Digital humanities

The term "digital humanities" refers to all the digital tools and protocols used to process, explore and visualize bodies of data in the humanities and social sciences.

These tools and protocols can potentially be applied to a wide variety of research projects and questions, at the crossroads of disciplines ranging from history to literature and linguistics to geography. Examples include tools such as eScriptorium for handwritten text recognition, IRaMuTeQ for lexicometrics, or Gephi for data visualization.

In France, the development of digital humanities relies very heavily on the services offered by Huma-Num and Progedo, which are national-level research infrastructures (IR*), as well as those deployed locally by the MSH through their technology platforms that affiliated laboratories can use. In some institutions, the pooling of skills present in different services (laboratories, departments, libraries, etc.) can also give rise to the formation of structures or programs dedicated to digital humanities, as at EPHE, ENS Lyon or Université Paris Cité, in particular.

Parallel to this, thematic consortiums are being set up within the Huma-Num infrastructure. Founded by, for and on the scale of transversal research communities (in disciplinary, institutional, geographical terms, etc.), these consortiums aim to reflect on solutions to the specific problems they encounter due to their fields of study and/or the corpora from which they work. This is precisely the case for areal studies, whose digital humanities issues are addressed by the consortium DISTAM - Digital Studies Africa, Asia, Middle East.

In connection with the discussions driving the DISTAM consortium, Inalco affirms its desire to deploy a range of services in the field of digital humanities, particularly in terms of:

  • An inventory of the needs of doctoral students, teacher-researchers, project leaders and research teams.

  • Monitoring to identify training courses, workshops, seminars, study days, etc.,

  • Setting up training programs (one-off and/or recurrent) in response to expressed needs.

  • Interfacing with IR* Huma-Num to manage and monitor projects requiring special services.

Supported by the DIRVED, as part of its mission to accompany and promote research at Inalco, this service offer constitutes an open and evolving system, centered on the dynamic consideration of the institution's challenges and needs in terms of digital humanities.

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