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Luxembourg 2020

The Autumn meeting 2020 took place online, and was organised by the Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History(C2DH), University of Luxembourg, November 4-6 2020.

All keynotes were open for everyone.


Simone Natale

Wednesday 4 November 16:00-17:00 (CEST): Keynote by Simone Natale, Senior Lecturer in Communication and Media Studies at Loughborough University, UK.
Title: What is life to digital objects? 


Recent perspectives on digital media and algorithms have advanced the idea that machines have their own agency and culture. But what does it mean to claim that machines and things have social and cultural “lives”? And what are the implications for considering the trajectories of digital objects across time? The talk aims to address these questions and discussions from the particular perspective of digital heritage. Drawing on examples of how digital software and data are collected in cultural heritage institutions and of how software such as chatbots are revived and circulated online, the talk will argue that the “life” of digital objects is borrowed and projected from the lives of humans who enter in relationship with them. This is why building a born-digital heritage also means mobilizing digital traces and records within and through the lives and memories of human subjects. The perspective of digital heritage thus contributes to challenge rigid understandings of “machine culture” and to demonstrate that it is possible to move away from anthropocentrism without obliterating the complexity of the relationship between humans and technology. 

Marta Severo

Thursday 5 November 16:00-17:00 (CEST): Keynote by Marta Severo, Professor of Information and Communication Sciences at Université Paris Nanterre.
Title: Cultural Heritage, Born-Digital Heritage and Participation.


In the last few years, participatory platforms have become particularly popular in the field of cultural heritage. Research generally identifies two types of platforms. On the one hand, institutional platforms, that usually take the form of crowdsourcing platforms, are created by libraries, archives, museums, etc. in order to engage the public in specific tasks related to their collections such as transcription or annotation of documents. On the other hand, informal groups of amateurs can use the web (social media or other Web 2.0 solutions) to create their own collections of cultural objects. Such participatory collections constitute interesting combinations of cultural heritage and born-digital heritage. This communication will focus on the use of web archives for studying this phenomenon. First, it will reflect on what it means archiving participation. Second, it will present technological and ethical issues related to web archiving participation. Finally, it will present few case studies related to collections recently built both by institutions and amateurs in relation to COVID.


Deadline for registration: see 'sign up' above.


The programme for the Luxembourg meeting is now ready. Click here to read the full programme.

More information

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