Archive for the 'Events' Category

A visit to the China Academy of Art, Shanghai Institute of Design

By Simon Mahony, on 21 April 2016

As part of my recent visit to Shanghai, I was honoured to be the guest of the President of the China Academy of Art, Shanghai Institute of Design. The China Academy of Art (CAA) is the premier Art Academy in China and the Shanghai campus is the foremost Design Institute. Aparently the CAA is also the first art university and first graduate school in China.

Shanghai Institute of Design, China Academy of Art

Shanghai Institute of Design, China Academy of Art

During my stay I met with academics, discussed cultural differences in teaching and learning, assisted in an English language teaching session and met students showcasing their impressive work on UI design and App design in the Department of Digital Publishing and Exhibition Design.

Students at the Institute of Design

Students at the Institute of Design

I was also able to highlight some UCLDH research and students’ work in my guest lecture: ‘Designing a Digital Publishing Product’.

Guest lecture at the Institute of Design

Guest lecture at the Institute of Design

What was most impressive was the lecture poster; I was expecting A4 but, after all, this is indeed China’s premier design institute. The image was a quick draw caricture of me and the President by one of his students.

Poster: Shanghai Institute of Design

Poster: Shanghai Institute of Design

The Shanghai Zhangjiang Campus is a small one and the main parts of the university are situated at two locations in nearby Hangzhou, both with very distinctive and award winning architecture. The original campus at Nanshan overlooks the famous West Lake and the Xiangshan Central Campus (the largest site) on the outskirts of Hangzhou has become a tourist attraction in its own right and features the Crafts (Folk Art) Museum (which was unfortunately closed on the day I visited but that provides a good excuse for a follow up visit and next time to stay on that campus).

China Academy of Art, Hangzou

China Academy of Art, Hangzou

 

2015 International Graduate Scholarship Fair, Beijing

By Simon Mahony, on 7 January 2016

2015 International Graduate Scholarship Fair

2015 International Graduate Scholarship Fair

In October I was delighted to represent UCL at the 2015 International Graduate Scholarship Fair, organised by the China Scholarship Council, in Beijing. This is a major recruitment event where most major academic institutions worldwide have a presence. It is attended each year by a member of the UCL International Office and often accompanied by an academic representative. The Graduate Fair starts in Beijing and moved (this year) to Wuhan, Nanjing and Shanghai; I only attended the Fair in Beijing which is the largest but a colleague from UCL International Office, Hannah Legg, travelled to them all.

The Beijing event started with a planning meeting (which I didn’t have to attend luckily as I had only just arrived because of flight delays) followed by an evening networking session with speeches from the organisers (bravely delivered in English) and refreshments in the Chinese style (masses of wonderful food accompanied by small glasses of wine). The Fair itself, at the University of Science and Technology, ran from 09:00 until 17:00 (with short breaks for coffee and lunch) with a continuous line of perspective students at both desks for the whole day. I spoke to some interesting potential applicants and kept their details but mostly we both had very similar questions about the entry requirements for graduate study (Masters and PhD) at UCL and how to impress the admissions tutors. We were ably assisted by our enthusiastic local student, Ada, who has excellent English and hopes to join us at UCL in a couple of years.

UCL: London's Global University

UCL: London’s Global University

UCL staff and student helper at the Graduate Fair

UCL staff and helper at the Graduate Fair

 

After attending this event last year, I took some time out to be a tourist and benefited greatly from the hospitality of many former students, arranging dinners and taking me round the sites. I discovered how much they regretted not being able to come back to UCL for graduations. So this year, and at the suggestion of Chenxi Wang (ECP 2013), who became the local organiser, we took our own graduation to Beijing. Chenxi organised a venue (she works at MS Beijing), catering, decorations, photographer and invitations; I simply turned up and brought the appropriate robes hired from the UCL suppliers. This turned out to be a really amazing event and truly the highlight of my year. After a short talk from me, each alumni put on the robes in turn, posed with me for photos with a dummy scroll as I pinned a Bentham badge on them; they each followed this with some words about their experiences at UCL (mostly in Chinese but with smiles on their faces so I’m guessing it was something nice). We had photos outside as it was one of the two blue sky days Beijing enjoyed this year (if you’ve ever been there, you’ll know what I mean) followed by professional style graduation photos. This really was a memorable day and one that I certainly will treasure.

