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Anne Alexander Buckley Fellow

Co­ordinator Cambridge Digital Humanities Network

We organised a busy programme of events this year, which included a seminar series co­sponsored by the Incremental project at the University Library addressing topical questions faced by digital humanities researchers in dealing with complex digital data. In February Professor Bill Dutton, Director of the Oxford Internet Institute, delivered a lecture exploring the role of the Internet in enabling a new ‘Fifth Estate’ by increasing social and political accountability. Other workshops included an event organised by and for early career researchers on the future of digital humanities research which was addressed by Claire Warwick, director of the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities, and a workshop on Digital Editions co­organised with colleagues from the Centre for Material Texts.

The Network also successfully applied to the University for funding as a Strategic Network. This recognition will help the Network to develop its activities over the next three years by funding a part­time post as Network Co­ordinator and support for a programme of events. It  humanities research within and beyond Cambridge.

Jenna Ng Newton Trust/ Leverhulme Early Career Fellow

Camera Present and Absent: space, bodies and movement in digital media

My research at CRASSH explores the notion of the self as expressed through image­making in digital media technologies. How might digital media affect presence, embodiment, sight, movement, space and time? For instance, an image registered by a smart phone camera using the StreetMuseum iPhone app layers past realities and temporalities over the present – how does this affect being in time and space?

In this book project, tentatively titled Camera Present and Absent: space, bodies and movement in digital media, I consider these ideas in three broad groups of media technologies: portable media, such as mobile phones, iPads, webcams and digital video; virtual capture systems, including machinima, virtual worlds and virtual cinematography; and what I term ‘multi­modal imaging technologies’ – where other elements, such as movement or historical photographs, constitute the image – such as smart phones, Kinect and motion/ performance capture. As Tom Gunning writes, ‘technologies function not simply as convenient devices, but re­fashion our experience of space, time and  and fantasies.’ I argue that digital media technologies today stand at a critical juncture in such refashioning of space, time and being: they are not only ubiquitous, but also unprecedentedly mobile and multi­modal by which one’s experiences of being may be reconceived and the engagement of selves through time and space, which we call ‘communication’, is made.


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