EASA 2020: Digital research infrastructures in social and cultural anthropology EN LIGNE
Decision: EASA2020 will go fully online with some small in-person events to be held in Lisbon during 2021
It has therefore been decided by the EASA Executive Committee, with the full support of the Lisbon Local Committee and NomadIT, that the EASA2020 Lisbon Conference will be held as an online event on the same dates as originally planned: 20-24 July 2020. Some additional small-scale events, working with EASA networks and the Lisbon local committee, will be held in Lisbon during the course of 2021.
If there was any way we could deliver the conference in Lisbon that we had planned, we would do so. We still strongly believe that conferences in which people meet in person are a crucial part of intellectual engagement (as anthropologists, we could hardly think otherwise). This is an exceptional solution to an exceptional situation.
To carry out an online conference will be a new and somewhat daunting undertaking for the organizers and planners. We will not attempt to copy or replace a physical conference, for that is not possible. Instead, we will work to make the best use of the capacities of digital technologies in order to deliver a different kind of conference experience that will provide a collective space for both intellectual and social engagement. NomadIT, the conference organisers, will be in contact with all panelists in the week ahead to discuss participation, the proposed platform and format(s), etc.
The « Digital Age » has an impact on ethnographic research: methods and tools, fields of research, publishing and access to literature have all been notably transformed over the last twenty years. Digitisation projects and open access initiatives in libraries and museums offer literature and digitised collections – ideally without barriers, yet often with restrictions -, also allowing computational processing, e.g. text and data mining. Collaboration, co-curating, and co-publishing over vast distances is now manageable via online databases and virtual labs or research environments, not only between colleagues in the academic field, but also with (former) research participants, thus offering new possibilities for collaborative research. Fieldwork is supported by smartphones, computers, and other digital equipment as well as social media applications. The discussion on these radical transformations is just beginning in anthropology. An overview on resources and developments, possibilities and challenges is missing so far. The debate on digital humanities is still mostly disconnected from anthropology. The panel aims at provoking a broad debate on the current state of ‘digital anthropology’, its difficulties and possible futures by (1) discussing digital tools and platforms explicitly developed for research in social and cultural anthropology, by (2) presenting services for archiving and sharing research data, and by (3) considering legal and ethical aspects of long-term preservation, creating access to, and governing the re-use of research data. We invite contributions on digital solutions for research infrastructures and important digital resources for anthropology, as well as critical reflections on the use of digital data and tools and their methodological, epistemological, ethical and legal implications.