DIS alumni and family members at our Beijing graduation

DIS alumni and family members at our Beijing graduation

As well as promotional material, Chenxi put together a short video mashing up some stock UCL video clips and new material to feature most of the attendees (it’s on YouKu as YouTube is blocked in China so please excuse the adverts). Just to note that a few more alumni came along a little later and two more the following day as despite being a Sunday afternoon they could not get the time off work (no EU employment law although I’m pleased to say that they are all in full-time employment).

Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL)

By Simon Mahony, on 1 January 2016

Banner for the International Book Fair (FIL) Guadalajara

International Book Fair (FIL) Guadalajara banner

2015 was the year of Mexico in the UK and the UK in Mexico. As part of this the British Council organised a series of events including several at the Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL) (26/11/2015 – 09/12/2015) which is the largest literary festival and most important publishing gathering in Latin America. I was invited to take part in the Academic Programme and speak at the XIX International Meeting of Educational Research organised by the Department of Educational Studies of the University of Guadalajara. I was introduced to warm Mexican hospitality and well looked after by the representatives of the British Council and also by the convenor of the Academic Programme and Head of the Department of Educational Studies, Dr. Antonio Ponce Rojo who runs a Master’s programme there.

British Council poster

British Council poster: Museums without walls

My planned talk, ‘Reflections on knowledge production within the framework of UK academic institutions’, was part of the panel ‘The Challenges of Knowledge Production in Modern Societies’ and I volunteered for a second on the following day to fill in for another speaker from the UK who had been unable to attend through illness and hastily put together ‘Digital Humanities Pedagogy: digital culture and education’ for the panel on technology in education. The second session also saw the launch of a British Council bilingual publication ‘Education Systems in Mexico and UK’ and I was very pleased to meet and to get signed copies from the two authors Lena Milosevic (British Council) and Sonia Reynaga Obregon (Universidad de Guadalajara). There will be a publication forthcoming with the talks presented at the various panels in the Academic Programme.

Among the publications I was highlighting, it was after all a book fair, was the new publication by DIS colleagues Rebecca Lyons and Samantha Rayner, ‘The Academic Book of the Future’, which featured as the finale of my first talk on knowledge production. This allowed some product placement (see photo) and for me to offer the two copies generously donated by the editors to the University library (thus ensuring them an international and trans-continental ‘impact factor’) along with some other volumes also generously donated by Ashgate publishers.

Academic panel at FIL

Academic panel at FIL (note the books on display)

The FIL itself was definitely impressive and certainly lived up to its reputation as the biggest book fair in the world after the one held at Frankfurt: so many books and so many publishers.

 

BASE KX Excursion …and a thought about Digital Humanities

By Nicole Ingra, on 19 November 2015

 

Last night, there was an excursion to the BASE King’s Cross, which is a brand new innovation hub (a.k.a. a place) for people with bright ideas to come and work. There is a similar venue in Shoreditch, called IDEALondon.  From what I understood, they are part of UCL Advances, which is the entrepreneurial arm of UCL, supporting students successfully launch their business. They offer funding, free training and some interesting events – check them out!

 

BASE KX

BASE King’s Cross communal area.   Photo: Sarah Davenport

 

We also heard some interesting people talking about their business…

Playbrush is a device that you can attach to any toothbrush and it will turn your brushing routine into a fun game, where you help a tooth fairy defeat some horrible bacteria. It’s to be used by children, but yeah, some grown people might enjoy it too (no self-pointing fingers). The device is a bit pricey, but because it’s detachable and reusable, you’ll only need one per household. In case you’re interested in buying, you can use the code base15, which will give you 15% discount until the end of November. The iOS version of the game launches next week and the Android version two weeks after, and they are shipping for Christmas.

Next, there was Interesting Content.  With clients like Disney, Tesco and 7thingsmedia, they are a digital video production agency, admittedly telling stories informed by data (our BFF in DH), creating online content.  They are located at BASE King’s Cross and are also hiring! Although I don’t remember the mention of an email address, there is a contact form in the website.

