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Event as Data, Apr. 27

Conceptual Infrastructure for History
Image courtesy Carsten Ke├čler from Flickr

A Presentation by Ryan Shaw, Ph.D.

When: Wednesday, April 27, 4pm

Where: Perkins Library, Room 217

Reception to follow

Scholars, information professionals, and the general public develop networks of concepts for organizing discourse and understanding our world: what we might call conceptual infrastructure. The parts of this conceptual infrastructure that support understanding the past include events, narratives and periodization schemes. These concepts are usually constructed in a quite nuanced way in historical scholarship, simplified and stabilized in public memory, and crudely formalized in systems for knowledge organization. In a digital environment, however, there are opportunities to formally model events and periods in more sophisticated ways, opening the door to more collaborative construction of our conceptual infrastructure for understanding the past.

Ryan Shaw holds a Ph.D. from the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley. His research investigates how events might be used as conceptual structures for digitally organizing narrative information across different types of media, and how information systems might better support the expression of multiple perspectives on events and their relationships. He is broadly interested in the intersection of the arts and humanities with information technology, and has been involved in several new media art and theater projects. Prior to entering academia, he worked in Japan for five years as a software developer. Currently, Dr. Shaw is an assistant professor at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina, and in March was a panelist for “Time Traveling: Interfaces for Geotemporal Visualization” at South by Southwest Interactive. See his website for further information.

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Posted 7 April 2011

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Last modified April 7, 2011 1:19:18 PM EDT