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DHS Reading Groups 2022
Design History & Language Rights

Design History & Digital Humanities

The first two meetings of the DHS Reading Groups are coming up soon:

Design Responses to Language Diversity
Led by Tai Cossich

Tuesday, January 25, 2022
5–6pm GMT
Please register︎︎︎ 

Participants are invited to discuss what a Design Historian’s research agenda for the 2022-2032 International Decade of Indigenous Languages might look like. Reading list ︎︎︎

What are the Digital Humanities?
Led by Anna Talley

Tuesday, February 8, 2022
5–6pm GMT
Please register ︎︎︎

Participants will discuss what the digital humanities are and contextualise them insofar as digital humanities scholarship relates to design history. Reading list ︎︎︎

The DHS Reading Groups are a new initiative of the Design History Society to support emerging researchers interested in developing their ideas through debate and peer-review in a friendly environment.

Participants of two initial groups will work together on a panel proposal, to be considered for presentation at the DHS 2022 Annual Conference, and will collaborate with each other to develop their work to publication standards.

The reading groups are open to all: those interested in developing a proposal, and those interested in dropping in for the reading sessions only.

Participants are welcome to suggest texts and lead a discussion. Here are some questions to start thinking about:

Design History and Language Rights

  • What are the histories of designed artefacts and systems used to promote or suppress linguistic diversity in national contexts, globally, or locally? What theories and materials might be used to explore these histories?
  • How has design been used to mediate multilingualism in exhibitions, classrooms, healthcare campaigns?
  • How might design historians lend historical context to the challenges faced by designers working with/from/within linguistic minorities today?
  • How do the power dynamics between national and indigenous languages manifest in design and in its historiography? What might be the benefits and limits of using “indigenous languages” to define the scope of design historical enquiry?
  • Why should design historians care about language rights? How can design historians join activists’ efforts to promote endangered languages and empower linguistic minorities?

Design History and Digital Humanities

  • Why are the digital humanities a useful field for design historians to familiarise themselves with?
  • How can theories, methods and technologies of the digital humanities be applied to research in design history? 
  • How might we apply pluriversal practices from design history to digital humanities research and vice versa? How can we ensure that we remain aware of  biases in the design of digital systems and how might the structures of these systems impact research? 
  • What are some digital humanities projects that are useful to study insofar as they relate to both the collection and dissemination of research? What are the limits of digital research, collection and display both for personal and institutional projects? 

Are Digital Humanities and Language Rights related areas?

Each reading group will follow its own programme to explore intersections with Design History, but Digital Humanities and Language Rights also have interesting connections between them. Scholars in the Digital Humanities often trace the origins of this field to Linguistic Computing and have, more recently, been increasingly interested in working with corpora, sources, and materials in minoritized languages. Although these intersections are not the focus of the DHS Reading Groups, we are aware of the fundamental role of design (through the visual displays of linguistic data, or through digital interfaces, for example) in bringing the Digital Humanities and the promotion of Language Rights together.

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Tai Cossich and Anna Talley
Claire O’Mahony — Design History & Language Rights
Daniel Huppatz — Design History & Digital Humanities

Calendar overview

February 2022      
Call for papers
January to June 2022      
Reading sessions (monthly)
Exchange of abstracts
Panel proposal
July to December 2022      
Publication workshops
DHS Annual Conference (September)

Those interested in convening an online reading group are encouraged to apply for the DHS Virtual Event Award︎︎︎

Looking for Memory Full?      

The DHS Student Forum hosted a series of events in response to the theme of the DHS 2021 Annual Conference. Please follow the links below to see what we were up to.

Student Curated Keynote Speaker
Dr Ahmed Ansari ︎︎︎

Oral Histories of Researching ︎︎︎
Dear penpal... meet and greet ︎︎︎
Recording & Inventing ︎︎︎

Digital keepsake box ︎︎︎
It all started with a picnic... ︎︎︎

︎  ︎   ︎

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