Join our expenses-paid PhD short course on ‘Digital Data in Practice’ in York!

We’re hosting a three-day design/development workshop in December, open to students in the DialPast network.

Screen Shot 2019-08-21 at 17.51.40If you are a PhD student whose institution belongs to the Dialogues with the Past (DialPast) network (including universities across Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Russia, Sweden), you are eligible to join our expenses-paid short course focused on the critical design and development of digital resources. The course will run from 9-11 December in York, led by myself (Sara), James Taylor, Nicolo Dell’Unto and Åsa Berggren.

You can read the full call for participants below, or on the official DialPast webpages. Note the deadline for applications is 9 September.

Our intent is to work with PhD researchers who have a particular digital resource they wish to develop, and who are keen and willing to shape that resource through a participatory process involving critique and feedback from other PhDs, the course leaders, and digital experts based in and around York. Per the notes below, participants will pre-circulate a short proposal about the resource, then come to York in December to refine it through design sessions and related knowledge sharing events, ultimately producing a plan for implementation.

We hope this will be an exciting, hands-on opportunity to develop new digital media through the lens of critical design and with the support of many great practitioners working in the academic, commercial and charity sectors.

Please consider applying or spreading the word! And do get in touch if you have questions.

Digital Data in Practice – Now and in the Future, PhD Workshop

Time and place: Dec. 9, 2019–Dec. 11, 2019, University of York, King’s Manor

The digital turn in archaeology has meant a rapid development of methods of acquisition, analysis and dissemination, a change of interpretation processes and an opportunity to develop new perspectives and new knowledge. It has also resulted in vast amounts of data and is continuing to do so at a rapid pace. In this workshop we will explore both new digital tools for analysis and dissemination as well as infrastructures for long term repository and archiving.

This workshop aims at developing the digital skills of the students with a particular focus upon critical design of digital projects and their outputs. The workshop is conceived as a continuation of the September 2019 DialPast course “Digital pasts and futures of archaeology,” although it is open to any student with an interest in digital archaeology and in applied digital practice.

York is the home of the Archaeology Data Service (ADS), the Centre for Digital Heritage (CDH), and the Digital Creativity Labs (DC Labs), as well as a rich historical landscape that enables us to immediately apply our ideas and digital tools to local sites. Through engagement with these organisations and heritage partners in York and practical sessions, we will explore the state of the art as it relates to archiving, databases, access, sustainability, app development, web and social media development, digital curation, gaming, 3D recording and modelling, and other forms of interactive media. We will use the facilities of the CDH and ADS, as well as the local heritage landscape, to explore in hands-on fashion the future (and past) of digital archaeology. Students will develop proposals for independent digital projects, refined through design work and critical conversation with the instructors and the class. The aim is to leave the workshop with a realistic, critically-informed plan for a producing a digital resource that can be implemented by students in the future.

Course Work

The course will consist of practical design sessions and tours led by key digital institutions in York. Before the course starts, each PhD student will prepare a written proposal for pre-circulation concerning the development of a specific digital resource or output. The 5-page proposal (Times New Roman 12, Spacing 1.5) should provide description of (1) the purpose of the digital resource and a critical rationale for its development; (2) the intended audiences or users of the resource and how their needs are to be served by it; (3) the digital technologies to be used in the project and critical reflection on their strengths and weaknesses in relation to audience and project needs; (4) the archaeological or heritage context (i.e., the site, landscape, time period or other geographical location, event, theme or any specific context within which your project is situated).

Students will refine their proposal in York through participation in the design sessions and tours, and then will present a brief summary and plan for implementation to the class. Students will be offered critical feedback on their plans from the instructors and cohort.

Lecturers:

Dr. Åsa Berggren (Lund University)

Ass. Prof. Nicolo Dell’Unto (Lund University)

Dr. James Taylor (University of York)

Dr. Sara Perry (University of York)

Credits

3 ECTS

Location, Travel and Costs

The Graduate School will finance and arrange travel and accommodation, and supply a daily allowance during the seminar for all participating PhD students who are part of the Dialogues With the Past network.Two and two PhD students will share a room.

Registration

The Graduate school invites all registered PhD students to apply for participation. Please follow this link to apply for the course (in English only). From these applications, c. 10 PhD students will be admitted to the course.

For more information, please contact: dial-past@iakh.uio.no

Important Dates

Application for participation: September 9, 2019.

Submission of written proposals (5 p., Times New Roman 12, Spacing 1,5): Nov 11, 2019.

Bot of conviction: transforming our conversations about the past

Can a chatbot enable us to change our conceptions about the past, to be critically reflective, to take action on the world today?

Provoking questions - would you bury someone you care about under your bed?
An example of a question posed by our Bot of Conviction to provoke conversation about the human past. For more info, download our CHI 2019 paper

After two years of development, I’m really excited to announce that our co-authored paper (co-authored by a majority female team, no less!) for CHI 2019 has been published and was presented by the incredible Maria Roussou in Glasgow yesterday. The full-text of the paper is freely downloadable from the ACM Digital Library. And especially excitingly, our EMOTIVE communications collaborator Karolina Badzmierowska from NOHO, made this little teaser video to briefly introduce you to the concept behind the project, and to pique your interest.

With all this available online, I’ll just say here that we’ve been inspired by the work of Mark SampleShawn Graham, and others, and thus have experimented with means to provoke people (in constructive fashion) to question and act responsibly on their values, beliefs and prejudices. I’ve long been interested in the power of dialogue to bring people together – and to offer the means by which change can be articulated and enacted – and I continue to be surprised at the relative lack of engagement with genuine dialogue between human beings in relation to heritage (here dialogue is understood as distinctly different from discussion, focused on two or more individuals actively and explicitly sharing experiences, challenging presumptions, and exploring others’ perspectives in order to build alliances and democracy).

We have various publications forthcoming on the topic of dialogue where we review some of the fabulous work of the US National Park Service, the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, and of scholars like Nicole Deufel. Hence I won’t get into the details here, but in projects spearheaded by Angeliki Tzouganatou, Sierra McKinney, Sophia Mirashrafi and Katrina Gargett, we’ve been able to explore dialogical interventions with heritage in various ways (at heritage sites, in classrooms, at home using your own devices), creating a solid foundation for us to provide recommendations and guidance for others wishing to explore facilitated dialogue in their own work.

Our Bot of Conviction, which we fondly call ChatÇat, is one of the first case studies that we launched to explore how a simple rules-based bot might be designed to foster challenging – but productive – forms of communication and reflection. We’ve been lucky to have had incredible support from my colleagues at Çatalhöyük, and to be able to draw on the rich archaeological finds from the site –  which have collectively allowed us to seed our bot with complex questions around common human concerns: death, privacy, equality, power, and more.

We hope you might browse our work, provide us with constructive comments, and stay tuned for further publications on these topics. Happy reading!

PLEASE CITE AS: Roussou, M., Perry, S., Katifori, A., Vassos, S., Tzouganatou, A., McKinney, S. (2019) Transformation through Provocation? Designing a ‘Bot of Conviction’ to Challenge Conceptions and Evoke Critical Reflection. In CHI ’19 Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Glasgow, Scotland, 4-9 May. New York: ACM. Paper No. 627.

Download our CHI 2019 paper from https://saraperry.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/roussou_et_al_2019_chipaper627.pdf
Download our CHI 2019 paper from https://saraperry.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/roussou_et_al_2019_chipaper627.pdf