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Cross-Disciplinary Axis 4 : Research, Arts and Digital Practices

IREMAM Contributors : G. Alleaume, K. Chachoua, J. Honvault, F. Le Houérou, J-F. Legrain, C. Parizot, M. Tuchscherer.

This axis deals with the methodological and epistemological questions brought up by the use of exploratory and innovative practices in research in the humanities and the social sciences. This exploration began at IREMAM more than a decade ago, around archival practices and the heuristic values of images. It has recently been expanded, given the integration of digital and artistic practices by a growing number of scientists into their research activity. This digital evolution, as much in societal practices as in research practices, has led researchers to reconsider their methods, categories, paradigms, theoretical orientations, objectives, labelling tactics and the way in which disciplinary fields are defined. Including artistic practices in research has also brought its own major changes. The experiments carried out for the last fifteen years, particularly in anthropology, have demonstrated its relevance, for example providing food for critical thought on the forms and constructs that we use to gain access to, and to shape reality.

In the humanities and social sciences, recourse to digital practices has led to a number of major changes, be it in data collection, production, or handling, or in the elaboration of new forms of narration and publication. Given the fact that digital practices involve more diverse and numerous collaborations that challenge the boundaries between, on the one hand, the humanities and the social sciences, and on the other, the exact and experimental sciences, it seems more appropriate today to speak of Digital Studies than of Digital Humanities.
Digital Studies imply not only interrogating the demarcations between disciplines, but also exploring the collaborative processes established between them.

At IREMAM, this axis federates several explorative approaches : compiling digital databases to exploit the corpus of historical archives ; creating tools to visualise network data ; exploring new forms of digital publication ; exploring the potential of accessible video technology to create critical document tools, etc.

Research Programs

- antiAtlas of Borders, Cédric Parizot. Integrating artistic creation into research, this program attempts to apprehend in a unique way the mutations of borders and spaces of our contemporaneous societies.

- Images and Collective Imaginings, F. Le Houérou. A continuation of the Filming the Global South program.

- A historical Approach to the Internet : Research questions, epistemology and using tools for an immediate research objective, J-F. Legrain.

- The Digital Archives of Ottoman Alexandria, G. Alleaume. Development of a document database, based on the serial scraping of Arabic archives of the Alexandria Mahkama (tribunal) for the period 1550-1850. Indexation of proper nouns.

- Yemeni Archives, J. Honvault. Cataloguing and digitizing the archive collection of the statesman Ahmad Nu’mân, and Fatima al-Baydani’s sound archive.

Egyptian Arabic contextual dictionary online, (C. Audebert, an IREMAM/IFPO partnership).

- Exploitation of the Roux and Marcel Gast Funds (S. Chaker).

Crossing Industry © Cédric Parizot