[Air-L] Amsterdam Digital Methods Summer School 2010, Call for Participants

Esther Weltevrede eweltevrede at gmail.com
Fri Mar 5 08:33:10 PST 2010

Call for Participants

Digital Methods Summer School 2010

New Media & Digital Culture, University of Amsterdam

"Foundations for Online Research with Digital Methods"


The Digital Methods Initiative, a collaboration of the New Media & Digital
Culture program at the University of Amsterdam and the Govcom.org
Foundation, is organizing its 4th annual Summer School for advanced B.A. and
M.A. students, PhD candidates as well as designers, artists and programmers
working in the area of online media research, broadly conceived. This year's
edition of the annual Summer School is dedicated to "foundations" in digital
methods. One set of foundations includes the question of the status of Web
data. Often considered messy, dirty and incomplete, under which conditions
may Web data be seen as robust? Another set of foundations concerns the idea
of the Web as virtual, representational or otherwise having a special,
ungrounded status. Can one only study online culture when one's site of
research is the Web? Where does online cultural studies end, and social and
cultural research begin? The third set of foundations strives to codify the
otherwise tacit knowledge required for online research. On top of
formulating research questions, the purpose of foundational research skills
sessions is to present strategies for compiling URL lists, building source
sets, making issue and key word lists, designing queries and undertaking
other core prep tasks, prior to tool use. Further foundational sessions
include training in reading and interpreting search engine results and other
standard Web device outputs.

Under-explored Spaces by Digital Methods

Special attention will be paid to under-explored spaces and subspaces
online. Explored spaces by digital methods include hyperlink networks, IP
numbers, archived website collections and previous states of the Web,
top-level and second-level domains, search engine returns, social bookmarks
and related tags, the spheres, national Webs and filtered content, social
networking profiles, wikipedia article edit histories and tweets related by
hashtag. Of the under-explored spaces, there are the classic ones, as well
as those which may resist current tools and methods. In the former category
of course there have been portions of the Web thought to be unreachable by
crawlers (the 'dark web'), another relatively untouched by humans (the
crawled-only web), a third not to be captured (the 'ephemeral web') and the
fourth one that no longer exists, the dead web. (Placing the robots.txt
exclusion on a website now flushes the site's stored history in the Internet
archive.) However, the focus in the Summer School is on spaces currently
garnering attention for their democratic potential, such as the comment
space as well as the overlay or annotated map space, and exploring their
potential for social and cultural research.

Digital Methods Training Certificate Program, 28 June - 9 July 2010

The Digital Methods Summer School has a certificate program. It is a
two-week intensive training and skill acquisition program which runs, every
other weekday, 28 June to 9 July 2010. The certificate program is
recommended for those researchers with limited exposure to digital methods
to date.

Digital Methods Advanced Projects Program, 9 August - 27 August 2010

The Digital Methods Summer School also has an advanced program. It is a
three-week undertaking, meeting physically Mondays and Fridays, with an
ongoing commitment, where researchers propose and carry out projects, from
research question and query design to methodological operationalization,
tool use and visual and written output, including narrative and
presentation. Each week has a dedicated theme, and is facilitated by
advanced Amsterdam-based Digital Methods researchers. Thematic projects may
include explorations of the comment space, real-time results, activity in
social media, comparative Web space temporalities (such as static,
real-time, periodic and irregularly-paced), as well as the creation of Web
collections for the purposes of historical research.


To apply for the Digital Methods Training Certificate Program, 28 June - 9
July 2010, please send a one-page letter explaining how digital methods
training would benefit your current work, and also enclose a CV. Mark your
application "DMI Training Certificate Program."

To apply for the Digital Methods Advanced Projects Program, 9 August - 27
August 2010, please send a one-page letter explaining how digital methods
have benefited your work, and also enclose a CV. Mark your application "DMI
Summer Advanced Program."

To apply for both programs, please write a letter explaining your overall
affinity with digital methods work, and include your CV. Mark your
application "DMI Summer Full Program."

Selection of participants is based on the fit between candidate interests
and available skills and expertise. Selection is also based on commitment to
full attendance as well as your work in digital methods. Please be advised
that we may contact you for additional information and request a
conversation in person, by phone or by Skype (whichever is most suitable).

Please send applications to Esther Weltevrede, Digital Methods Initiative,
Media Studies, University of Amsterdam, info {at} digitalmethods.net.
Informal queries should be sent to Richard Rogers, University of Amsterdam,
rogers {at} uva.nl.

Deadline for applications is 3 May 2010. Responses to be sent on 7 May 2010.
Conversations in person, by phone or by Skype will be held on 10 and 11 May.
Circulation of finalized participants' list on 12 May.


Participants must arrange their own travel and accommodation. There is no
fee for participation in the Summer School. Space is limited.

The Digital Methods Initiative acknowledges the generous support of the
Science Faculty, University of Amsterdam, and Platform Beta Techniek,

Previous Digital Methods Summer Schools, 2007-2009

The Digital Methods Summer School is in its fourth year. The third Summer
School in 2009 treated media attention formats, Wikipedia as space of
controversy, repurposing Google for social research and methods for Internet
archive research, including "conjuring a past state of the Web." The second
Summer School, which coincided with the 10-year jubilee of the Govcom.org
foundation, was dedicated to the turn away from user studies, and also
produced the video, commenting on Google's 10-year anniversary, "Google and
the politics of tabs." The IP Browser, recently shown at Arts Santa Monica
in Barcelona, is also a product of the 2008 gatherings. The first Summer
School, in 2007, sought to establish the study of natively digital objects,
how they are handled by dominant web devices, and whether the "methods in
the media" may be repurposed for social and cultural research.

Related project URLs

The Digital Methods Initiative (DMI), Amsterdam, participates in the EU
project facilitated by Bruno Latour, Sciences Po, Paris,

DMI researchers also participate in the ATACD network, the EU project
facilitated by Celia Lury, Goldsmiths, London, http://www.atacd.net/.


Reworking method for Internet research, the Digital Methods Initiative (DMI)
is a collaboration of the New Media & Digital Culture, University of
Amsterdam and the Govcom.org Foundation, Amsterdam. Its director is Richard
Rogers, Chair, New Media & Digital Culture, University of Amsterdam, and its
coordinators are Esther Weltevrede and Sabine Niederer, PhD candidates in
Media Studies, University of Amsterdam.

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