Our contribution examines the conference theme of digital hermeneutics from the perspective of the Doctoral Training Unit (DTU) in ‘Digital History and Hermeneutics’, a four-year interdisciplinary research and training program hosted by the Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C²DH) at the University of Luxembourg. The DTU is designed as an experimental platform for collaboration or ‘trading zone’, in which thirteen doctoral candidates with different disciplinary backgrounds – from history, linguistics and philosophy to computer and information science – study and reflect on the epistemological and methodological implications of the ‘digital turn’ on historical research. This presentation reflects on the project’s first year, in which the doctoral candidates were introduced to various skills and methods in digital humanities, including text mining, digital source criticism, database structures, data visualization, GIS analysis, tool criticism and algorithmic critique; and its second year, when data collections had been created and research tools identified that were going to be applied to it. By doing so, it presents some of the main practical and epistemological opportunities and challenges of “thinkering” with digital tools and technologies in the Digital History Lab of the C2DH, and it reflects scientific dissemination strategies for the group and the individual. The analysis is informed by studies on interdisciplinarity, digital humanities infrastructures and communities of practice. It furthermore draws on a series of semi-structured interviews and self-reflexive training reports, in which the doctoral candidates of the DTU reflect on their experiences in doing digital hermeneutics in an interdisciplinary setting.
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