Please join us on Thursday, Mar. 11 from 4:00-5:00 pm for a virtual talk featuring Ted Underwood, PhD, Professor, School of Information Sciences and the Department of English, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Underwood will present a talk titled, “Libraries of Babel: An Expansive Future for the Humanities” as part of the Digital Seeds Speakers Series.
The last twelve months have not been kind to optimists. It may sound especially implausible to predict a bright future for the humanities right now, since enrollment and hiring are down in many disciplines. But, as paradoxical as it sounds, we are living in an age of unprecedented opportunity for the study of culture and history. Some of the opportunities are well publicized: for instance, digital libraries have opened up fundamental new research questions for literary scholars. I'll give examples of that work, but the broader point of this talk is to propose that we're living through a digital transformation that will matter for everyone, not just for academic researchers. In making it possible to explore culture as a latent space—a space of possibility—machine learning facilitates a kind of creative play that is akin to rigorous self-understanding. This is good news for the humanities, although our disciplinary institutions are admittedly struggling to seize the opportunity.
This event is ACS- approved and is co-sponsored by Villanova University’s Falvey Memorial Library.
Once you fill out and submit the information below, you will be sent a Zoom link to the event.