Before these two guys, there was a girl who spoke about how pitching her business idea to UCL Advances was the best decision she’s took. Maybe she said it was the best experience she’s had. Either way, she said it was really good, and spoke highly favourably about it. Like most of us, UCLDH students, she has a humanities background, but that didn’t stop her from pitching her tech business idea – and it should not stop anyone. If you are a UCL student and have an idea that you think it’s brilliant, get in touch with them. They might be able to advise you and point you into the right direction. You might even get some funding!

 

One extra thought!

I noticed that even though the speakers were into humanities and worked with digital, they had no clue what Digital Humanities is. Well, I guess most of us don’t really know, but we should at least aim to make it more fashionable (like using italics). We have a mixture of undergrad (and cultural) backgrounds and different academic and professional aims – and that’s a huge advantage! We know different things, look at problems from different points of views and will have different solutions. That probably means we will have different definitions of what DH is because DH will be applied differently by each one of us. But there’s one common thread, somewhere, beyond JavaScript and XML.

I’d love to know your thoughts about this, so if you’d like to get together to talk about this over a coffee, get in touch!

Digital Classicist London seminars 2015

By Simon Mahony, on 12 May 2015

digiclas

The programme for the Digital Classicist London & Institute of Classical Studies Summer 2015 seminar series is now published.

Meetings are on Fridays at 16:30 in room G21A (except where otherwise specified), Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU.

Full listings together with abstracts are available on the Digital Classicist seminar page.

All are welcome and no registration is needed.

UCLDH5: The First Susan Hockey Lecture in Digital Humanities

By Sarah Davenport, on 25 February 2015

susan-hockey-lecture-darkpurpleThe UCL Centre for Digital Humanities was founded in 2010, and to celebrate the achievements of the centre over the last five years we are launching a named lecture series, The Susan Hockey Lecture in Digital Humanities. We are especially pleased to announce that Professor Susan Hockey will be giving the inaugural lecture.

Digital Humanities: Perspectives on Past, Present and Future

Wednesday 27 May, 6pm

Sir Ambrose Fleming Lecture Theare, Roberts Building, UCL

In our first installment of the series, Professor Susan Hockey discusses the trajectory of digital humanities from its many years on the fringes to its current position at the centre of the humanities scholarly arena, and its future challenges. Today, conferences, courses and publications in digital humanities abound, and jobs are advertised almost every week. The advent of the World Wide Web shifted emphasis from analytical software to communication and publication tools bringing humanities resources to a much wider audience in classrooms and in the home. The groundwork for many of these new ways of working is in place now. Some time in the future, humanities information sources will be mainly digital. What are the implications of a much broader user community for these resources, and for libraries and archives, the traditional custodians of humanities information sources? How can research in digital humanities contribute to future developments? And what should our students learn in order to build successfully on what has already been achieved?

All welcome, the lecture will be followed by a drinks reception in the Roberts Foyer.  Please note that registration is required.

 

Upcoming talks in the UCLDH Seminar Series

By Sarah Davenport, on 23 January 2015

We have some great talks coming up this term as part of our seminar series.  Please do join us, all welcome!

Registration is required.

Wednesday 28th January 2015
5.30pm, G31 Foster Court

Professor Jane Winters, Institute of Historical Research: Big data for humanities research: from digging into the parliamentary record to exploring the UK Web Archive

Wednesday 11th March 2015
5.30pm, G31 Foster Court

Lindsay MacDonald, 3DIMPact Research Group, Faculty of Engineering, UCL: Image Sets under Directional Lighting: A Richer Representation of Cultural Heritage Objects

Wednesday 25th March 2015
5.30pm, G31 Foster Court

Dr Tony Freeth, Honorary Senior Research Associate UCL, Antikythera Mechanism Research Project: The Antikythera Mechanism: A Personal Journey of Discovery

 

Visit to the Institute of Making

By Claire L H Warwick, on 1 April 2014

We are very lucky to have an Institute of Making at UCL. I often walk past its impressive glass front, peer at the collection of things on shelves that can be seen inside, and wonder what on earth they are and what goes on in there. So I was delighted when a group of us from UCLDH were invited to visit and talk about things we have in common with the IoM, and what we might do together. We met the director, Mark Miodownik and Zoe Laughlin, the creative director, who told us about what the institute does. Oddly enough, it’s all about making things, but the kind of things people can make seem to be almost limitless. It’s not just about techie things such as 3D printing: members can indulge in anything that interests them, from farriery to knitting. It turns out that the enticing-looking things on shelves form the materials library: a collection of ‘some of the most extraordinary materials on earth’ as the IoM webpage puts it.

