Social Knowledge Construction in the Humanities: A Consideration of Perspectives, Practices, and Possibilities

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1. History of Social Knowledge Production
Various studies have analyzed the history of knowledge production, primarily focusing on three major fields within this line of inquiry: textual studies, historical scholarly practices, and media history. The first category focuses largely on the advent of print and the consequences thereof. Next, the second category encompasses the history of scholarly communication, specifically concerning academic journals and peer review. Finally, the third category more directly concentrates on the social context of various media and mediums. The conception of knowledge production as plural represents the point of contact between these fields – knowledge reflects a composite of various people as well as networks of historical, political, and social contexts.
1.1 A Theoretical Overview of Key Issues
Scholarly understandings of how knowledge is produced and conveyed have been transformed in recent decades by profound “changes in knowledge regimes” (Burke 2012). Continue Reading ->
1.2 Evaluating and Creating New Media Knowledge Formats for New Media Publics
The historiography of peer review illustrates how processes of review, censorship, and advancement can be adapted to suit the needs of the academy and the knowledge communities connected to the academy, and serve as both a form of academic certification and community certification. Continue Reading ->
1.3 History of Social Knowledge Production Explored through Book History & the University Press
As both printed and electronic texts now function in a social environment that is infused with digital media, online reading shares screen space with other media and entertainment. Continue Reading ->
1.4 Historical Scholarly Practices: Development of Academic Knowledge Production and Dissemination
How have historical scholarly practices contributed to the development of academic production and dissemination? Continue Reading ->
1.5 Social Knowledge, Selfhood, and the History of the Internet
Digital infrastructures and tools for social knowledge construction and dissemination are themselves products of social knowledge. Continue Reading ->
2. Society, Governance, and Knowledge Construction and Constriction
How do we understand where social knowledge construction is restricted, limited, or ideologically ordered? The foundation for this spans from critical theory to sociotechnology studies, surveying the field of knowledge production more from a theoretical standpoint than an applied one in their direct engagement with the digital environment and computational culture. Pertinent questions include: Who constrains knowledge and how? Through which channels does knowledge flow? And perhaps most pressing: How does acknowledging the constriction of knowledge influence our present and future decisions regarding policy, law, and society?
2.1 Group Dynamics & Public Space
While collaboration is cited as a foundational value in DH, it is oftentimes executed only in principle and not in practice. Continue Reading ->
2.2 Public Humanities
There has been a steady shift in public humanities towards occupying a more central position in institutional practices in response to the persistent request for universities to be more engaged with community life and enhancement. Continue Reading ->
2.3 Innovation and Constriction in the Networked Information Economy
Accessibility, governance and collaborative construction of digital content are key issues facing the diffusion of electronic information today and in the future. Continue Reading ->
2.4 Ideologies of Social Knowledge Construction and Constriction
Although Western culture is heavily influenced by ideologies—religion, science, progress, democracy—some of the most frequently overlooked are literature and computer networks. Continue Reading ->
2.5 Cultures of Invisibility and Identity in Computing
In the early years of the World Wide Web, people often understood new computational technologies through metaphors of Western capitalism. Continue Reading ->
2.6 Political Ideologies and Search Engines
Scholars who have studied search engines contend that these technologies reflect the ideologies of the societal structure out of which they were created, and they continue to adapt based on the changing collective needs of the peoples within those societies. Continue Reading ->
2.7 Cultural Studies and the Politics of Knowledge
The period between 1999 and 2011 encompasses massive cultural shifts and, with them, changes in academic practice and thought. Questions of knowledge curation and pedagogy are certainly not new, but the tectonic changes society has undergone, and continues to undergo, in the past few decades have affected the conversation. Continue Reading ->
3. Social Media Communities, Content, and Collaboration
The rise of social media has encouraged a unique coming together of transnational, national, and local communication and social knowledge creation. The polyvocal and democratic undertones of social media present a formidable opportunity for engagement between various groups of people and movements. Although the full depth of social media’s influence on creating knowledge and culture necessarily remains not fully clear at this time, many scholars speculate on, encourage, study, and employ social media. Concerns in this area range from introducing scholarly social knowledge creation tools to analyzing the inner workings of social knowledge production in current popular networks like Facebook and Wikipedia.
