Digital Science (excentric and mundane)

The “Digital Science Match” takes place tomorrow. 100 researchers from Berlin working in the digital area (which turns out to encompass quite a wide range of topics) have 3 minutes each to present their research. Yet another occasion to rejoice about my last name beginning with a B: I am the first one to speak in my session, at 3 P.M. I don’t know how receptive people will be in the afternoon, but hey! I have a 3 minute-pitch for you!

Three minutes  is a tricky format, even for the first speaker of the session. It feels like you have more than one minute (usual for poster slams) and could actually say something that has to do with scholarly content or a research question. I thought I would do that at first, but then I realized that it would be immensely difficult to make understand why the aspect I would pick would matter to digital science in general. So instead, I chose to be quite general about the evolution of literary studies and what it means that they turn digital. I abstract from my project, I don’t even say in which century I work (sacrilege!). I hope that my 3 slides will suffice to make the general idea a bit plastic. It was a bit weird to repeat that presentation over and over again this morning to see what could fit in 3 minutes – but necessary.

Since I gave a 50 minute-presentation in Nancy last week, this makes two extreme and opposite experiences in a short lapse of time. Although in more mundane formats, I will still pursue digital science in the months ahead: as a chair and programme committee member at the TEI conference in Lyon in October, as a speaker at the ESTS conference in Leicester in November, as a guest speaker at the research seminar in Trier in December and as an invited discussion partner (just lovin’ the expression) at the digital*litera in January.

But I will still alternate digital with analogue science – for the sake of not forgetting how you deliver a paper by reading out loud what you wrote. Because there is some beauty to that exercise, too.

Anne Baillot

I am a Professor of German Studies at Le Mans Université. My areas of research include German literature, Digital Humanities, textual scholarship and intellectual history.

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