Leading scholars from the fields of digital humanities and design explored these increasingly convergent fields when the Georgia Tech Digital Integrative Liberal Arts Center (DILAC) hosted the 2017 Digital Humanities + Design Symposium on May 4th and 5th, at the Technology Square Research Building.
“Having those different types of people and different types of institutions at different points of their career, come together in an open environment is what’s exciting for us,” said School of Literature, Media, and Communication associate professor and event coordinator Carl DiSalvo.
The purpose of the symposium was to think “expansively and creatively” about new opportunities at the intersection of the digital humanities and design.
“We don’t always have daily reminders that the reason we do this is for greater impact and because of the speakers we brought together. We were really reminded in powerful ways why that matters, why our work matters, and why these fields matter,” said LMC Associate Professor Lauren Klein, also on faculty in DILAC.
The event organizers facilitated a series of multi-format conversations around topics of shared concerns, including the role of practice (and other applied forms of research) in each field; the similarities and differences between each field’s design processes; theories of speculation as they have been developed through the humanities and design; and how these two fields, together, might rally to address pressing matters of social and political concern.
“What symposiums like this create is community and opportunities for people to network and interact, opportunities for projects to develop. I think it’s important as a model for other places,” said Johns Hopkins symposium panelist and Associate Professor Jessica Marie Johnson.
“After doing this for about 10 years, this is the first event where I’ve seen these two areas come together, so it’s really inspiring,” said University of Victoria symposium panelist and Associate Professor Jentery Sayers.
Event organizers say future conversations of the academia intersection depend on an equally expansive and creative group of symposium participants.
“A really successful symposium is, if in three years, I go to another symposium or conference and someone stands up and says ‘I got the spark for this idea at Georgia Tech on 2017’,” said DiSalvo.
Watch video from the event here