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Digital Humanities Laboratory: Studying the Entanglement of Infrastructure and Technology in Knowledge Production.

Project description

Where digital technology meets scholarly work

Digital humanities is difficult to define. This relatively new field of study applies digital tools and methods to the humanities. It also examines technology by the use of interdisciplinary approaches. A digital humanities lab is a place where digital technology meets scholarly work. The EU-funded DHLab project will conduct an ethnographic study of digital humanists at work, combined with a critical analysis of local infrastructure. The aim of the research will be to develop a new theoretical framework for investigating a laboratory in digital humanities. By studying the links between the human organisation, technology, and infrastructure, the project will also build a new toolset for examining scholarly knowledge production. Two case studies will be conducted, the first at King’s Digital Lab and the second at Cambridge Digital Humanities Lab.


The rise of digital humanities labs has provoked new research questions, yet not present in the humanities, about knowledge production intertwined with technologies and the infrastructural influences on humanistic work. To this end, I propose to conduct a novel ethnographic study of digital humanists at work, combined with a critical analysis of local infrastructure. The research has three main objectives: 1) the epistemological goal is to develop a new theoretical framework for examining a laboratory in Digital Humanities (DH) drawing on Science and Technology Studies and Knowledge Infrastructures; 2) the methodological task aims at integrating laboratory ethnography and the ethnography of infrastructure to build a new toolset for studying the intertwining of human organisation and infrastructure; and 3) the central work package focuses on investigating DH knowledge creation based on two case studies: King’s Digital Lab and the Cambridge Digital Humanities Lab. The case studies will provide comprehensive and comparative knowledge of DH organisational systems and practices. The study will be based on the observation of, and interviews with, participants involved in the labs, the analysis of written documents, and the analysis of digital communications. This project comes at a key moment, one at which, it is necessary to examine the impact of socio-material assemblages on the process of knowledge production in order to improve the research infrastructure. I shall expand the emerging area of Critical Infrastructure Studies through contributions to the body of theoretical work and the formation of a Critical Infrastructure Reading Group at King’s College London. This project will establish me as a leader in the critical studies of space and organisational structures associated with humanistic research. In addition, I will receive training in the applied DH and ethnographic methods, which will give me new competencies and enhance my ‘digital humanist’ profile.


Net EU contribution
€ 224 933,76
WC2R 2LS London
United Kingdom

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London Inner London — West Westminster
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 224 933,76