3.1 Crowdsourcing
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3.2 Social Media and Scholarly Engagement
While social media has been a prominent part of digital environments for a decade, it is only in recent years that scholars have begun to value the contributions that social media can make to their work. In particular, scholars—especially those in the digital humanities—are embracing the opportunities for collaboration that social media provides. Continue Reading ->
3.3 Social Media & Online Communities in Social Action and Public Humanities Pedagogy
Social media and online communities can also serve as useful tools of collaborative knowledge formation, dialogue, and exchange. Continue Reading ->
3.4 Social Media and the Politics of Collaboration, Gender, and Labour
Digital humanities and new media scholars increasingly embrace social media for collaboration and engagement by making use of social networking sites from Twitter to Continue Reading ->
3.5 Web 2.0, Academia, and Collaborative Research Innovations
How has the Web 2.0 age shaped - and will continue to shape - how research is performed and shared collaboratively? Continue Reading ->
4. Designing Knowledge Spaces Through Critical Making
Critical making integrates the previously disparate fields of more abstract, conceptual critical theory and a sustained commitment to design and building. We accept that knowledge is frequently created through the collaboration of various individuals, methodologies, and tools, the design of these interactions (or the space where the interactions occur) needs to be critically examined and implemented. As such, a key consideration is of how to design digital projects and spaces that stimulate social knowledge creation while maintaining certain ethical or discipline-based standards. Articulated through ideas of “learning by doing” and hands-on collaboration, critical making often focuses on social knowledge production with a more literal interpretation of the term production.
4.1 Creation-as-Research
Creation-as-Research is one aspect of Critical Making which is taking up space in the discussions around knowledge spaces and scholarship. Continue Reading ->
4.2 Design Thinking in Digital Humanities Centers and Labs
Design thinking is present throughout the cycle of project envisioning and planning, including research, analysis, presentation and publication. Continue Reading ->
4.3 Speculation and Conjecture in Social Knowledge Environments
The adjectives “speculative” and “conjectural” have long been used dismissively in academic scholarship to convey a lack of rigour in critical argumentation. Continue Reading ->
4.4 Making Inclusive Knowledge Spaces
Maker culture emphasizes collective production, learning through doing, and shared learning. Continue Reading ->
4.5 Theories and Applications of DIY Technoculture
Technology and culture inform one another, and, rather than viewing them as separate entities, it is necessary to see them as co-dependent forces. Continue Reading ->
5. Game Design / Gamification
A wide range of fields, from marketing to pedagogy to human resources, apply, study, and discuss gamification. Hence, it is no surprise that an array of definitions and descriptions of gamification cause confusion as to what it really means. While some offer a fairly broad definition of ramification in relation to mechanic game principles to engage users in activity, others differentiate gamification from similar approaches by defining it more as the broader adoption of game elements in contexts beyond gaming; here, we consider gameful design, game-design thinking, and game-inspired approaches to refer to our suggested broader use of game-related methods and strategies in non-game environments. There is some debate here about terminology, especially because the word “gamification” holds negative connotations associated with marketing tactics; many scholars, argue for alternative terminology in order to distance academic uses of gamification from controversial or exploitative examples.
5.1 Game-Design Models in Scholarly Communication Practices and Digital Scholarship
Within the realm of digital scholarship, scholars have begun to consider digital editions as unique spaces for gameful design to be applied. Continue Reading ->
5.2 Game-Design-Inspired Learning Initiatives
The instructional potential of and possibility for learning through games is not a new concept in the realm of pedagogy and teaching. Continue Reading ->
5.3 Game-Design Models in the Context of Social Knowledge Creation Tools
What applications can game-design models provide in the development of social knowledge creation tools? Continue Reading ->
5.4 Defining Gamification and Other Game-Design Models
Although games are a prevalent part of children’s learning, it is only recently that academics have begun to explore the academic value of gaming. Continue Reading ->
5.5 Game-Design Models and the Digital Economy
Within academic discourse, gamification has provoked heated debates and strong criticism. Continue Reading ->
5.6 Game-Design Insights and Best Practices
Salen and Zimmerman’s Rules of Play, Bjork and Jussi’s Patterns in Game Design, and Galloway’s Gaming offer extensive overviews of video game studies and game design, providing insights to practices from game studies and the gaming industry. Continue Reading ->
5.7 Games, Gamification, and Libraries
How has gamification developed in libraries, and what are its promises and limitations? Continue Reading ->
5.8 Games, Gamification, and Game-Based Learning
How might a successful “gamified” application work? How do gamification processes specifically create and disseminate knowledge? Continue Reading ->
5.9 TEI and Extensible Scholarship
How are digital editions and transcription practices advancing and affecting digital scholarship? Continue Reading ->
6. Discipline Formation in the Academic Context
Ideally, academic practices and institutions perpetually evolve to better serve students, communities, and scholarly practitioners alike. As such, it remains pertinent to assess the history and current state of the academy through its scholarly communication and discipline formation habits.
