KCL event: “Humanities Laboratories”

I am so excited to be a keynote for the King’s event “Humanities Laboratories: Critical Infrastructures and Knowledge Experiments” on May 23, 2019. The event will revolve around the critical and epistemological roles of humanities labs in supporting and extending academic research and learning beyond traditional classrooms.

The event will be hosted by the Department of Digital Humanities (DDH) with King’s Digital Lab (KDL), in conjunction with the Critical Infrastructure Studies (https://cistudies.org/) initiative. It will be chaired by Arianna Ciula (Deputy Director & Senior Research Software Analyst, KDL) and introduced by James Smithies (Director, KDL; Deputy Director, KCL eResearch) and Jonathan Gray (Co-founder of the Public Data Lab, and Lecturer in Critical Infrastructure Studies, DDH, KCL). Next, as Willard McCarty’s Fellow, I will give a talk “A Laboratory as Critical Infrastructure in the Humanities”. The program and abstracts can be found here.


Tomorrow, on 28 March, Aalto University is organizing Open GLAM meetup to connect students, professionals, and creative people with the GLAM community (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums). The program includes fascinating topics about reusing and sharing open cultural heritage data. Join us: 28 March 2019, 3pm-5pm, Aalto University Learning Centre!

More info on the AvoinGLAM website which is a Finnish network of people and institutions interested in and working among open culture and cultural materials. It is part of an international OpenGLAM network.

“Real dialogue isn’t about talking to people who believe the same things as you”

Must-read interview with the Polish-born Zygmunt Bauman, one of the most significant sociologist in the world. Well-known author of the following books such as “Liquid Modernity”, “Liquid Times: Living in an Age of Uncertainty”, “Culture in a Liquid Modern World”, and “The Individualized Society”.

The interview “Zygmunt Bauman: ‘Social media are a trap’ is available here. Below I quote two noteworthy passages devoted to the relationships between security & freedom and a community & a network.

These are two values that are tremendously difficult to reconcile. If you want more security, you’re going to have to give up a certain amount of freedom; if you want more freedom, you’re going to have to give up security. This dilemma is going to continue forever. Forty years ago we believed that freedom had triumphed and we began an orgy of consumerism. Everything seemed possible by borrowing money: cars, homes… and you just paid for it later. The wakeup call in 2008 was a bitter one, when the loans dried up. The catastrophe, the social collapse that followed hit the middle classes particularly hard, dragging them into a precarious situation where they remain: they don’t know if their company is going to merge with another and they will be laid off, they don’t know if what they have bought really belongs to them… Conflict is no longer between classes, but between each person and society. It isn’t just a lack of security, but a lack of freedom.

The difference between a community and a network is that you belong to a community, but a network belongs to you. You feel in control. You can add friends if you wish, you can delete them if you wish. You are in control of the important people to whom you relate. People feel a little better as a result, because loneliness, abandonment, is the great fear in our individualist age. But it’s so easy to add or remove friends on the internet that people fail to learn the real social skills, which you need when you go to the street, when you go to your workplace, where you find lots of people who you need to enter into sensible interaction with. 

Trzy kultury

Jeśli szukasz rzetelnego porównania humanistyki z naukami przyrodniczymi i społecznymi, polecam zajrzeć do publikacji “The Three Cultures” Jeromego Kagana (Cambridge University Press 2009). Poniżej zamieszczam fragment z książki (s.4-5) – podsumowującą i pomocną tabelę, w której te “trzy kultury” zostałe ze sobą zestawione.



Three Cultures

If you are looking for reliable comparison between the humanities, natural science and social science, I would recommend you to look into a book “The Three Cultures” by Jerome Kagan (Cambridge University Press 2009). Below I have attached images of table (pp. 4-5), containing concise and helpful characterization of these three areas.