Histoire numérique et l’historiographie

Historical Arguments and the Digital

25 Juin 2024 à 27 Juin 2024

Historical Arguments and the Digital

The Bookworm. Source: Grohmann Museum


International conference demonstrating the argumentative practices of Digital History and the broader historical profession, employing any form of methodology or tool under the umbrella of ‘digital history’ examining any historical period across the globe to present findings and arguments engaging with and contributing to historical narratives.

The C²DH is hosting the international conference "Historical arguments and the Digital" from 25 to 27 June on the university campus in Belval.

In 2016, Franco Morretti argued that “somehow digital humanities has managed to secure for itself this endless infancy, in which it is always a future promise.”1 In the years since, little has changed. Whilst there has been exponential growth in the number of resources, tools, and methodological discussions in the digital humanities, there remains limited contribution towards traditional historical narratives implementing these, increasing the apparent gap between DH and traditional history. Terminology in the digital humanities – networks, mapping, modelling – has long been used metaphorically to explore historical phenomenon; yet in digitalizing these ideas, we have gradually moved away from the analytical arguments these phrases were originally used for. The more digital methodologies are separated from traditional approaches – focusing on building without analysing and represented only on ‘digital humanities’ panels in historical conferences – the greater the risk is of becoming increasingly insular and closed-off, “an interdisciplinary silo in which we are only speaking to other displaced scholars.”2 As a result, the digital humanities are often still faced with the ‘so-what’ question: what impact can these new methods and approaches make on historical arguments and how can they advance scholarship?

This conference seeks to address the ‘so-what’, promoting conversation as to how new research processes and methodologies might build into and contribute to traditional narratives. Though the building of digital resources and tools are in themselves important analytical and interpretative acts – and are slowly beginning to be recognised as such within the wider humanities – they are also vital building blocks for historical arguments that can exist as exemplars of both digital and traditional scholarship. This conference offers a space to consider how this gap might be closed once more, encouraging historical case studies reflecting on the ways in which digital methodologies have offered a means of exploring historical sources and expanding historical narratives and fostering digital history research questions that push beyond merely the descriptive to the interpretative and analytical.

For questions or further information, please contact Dr. Caitlin Burge (caitlin.burge@uni.lu) or Dr Anita Lucchesi (anita@tropy.org).


25-27 June 2024

Maison du Savoir, MSA 3.350
2, place de l’Université
L-4365 Esch-sur-Alzette

Participation is free of charge, please register beforehand.