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Interrogating Infrastructure: A Symposium Hosted by King's Digital Lab and the Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London, July 8th, 2016


Headspace, 19 - 21 Hatton Garden, London, EC1N 8BA.


The humanities are confronted not only with digital culture, tools, and methods, but a vast and continually expanding global cyber-infrastructure that underpins, enables, and challenges the work we do. The scale of this infrastructure, which ranges from physical wires threading across nations and under oceans, to library search systems, government databases, economic processes, international governance protocols, and humble desktop software, raises a plethora of issues related to epistemology and our relationship to cultural and intellectual production.

This symposium aims to reset the conversation about that infrastructure, by bringing together people interested in a very wide range of humanities infrastructure, from hacking Raspberry Pis to managing trans-national archives, building humanities laboratories, engaging in big data research, and managing teams of people. The goal is to interrogate our assumptions about what humanities infrastructure is, in order to block, hack, break, and deform our collective infrastructure-enabled futures. By timing the event immediately before DH 2016 Krakow we aim to seed ongoing conversations.

In addition to exploring humanities infrastructure, afternoon workshops will discuss the establishment of a Digital Humanities Critical Infrastructure Collective and the possible production of a website, pamphlet or pamphlet series, edited anthology, large-scale funding proposals, media art installations, and/or future panel discussions to accompany it.


James Smithies, Director, King’s Digital Lab, King’s College London.

Sheila Anderson, Head of Department, Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London.

Administrator: Tom Salyers, King’s College London Department of Digital Humanities.


10.00 - 12.00: Presentations and discussions from all participants: ‘What infrastructure means to me’. Morning tea will be available throughout this session.

12.00 - 1.00: Lunch

1.00 - 2.30: Designing an edited anthology: paper overviews and discussion.

2.30 - 3.00: Afternoon tea.

3.00 - 5.00: DH Critical Infrastructure Collective: Outputs and next steps.

5.00 - 7.00: Drinks and nibbles.

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