Confronting the Digital Turn in the Humanities

New Horizons

As a result of the “digital turn”, the humanities are currently in a process of rapid transformation, with consequences that reach far beyond the confines of academia. The lecture series “New Horizons: Confronting the Digital Turn in the Humanities“ explores how the digital turn is changing research, teaching and dissemination in the humanities. At the same time, the series aims to historicise and contextualise this process. Amid far-reaching claims of shifting research paradigms and a possible scientification of humanities research it is more urgent than ever to cast a critical eye on the continuities as well as discontinuities that new technologies bring, in order to avoid techno-scientific essentialism. How exactly are the humanities being transformed as a result of the digital turn? To what extent can we speak of hybridity as the new normal – a situation where most humanists combine traditional/analogue and new/digital research practices?

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The programme of the series was developed to address three interconnected issues relating to the digital turn in the humanities:

  • Transformations: How has the digital turn transformed the humanities in recent years? What affordances has it brought?
  • Practices: Case studies: how are humanities research practices changing as a result of the digital turn?
  • Genealogies: What is the “pre-history” of digital humanities? How did we arrive here?

All invited speakers were chosen because they are leading experts in their fields and on the specific topics we wish to address. Below is a list of the lectures that took place in 2019. We conducted interviews with all our speakers before their lectures, and both the interviews and the lectures were put online. Three remaining lectures (by Julia Noordegraaf, Smiljana Antonijević and Christine L. Borgman) are planned for 2020.


Digital Transformations in the Arts and Humanities

Prof. Dr Andrew Prescott, University of Glasgow


The Spatial Humanities, Deep Mapping, and the Future of History

Prof. Dr David Bodenhamer, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis


Reflections on the past, present and future of digital archives

Prof. Dr Jane Winters, School of Advanced Study, University of London


A New Humanism’: Expo ‘58, Robert Busa, and the First Humanities Computer Center

Prof. Dr Steven E. Jones, University of South Florida


Signals and Noise: Extracting Patterns of Cultural Expressions from Digitized Sources

Dr Melvin Wevers, KNAW Humanities Cluster, Amsterdam

see also


Digital History Advanced Research Projects Accelerator
The Digital History Advanced Research Projects Accelerator (DHARPA) adds a new dimension to the research activities of the C²DH by focusing on R&D. read more


Media Monitoring of the past
Using text mining and data visualisation to open up collections of digitised historical newspapers for research. Since its launch in 2017, impresso has developed a methodologically-reflected technological framework to enable new ways of engaging with the multilingual digital content of historical newspapers and new approaches to address historical questions. read more

Decoding Europe

Technological Pasts in the Digital Age
9th Tensions of Europe Conference The 9th Tensions of Europe conference was organised by the C²DH and held at the University of Luxembourg from 27 to 30 June 2019 read more

Shifting Practices

Digital History as Trading Zones
Under the term “digital history”, historians have experimented with tools, concepts and methods from other disciplines, mostly computer science and computational linguistics, to benefit the historical discipline. read more

Forum Z

Women on the march from 1919 to 2019 in Luxembourg
Forum Z or the interaction of the C²DH with the public The aim of the Forum Z (Z for Zeitgeschichte or contemporary history) series is to promote a critical, open debate on topical issues in contemporary Luxembourgish and European history. The hundredth anniversary of women’s right to vote in Luxembourg was an anniversary not to be missed! While the National Museum of History and Art (MNHA) marked the anniversary with a major exhibition on universal suffrage, this Forum Z used it as a starting point for a broader reflection on what has changed for women over the past century. read more