DH-603 / 2 credits

Teacher: Invited lecturers (see below)

Language: English

Remark: To register your interest, please send an email by January 31st, containing a 100-word summary of your research to: paul.guhennec@epfl.ch


Only this year


Through a combination of lectures, seminar, and practical workshops, this course serves as an introduction to critical digital humanities and algorithmic critique, and is specifically tailored for researchers in big data cultural analytics.


This two-day seminar, organised on site in Lausanne, aims to provide doctoral students in the Digital Humanities an introduction to algorithmic critique and Critical Digital Humanities. It is especially aimed at students interested in the intersection of algorithmic methods, big data, and cultural heritage.
Through a combination of lectures by field experts, seminar-like discussions, and practical exercices, each student will develop the critical tools necessary to the assessment of the epistemic value of one's own work. By highlighting the constructed nature of algorithms and the underlying ideologies at play, this seminar aims at helping researchers — in a field, often ripe with tensions and methodological disagreements — solidly approach the intersection between humanities and computational thinking.


The program of lectures will be the following:
- Thursday 8th February, morning. David Berry (University of Sussex) will introduce the intersection between Critical Theory and Digital Humanities.
- Thursday 8th February, afternoon. Eva Cetinic (University of Zurich) will discuss the evolution of Digital Art History, the discrepancies with its "traditional" counterpart, and the questions raised by the use of Computer Vision and Deep Leaning in Art History.
- Friday 9th February, morning. Florian Jaton (University of Lausanne) will dissect the construction of algorithms, specially emphasising the hidden biases in the processes of "ground-truthing".
- Friday 9th February, afternoon. Simon Dumas Primbault (Aix-Marseille University) will introduce epistemological criticism of Digital Humanities pipelines and discuss mixed-methods approaches.


Registered students will be expected to read the given bibliography and take part in the seminar discussions. They will also have to prepare short presentations on how their own research can be approached in the light of the critical tools presented in the lectures.

Invited lecturers:

David Berry (University of Sussex), Eva Cetinic (University of Zurich), Florian Jaton (University of Lausanne), Simon Dumas Primbault (Aix-Marseille University)


Digital Humanities, Algorithmic Critique, Mixed-Method Approaches, Critical Theory, Digital Art History


Moodle Link

In the programs

  • Number of places: 25
  • Exam form: Oral presentation (session free)
  • Subject examined: Methodological Advances in Digital Humanities
  • Lecture: 15 Hour(s)
  • Exercises: 10 Hour(s)
  • Practical work: 10 Hour(s)
  • Type: optional

Reference week

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