I share news of this very interesting looking event in part to highlight the very idea of Citizen Humanities. A great, and intriguing idea. Obviously this ‘mirrors’ the burgeoning area of ‘citizen science’. Now at first glance the latter might sound odd, given that most sciences are highly specialised, complex, high tech, etc., in research terms. But what citizen science has (amongst other things) is huge opportunities for mass observation of empirical data. So, for example, the monitoring of the spread of tree disease, or species spread and population, can draw in data from thousands of amateur field observers. What I wonder are the parallels for ‘citizen humanities’? Other humanities disciplines with strong ‘field’ traditions, such as history and archaeology, offer pretty obvious parallels, but what of other disciplines, e.g., philosophy, literary studies?? where (how shall we put it?) ‘facts’ are less, err, to the fore in relation to interpretation?? Just a thought!!


CITIZEN HUMANITIES COMES OF AGE: CROWDSOURCING FOR THE 21ST CENTURY 9th and 10th September 2015 Anatomy Lecture Theatre (K6.29) Strand Campus, King’s College London

Research in the humanities was once the preserve of an academic and professional elite, conducted in universities, libraries, museums and archives, with clear criteria for belonging to the communities undertaking it. In the last ten years, however, science and business, which shared this culture of exclusivity with the humanities, has found these boundaries challenged through crowdsourcing, and have flourished as a result. This collaborative and interdisciplinary symposium, organised jointly by King’s College London’s Department of Digital Humanities (DDH) and Stanford University’s Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA), seeks to explore the ways in which humanities and cultural heritage research is enriched through scholarly crowdsourcing. It brings together the unique perspectives on the subject that DDH and CESTA have developed over the past three years, including DDH’s Crowdsourcing Scoping Study funded by the AHRC, and Stanford’s Humanities Crowdsourcing research theme. These activities represent the cutting edge of humanities crowdsourcing in both its theory and its practice; and the symposium’s main aim is to build a bridge between the two. It will include presentations from this emerging field’s leading scholars and practitioners. The meeting will explore the arc between the inception of humanities crowdsourcing as a method of data processing adopted largely uncritically from big science, to its present instance as as means of interrogating fuzzy and disparate humanities research data in new ways using ‘non-professional’ engagement and input, and to future possibilities involving completely new ways of co-producing humanities research across increasingly blurred institutional and professional boundaries.

Registration is £20, including lunch on both days and refreshments. Last booking date is 31 August 2015.

Event link:

Registration link:

For further information, contact


Dr. Stuart Dunn


Department of Digital Humanities

King’s College London

26-29 Drury Lane

London, WC2B 5RL


Tel. +44 (0)20 7848 2709

Fax. +44 (0)20 7848 2980



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