10 June, 2019

Visiting Researchers

Brunella Velardi
Lab_HD Visiting Scholar
PhD student in History and Cultural Heritage at DISTU, Università degli Studi della Tuscia (Viterbo, Italy)
“As a PhD student in History and Cultural Heritage at DISTU, Università degli Studi della Tuscia (Viterbo, Italy), since 2018 I started dealing with IT and software that could support my study and help me to manage, analyze and highlight the main points of my investigation.
My research focuses on the cultural environment of production, circulation and public display of art in Naples between the second half of 20th and 21st century. More specifically, the project aims to track places and times of exhibition of contemporary artworks in the city and in its surroundings, to demonstrate the central role of Neapolitan actors – be they curators, politicians, art dealers, artists, etc. – in making Naples a crucial point of exchange for art languages and a territory peculiarly rich in terms of presence of contemporary artworks in public spaces, capable to turn it into a capital of contemporary art.
From March to May 2019, I spent a period of study at NOVA-FCSH, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, where I had the opportunity to approach some specific software and to learn how to integrate art historical investigation and IT. During my stay at NOVA, thanks to the support of prof. Daniel Alves from the Digital Humanities Lab, I deepened the knowledge of the most significant features and debates on Digital Humanities, both from a theoretical and practical point of view. Several readings and the course Informatica Aplicada à História introduced the field, focusing on the uses of IT in human studies and the most recent applications in History and Art History; different uses of databases in museums; spatial humanities and Geographic Information Systems; Social Network Analysis. A wider awareness of mapping issues and, on the other hand, of pros and limits of digital mapping tools, opened the path to the possibility of applying such methods to my research.
At NOVA-FCSH I could therefore gain some experience with tools finalized to support my study and to organize its first results.
On relational databases building with Microsoft Access – Starting from a set of data mined from the research, the task included the identification of categories and related attributes and the creation of connections between fields. The resulting model is a structure ready to be filled and, once completed, to be questioned and imported to visualization software.
On the visualization of data sets with ArcMap (ArcGis) and quantitative and qualitative analysis through the combination of specific queries – The actions led through the software included the visualization on map of georeferenced data previously collected in a simple Excel table and the characterization of selected attributes finalized to a diachronic investigation on the distribution of contemporary art venues on the territory of Naples through decades from 1950 until nowadays.
The challenge to include a conspicuous number of features to be questioned and to adapt the queries to the specific goals of the investigation was successful. Next step will be importing models from the general database to develop the research in a digital environment, leading parallel investigation on cultural phenomena through traditional and digital approach.”
Brunella Velardi
PhD student
Università degli Studi della Tuscia (Viterbo, Italy)
June 2019
Ricardo Pimenta
Lab_HD Visiting Scholar
Full Researcher at Instituto Brasileiro de Informação em Ciência e Tecnologia (IBICT) (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
I am a Full Researcher at the Brazilian Institute of Information on Science and Technology (IBICT) of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI). I am currently working as a permanent professor at the Graduate Program in Information Science (PPGCI/IBICT-UFRJ) where I lead a research group entitled “Memória e Sociedade da Informação” (MESO) (http://meso.ibict.br) and coordinate the Digital Humanities Net Laboratory of IBICT (Larhud/COEPE/IBICT) (http://www.larhud.ibict.br).
My initial formation is in History (2003). MSc (2006) and PhD (2010) both in Social Memory, an interdisciplinary program of memory studies in the field of the Humanities. During the period 2007 to 2008 I took part of my PhD at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales – EHESS in Paris.
Among other positions, I collaborated as an associate researcher at the Interdisciplinary Laboratory on Information and Knowledge (LIINC/UFRJ) and during the biennium 2012-2014 I was a member of the High Studies Commission of the Reference Center for Political Fights in Brazil (1964-1985) – Memories Revealed, at the National Archives, Brazil.
My main interest has been the field of theoretical, critical and methodological studies on Digital Humanities, in addition to the possibility of dialogue with Information Science.Still on Digital Humanities, if we consider it an activity proper to a community marked by transdisciplinarity, I keep asking myself about its role for a supposed epistemological turning point in the production of knowledge in Humanities.  Topics such as information, memory, forgetfulness and its places/devices; political and economic aspects of information control are also always on my horizon.
In October 2018, I was at NOVA FSCH during the 9th Portuguese-Brazilian Conference on Open Access (CONFOA) where we discussed the partnerships between our labs, starting with Lab_HD participation in some classes and workshops (such as GIS for spatial humanities research), as well as possibilities of exchange between researchers, based on the letter of intent signed by LARHUD and Lab_HD at the beginning of the second semester of 2018. I also participated in an meeting of the Lab_HD to present the ongoing research. Still on the letter of intent, it should be noted that one of its results is the publication of an eBook on Lusophone Digital Humanities (expected to be published by the end of 2020), with contributions from participants of the Digital Humanities Congress (which took place at NOVA FCSH in Lisbon in 2015) and the HDRio International Digital Humanities Congress (which took place at FGV in Rio de Janeiro in 2018). At the present time we are also starting a dialogue about the possibility of creating in LARHUD a repository of research data on Humanities.”
Ricardo M. Pimenta
Full Researcher
Instituto Brasileiro de Informação em Ciência e Tecnologia (IBICT)
November 2018
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