Conference “Governing digital infrastructures: exploring a key issue at the crossroads of digital humanities and open science”


Event details

Date 28.09.2021
Hour 10:3011:30
Speaker Pierre Mounier est ingénieur de recherche à l'École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS, Paris) et fortement impliqué dans le développement de plateformes de recherche en libre accès en tant que directeur adjoint d'OpenEdition, coordinateur d'OPERAS, et co-directeur de DOAB  Il est l'auteur d'un certain nombre d'ouvrages sur les humanités numériques et l'édition ouverte. Son dernier ouvrage intitulé Les humanités numériques. Une histoire critique (2018) est disponible en accès libre. Pour plus d'informations, voir
Category Conferences - Seminars
Event Language French

The CDH and LHST are happy to welcome Pierre Mounier as a visiting scholar for the academic year 2021-2022.

On 28 September, Pierre Mounier will give an inaugural conference on his current research project. His talk entitled “Governing digital infrastructures: exploring a key issue at the crossroads of digital humanities and open science” will be followed by a Q&A and discussion with the audience.

The presentation will be given in French, with questions possible in English.

The conference will be streamed on Zoom. Please contact the organiser to get the Zoom link.

The development of digital technologies as ubiquitous tools for both computing and communicating represents a challenge for research in the social sciences and humanities (SSH). On the computing side, the digital humanities can be considered as the new set of methods and questions that the humanities adopted to analyze the vast new troves of data generated by digital technologies. On the communication side, open science is a way for those disciplines, amongst others, to take full advantage of the new opportunities offered by the Internet for sharing, disseminating, and connecting research. 

The way research in the SSH is reconfigured by digital technologies under both aspects — digital humanities and open science — is rarely considered. My proposition is to explore this question using the underpinning concept of “digital infrastructure” as a key to further the understanding of what is at stake in this reconfiguration. 

Most of the current discussions about the role of digital infrastructures to support research in the digital environment revolve around the two interlinked issues of sustainability and governance. In that perspective, the major question is not only how to grow infrastructures in general in an open environment, but more deeply how to design infrastructures that are themselves open and fit for the specific purpose of supporting research in the SSH. 
Because it comes from other fields of research such as natural sciences and engineering, the term “infrastructure” seems, at first sight, to be rather alien to the social sciences and humanities, although SSH research always relied on libraries, archives, and other research tools such as indexes, bibliographies, etc. Today, research in SSH is supported by platforms, databases, software, standards, and corpora. What does it mean and what are the consequences of considering them as “infrastructures”, particularly in the digital and open context? That is the main research question I would like to explore during my visiting period at the EPFL College of Humanities. From this point of view, the challenge at hand is to renew an old humanistic tradition by devising the new infrastructures that will eventually underpin contemporary open humanities.

Practical information

  • General public
  • Free


DH Humanités Digitales Humanités numériques Open science