7. The Shifting Future of Scholarly Communication and Digital Scholarship; Electronic Journals and Monographs
What is the role of the humanities in social knowledge production? How can academics harness new tools and modes of scholarship to productively engage with each other, as well as with other members of the public? How can the humanities actively reflect on and proactively repurpose the history of scholarly communication? How can the digital realm foster social knowledge creation from within the academy? Approaches to answering these questions are found via approaches from rethinking literary criticism, to imagining future digital libraries, to politicizing the digital humanities. The most stimulating and notable intersections occur when the social and the scholarly overlap.
7.1 Collaborations in the Meaningful Creation of Electronic Journals and Monographs
Research libraries have begun to step forward as an alternative venue for academic publishing, but they typically see themselves as a replacement rather than a partner for the university press. Continue Reading ->
7.2 E-Publishing in Pedagogy and Public Humanities and Cultivating Collaborative Histories
History is collectively lived, remembered, and reflected upon, however can history (or perhaps more accurately, histories) be collectively written. Continue Reading ->
7.3 E-Publishing and Peer Review
With the advent of online scholarly publishing, academics are beginning to move their work from print based publications to online forums. Continue Reading ->
7.4 Opening Peer Review
With the advent of digital publishing and online scholarship, there is an emerging scholarly interest in the promise and potential of opening peer review. Continue Reading ->
7.5 (Inter)disciplinary Accountability and Transforming the Digital Humanities from Within
How can formal and informal modes of social and scholarly communication help us productively reimagine the scholarly disciplines and communities in which we participate? Continue Reading ->
7.6 Crowdsourcing as an Open Access Movement
Will scientists and scholars finally recover the control over the tools needed for their great conversation, or will it increasingly be taken over by commercial interests? Continue Reading ->
8. Spatial Humanities and Digital Mapping
Spatial Humanities and Digital Mapping primarily focuses on the practices of present day spatial humanities research following the shift to a computational mode of knowledge production and dissemination through digital mapping. This has resulted in an expanding social element in many branches of the field and often involves working with large corpora, made possible through the automatization of geoparsing. One of the ways in which the social element is integrated into the field is through the active participation of users who collect live geospatial data on GPS-based devices and update them onto a map, such as the OpenStreetMap community-driven environment. Another major constituent of digital spatial humanities is the availability of large general and field-specific open gazetteers with geospatial information and other details about the location that vary depending on the gazetteer. Many of these gazetteers consist of thousands of entries and are continuously expanding through user contribution. The open availability of geospatial information circumvents the widespread commercialization of geospatial information and is aligned with open access values. Rather than focusing on digital mapping tools, the entries in this section survey theoretical discourses in the field, features of digital mapping, and successful social mapping initiatives.
9. Exemplary Instances of Social Knowledge Construction
Many pertinent examples of social knowledge creation exist both within and without the digital environment.
10. Final Engagements
10.1 Editorial Interventions and Evolutions in Reimagined Digital Editions
With the reimagining of humanities research platforms through digital tools and participatory forums, the form of the electronic book is undergoing experimentation and evolution. Continue Reading ->
10.2 Citation, Collaboration, and Feminist Research Ethics on Twitter
Working with and through social media has the potential to create innovative and non-traditional approaches to knowledge production and public scholarship. Continue Reading ->
10.3 On Listening: An Inquiry into Podcasting and Academic Culture
As academic culture becomes increasingly receptive and hospitable to scholars’ whole, public, and private selves, the values and metrics of traditional academic output must accordingly shift. Continue Reading ->
10.4 Alternative Knowledge Frameworks: The Influence of Video Games on the Construction and Dissemination of Knowledge in Formal Education
Scholars across a variety of fields have looked to video games to investigate how they might construct knowledge. Continue Reading ->