We talked about what kind of things we UCLDH people like to make. Simon was interested in the large, impressive-looking machines, but he was once an engineer. Julianne discussed digital narratives and how people understand spaces and materials both in physical and digital worlds. Claire Ross thought about how the use of the materials library might relate to her PhD work on museum spaces and digital interpretation. Steve talked about some of the cool things that CASA do in terms of making as well as digital, and we mused on future potential for various kinds of collaboration.

In general it was a fascinating visit. We didn’t actually make anything while we were there apart from an important intellectual connection, but I certainly came away with a much clearer sense of what goes on inside that intriguing space.

Join Historypin and UCLDH to geo-tag artworks from the Imperial War Museums’ First World War art collection.

By Simon Mahony, on 20 February 2014

Historypin is setting up shop in one of the UCL cluster rooms and asking anyone who is interested in crowdsourcing to help with geo-tag 100s of paintings around the globe.

17:30 Wednesday 26th February B29, Foster Court

We have been given access to the Imperial War Museums’ astounding First World War art collection. We need your help to geo-tag these artworks to the locations they depict. No prior knowledge of the First World War needed, just experience with online research and a desire to solve historical mysteries!

A Google, Twitter or Facebook account is all you will need.

This is unique opportunity to participate in an innovative crowd-sourcing and geo-referencing project.

More project details are on the Putting Art on the Map flyer.   

Registration is needed via Eventbrite.

Affect, Audience Experience and the Digital Humanities

By Vasileios Routsis, on 12 December 2013

Affective Experiences

Authors: Christina Kamposiori & Vasileios Routsis

Monday 9th December 2013 saw our conference ‘Affective Experiences: media art, design & research’ which took place at the Parasol Unit: foundation for contemporary art. This conference was a great opportunity to close the conversations we started on February on the context of the AHRC funded project ‘New Media, Audiences and Affective Experiences’.

Professor Ernest Edmonds

The project aimed to establish a platform for creative dialogue and collaboration for doctoral students from City University London, Kings College London, Middlesex University, New London Graduate School (NLGS) and University College London in the academic fields of Creative Industries and Practice, Art and Design and Digital Humanities. In this context, we were honoured to represent UCLDH as a distinguished partner of this collaborative effort. During the lifetime of the project, we organised three seminars that took place at the City University London, discussing research methods in the direction of understanding audience engagement and cultural experience through digital technologies.

Lars HoeghThrough our one day conference we aimed to bring together artists, PhD students and established academics and researchers from a variety of disciplines, including art and design, cultural and creative industries, media studies, museum studies and the digital humanities. Participants presented their research and discussed new developments on understanding and measuring affect and audience experience in the digital age.

Professor Melissa Terras presenting Textal

In particular, our keynote and panel speakers addressed issues from a wide and diverse spectrum of perspectives, ranging from the theoretical aspects of affect and perception in relation to audience experience to the more practice-based ones. For example, we had the opportunity to hear from artists and museum professionals on the innovative ways they used to engage with audiences, such as interactive installations, experiments and digital applications. In addition, we looked on methodologies and applications for furthering audience/user related-research; that is also when Professor Melissa Terras presented Textal.

Professor Lisa Blackman

Concluding, this conference was a stimulating experience and we hope that the end of this project will be a start for new collaborations and discussions on the issues of affect, audience/user experience and digital technologies in the Arts & Humanities and Culture.

Acknowledgements

Special thanks to Irida Ntalla, PhD Candidate at City University London (project’s principal co-ordinator), Marianne Markowski, PhD Candidate at Middlesex University (programme committee member), Anastasia-Yvoni Spiliopoulou, UCL Digital Humanities MA Graduate (conference volunteer) and Kathianne Hingwan (conference volunteer) for the great collaboration!