Participatory, Interdisciplinary and Digital

There’s much being said, written and created around the digital humanities at the moment. There’s less, from what I can see, around digital engagement with social research. I’m an interdisciplinary social researcher (researching biblical studies/theology and disability studies). I’m interested in ways in which social research can learn from the digital humanities project.

Participatory social research is interested in engaging individuals and communities, empowering them to use research in ways that benefits them. In my (probably quite limited!) view, it’s about the empowerment of research participants, while the digital humanities project is about a different kind of wider engagement – involving information, archives and texts. I think there are fascinating potential links to explore here.


There are also opportunities to forge interdisciplinary links between social and humanities research because of the possibilities offered by the digital humanities approach. I would like us to discuss ways in which these interdisciplinary opportunities can be exploited, without exploiting research participants.


This session may explore some, all or none of the following questions:
– Beyond Survey Monkey: How far can digital peer collaboration make space for more participatory approaches to social research?
– Ethics: Can digital engagement in social research happen effectively without raising major ethical issues for social researchers? (e.g. Do research blogs have to be locked if they mention a point that a participant raised? Do confidentiality and engagement conflict?)
– Interdisciplinary Co-operation: How can bringing digital artefacts from across disciplines to research participants encourage wider engagement in research? (e.g. I’m thinking about how I can meaningfully share examples of historical and current religious representations of disability with my participants, and whether they would find that useful.)

I’ve never been to an unconference, and I’m new to the digital humanities. So any help or advice anyone can offer would be very much appreciated, either here or at THATCamp London!
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3 Responses to “Participatory, Interdisciplinary and Digital”

  1. […] in talking with people about what such a platform would look like. This is is possibly related to: http://thatcamplondon.org/2010/06/participatory-interdisciplinary-and-digital but with some differences (see […]

  2. […] in talking with people about what such a platform would look like. This is is possibly related to: http://thatcamplondon.org/2010/06/participatory-interdisciplinary-and-digital but with some differences (see […]

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