Existing digital tools and related models carry assumptions of knowledge as primarily visual, thus neglecting other sensory or experiential detail and sustaining traditional and often ocularcentric humanities research (Howes, 2005, p. 14; Classen, 1997, pp. 401-12). The excuse is that intangible artefacts, such as senses, movement or emotions leave no traces or evidence, so we cannot reproduce them in their entirety (see Betts 2016 and Foka 2016). While we argue that the lack of evidence is in fact present in any aspect of historical research, we wish to add to related criticisms of knowledge production by challenging current digital research that sustains the past as sanitised historio-cultural ideal (Westin, 2012; Tziovas, 2014). Positing that novel technological methods and tools may help to combat this view, and give us a further insight into historically situated life, this special issue aims to examine the question of whether and how digital technology may facilitate a different and deeper understanding of historically situated life as a sensory and emotional experience. This special issue currently planned for the Digital Humanities Quarterly will contribute to the sensory turn in archaeology and historical research by demonstrating the potential of digital humanities to mobilize a deeper understanding of the past. By discussing the possibilities and problems of (a) digital recreation(s) of narratives and monuments, we further aim to address ways of conveying digital ekphrasis (Lindhé, 2013). Similar to the rhetorical device of ekphrasis, which may be used to describe any experience, digital technology can be a means through which to recreate, experience and study the past in a way that challenges prescribed notions of it.
We are looking for contributions that deal with (but are not limited to)
1. tangible and sensory technologies for the study of the past
2. Technological advancements in the study of archaeological fieldwork
3. Ways to digitally convey and research narratives
4. Gaming engines
5. immersive screens, kinect and other platforms for the study and display of history.
We are envisioning the first drafts to be handed in to us for peer review around December 2015 and about 4 more months for corrections making the publication available around early summer 2016.
Please submit your 300 word abstract no later than the 15th of June at
Very much looking forward to receiving your contributions!
The ctp2015 team