Digital Humanities as a Network of Self-Descriptions

UCSB's Orfalea Center Digital Humanities and Social Change Series Presents

Digital Humanities as a Network of Self-Descriptions 
by Professor Manuel Portela

Wednesday, January 31st, 2024

Guest Lecture
12:30 PM – 1:45PM (LSB 1001)

Public Engagement and Grant-Seeking Workshop
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM (Girvetz Hall 2328)

Abstract of the Talk

In January 2020, the journal PMLA published a special topic issue on “Varieties of Digital Humanities” (135.1). In January 2023, New Literary History published a double special topic issue on “Culture, Theory, Data” (53.4, 54.1). Both issues are telling samples of how computational approaches to literature and culture interact with other disciplinary practices in the broad field of Literary and Cultural Studies. The number of monographs that we can subsume under the heading of cultural analytics and other computer-related methodologies has also increased during the past decade: collective volumes focused on the histories, theories, and methodologies of the field, which were predominant in the 2000s and early 2010s, are now accompanied by monographs that address authors, genres, concepts, and practices. I hypothesize that this trend reflects the growing legitimacy of computational approaches to address a wider range of problems. I also claim that computational approaches are encouraging various interdisciplinary constellations, and they respond to research funding policies that foster innovation. Computational methods are finding new ways to address established questions and conceptualizing new research questions.

Public Engagement and Grant Seeking Workshop

Manuel Portela will talk about collaborative research abroad, using grants for public-facing engaged research and public engagement, and how undergraduate and graduate students can participate in the growth and activities of a center. He will give suggestions on how to write a grant proposal as well as implement and manage grants. He will also highlight key potential European institutions and foundations for partnerships.

Manuel Portela

Professor in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures (English) at the University of Coimbra. His research focuses on digital critical editing, electronic literature, and comparative media studies. Those parallel interests are reflected in Scripting Reading Motions: The Codex and the Computer as Self-Reflexive Machines (MIT Press, 2013) and Literary Simulation and the Digital Humanities: Reading, Editing, Writing (Bloomsbury, 2022), in the Ph.D. Programme in Materialities of Literature (co-founder and director), and in the LdoD Archive: Collaborative Digital Archive of the Book of Disquiet (2017-2023), an experimental textual environment. He was cofounder and general editor of the journal MATLIT: Materialities of Literature (2013-2021). He has also worked as a theater director, cultural programmer, curator, and translator. He is currently the Director of the General Library of the University of Coimbra.

Research grant experience

Manuel Portela has extensive experience in research grant applications both as a PI and as a member of national and international research teams. Over the years, he has been involved in projects funded by the Foundation for Science and Technology (Portugal), Ministerio de Ciencia y Innovación (Spain), Andrew W Mellon Foundation (USA), Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (France), British Academy (UK), European Commission (EU). He has also served as a panel member and external reviewer for several research project calls (Portugal, EU, Brazil).

Page Editor

Omar Mansour
Omar Mansour
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