Digital Humanities


King's College London, 3rd - 6th July 2010

[Image: KCL Photo Collage]
[Image: London Photo Collage (Somerset House; Globe Theatre; Millennium Bridge; Tate Modern)]

King's College London and Digital Humanities

King’s has been a pioneer in humanities computing since the 1970s. The inaugural meeting of the ALLC was held here in 1973. The first ALLC Chair was Roy Wisbey, Professor of German at King’s. The institutional development of digital humanities, especially since the late 1980s, owed a great deal to shared vision between senior members of the Centre for Computing in the Humanities (CCH) and senior management in the College, in particular Professor Barry Ife in his time as Head of the School of Humanities, Vice-Principal and Acting Principal.  Professor Ife is now Principal of Guildhall School of Music and Drama.  More recently the continuing development of digital humanities as a strategic strength of the College has owed a great deal to the support of the Principal, Professor Rick Trainor, himself an historian who was very active in the Association for History and Computing and in humanities computing developments more generally in earlier years.

The School of Humanities at King’s was rated in the top 3 UK institutions for research excellence in the last four Research Assessment Exercises. Most departments in the School are directly engaged in the digital humanities - in research, and increasingly in teaching. This represents a wide range of discipline areas: American Studies; Byzantine & Modern Greek Studies; English; European Studies; Film Studies; French; German; History; Philosophy; Portuguese & Brazilian Studies; Spanish & Spanish American Studies; Theology & Religious Studies. Engagements are at every level, from PhD students and junior lecturers to Professors and Heads of Department.

There is very active engagement by the cluster of inter-disciplinary research centres grouped under the umbrella title Humanities Research Centres. These include not only CCH, but also: Centre for Late Antique & Medieval Studies; Centre for Hellenic Studies; Centre for Language Discourse & Communication; Centre for Cultural, Media and Creative Industries.

Digital Humanities has been a strategic priority for King’s for more than a decade, and CCH has received specific mention in the past three strategic plans of the College, identifying this activity as one of its distinctive strengths. In the current Plan, a core strategic commitment is made to ‘Creating Culture’, and the College’s strength in the digital humanities is seen as central to this commitment. CCH was a prime mover in the establishment of the UK’s Arts & Humanities Data Service (AHDS), beginning with the feasibility study co-authored by Harold Short and Lou Burnard of Oxford in 1994. King’s hosted and financially supported the AHDS Executive from its inception in 1995, and responded immediately to the decision of the funding council to withdraw funding from the AHDS in 2008 by creating the Centre for e-Research (CeRch), incorporating the staff of the AHDS Executive.

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Last updated: 02/03/2010 at 23:35