changes around us before we decide which direction to proceed further. In this topic, we welcome submissions to address all issues related to the use of big data in the course designs, not just promises and progresses, but also challenges and limitations.
Spatial humanities and spatially integrated social sciences
From TCDH, we observed that spatial thinking has increasingly been the attention of the humanistic scholars, yet it remains rather less noticed by social scientists. For the former group, tools like QGIS, ArcGIS, Google Maps, Story Maps, and even UAV and drones become common. On the other hand, it is generally expected that we can do more with those tools in social sciences. In this regard, we welcome submissions to indicate the opportunity of spatial thinking to social sciences and the pedagogical strategies to advance the use of the spatial tools in courses of humanities and social sciences.
Brynjolfsson, E., & McAfee, A. (2014). The second machine age: Work, progress, and prosperity in a time of brilliant technologies. WW Norton & Company.
Slingerland, E., & Collard, M. (Eds.). (2011). Creating consilience: Integrating the sciences and the humanities. Oxford University Press.
Snow, C. P. (1959). The two cultures and the scientific revolution. Cambridge University Press.
Snow, C. P. (1963). The two cultures and a second look: An expanded version of `The two cultures and the scientific revolution'. Mentor Book. New English Library.
Smith, V. L., & Wilson, B. J. (2019). Humanomics: Moral sentiments and the wealth of nations for the twenty-first century. Cambridge University Press.
Submissions (of the Abstract up to 500 words)
All submissions should be made via the submissions page here.