Genevieve Bell

Genevieve Bell is a vice president and Intel Fellow and the director of User Experience Research in the Intel Labs organization at Intel Corporation. She leads a team of social scientists, interaction designers, human factors engineers and computer scientists focused on people’s needs and desires to help shape new Intel products and technologies.

An accomplished anthropologist and researcher, Bell joined Intel in 1998. She has been granted a number of patents for consumer electronics innovations throughout her career, with additional patents in the user experience space pending, and is the author of numerous journal papers and articles. She was named an Intel Fellow in 2008. In addition to her position at Intel, Bell is a highly regarded industry expert and frequent commentator on the intersection of culture and technology. She has been featured in publications such as Wired, Forbes, The Atlantic, Fast Company, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. She is also a sought-after public speaker and panelist at technology conferences worldwide for the insights she has gained from extensive international field work and research.

Her industry recognition includes being listed among the ‘100 Most Creative People in Business’ by Fast Company in 2010, induction in the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame in 2012, and being honored as the 2013 Woman of Vision for Leadership by the Anita Borg Institute. Bell’s book, Divining a Digital Future: Mess and Mythology in Ubiquitous Computing, written in collaboration with Paul Dourish, was published by MIT Press in 2011. Bell holds a combined Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in anthropology from Bryn Mawr College and a Master’s degree and Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from Stanford University, where she was a lecturer in the anthropology department from 1996 to 1998.

Jeffrey T. Schnapp

Before moving permanently to Harvard in 2011, Jeffrey T. Schnapp occupied the Pierotti Chair of Italian Studies at Stanford, where he founded the Stanford Humanities Lab in 1999.

A cultural historian with research interests extending from antiquity to the present, his most recent books are The Electric Information Age Book (in collaboration with Adam Michaels, Princeton Architectural Press, 2012); Italiamerica II (Il Saggiatore, 2012), co-edited with Emanuela Scarpellini; Modernitalia (Peter Lang), a collection of essays on 20th century Italian literature, design, and architecture; and Digital_Humanities (MIT Press), a book co-written with Anne Burdick, Johanna Drucker, Peter Lunenfeld, and Todd Presner.

Forthcoming with Harvard University Press in the spring of 2014 is The Library Beyond the Book, a book co-authored with his metaLAB colleague Matthew Battles that explores future scenarios for libraries in the digital age. (Other current or future projects are described under the In the Works tab of this website).

His work in the domains of design, digital arts and humanities, and curatorial practice includes collaborations with the Triennale di Milano, the Cantor Center for the Visual Arts, the Wolfsonian-FIU, and the Canadian Center for Architecture. His Trento Tunnels project—a 6000 sq. meter pair of highway tunnels in Northern Italy repurposed as a history museum—was featured in the Italian pavilion of the 2010 Venice Biennale of Architecture and at the MAXXI in Rome in RE-CYCLE. Strategie per la casa la città e il pianeta (fall-winter 2011). Panorama of the Cold War, a collaboration with Elisabetta Terragni (Studio Terragni Architetti) and Daniele Ledda (XY comm), was exhibited in the Albanian Pavilion of the 2012 Venice Biennale of Architecture and is currently on exhibit in Erasmus Effect – Architetti italiani all’estero / Italian Architects Abroad at the MAXXI in Rome (Dec. 2013-April 2014). He is also the chief consulting curator for BZ ’18-’45, a new documentation center built under Marcello Piacentini’s Monument to Victory in Bolzano/Bozen, scheduled to open to the public on May 30, 2014.

Faculty co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, he is Professor of Romance Languages & Literature and also on the teaching faculty in the Department of Architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.

He is the faculty director of metaLAB (at) Harvard.

Small Data (the intimate lives of cultural objects)

Abstract: The “bigness” of Big Data is no more a given than data itself (from the Latin datum). Both presuppose norms: information architectures; assumptions regarding scale and significance; an array of tools, techniques, and conventions. Big Data mostly belongs to the future of humanities research, but even as it tenders some tantalizing promises, I’d like to turn to a smaller theater of data: the world of the individual objects that make up the cultural record. The elements that compose such objects and render them meaningful vectors of human experience encompass senses (touch, taste, and hearing) that aren’t readily reducible to snapshots or data schemes. And the stories that they tell often turn out to be not small at all, whether from the standpoint of data or their cultural significance. Among the questions I will address are how we might we devise expanded strategies of description, capture, and representation that attend to the meaningful but small.

Tim Sherratt

Tim Sherratt is a digital historian and cultural data hacker who has been developing online resources relating to libraries, archives, museums and history since 1993. He currently manages Trove at the National Library of Australia, and is Associate Professor of Digital Heritage at the University of Canberra. In previous lives Tim has written on weather, progress and the atomic age, and developed resources including Bright Sparcs and Mapping Our Anzacs. Relatively late in the day he discovered two things: that he was only really happy when he was making and sharing code; and that he was part of a field called the Digital Humanities. These discoveries changed his life.

By day he manages, by night he tinkers. Tim’s tools and experiments include important things like The Real Face of White Australia, useful things like QueryPic, and follies like The Future of the Past. He enjoys the messiness of cultural data and the possibilities of connecting things up. Tim tries to share his passions by raving on about things like APIs and Linked Open Data. He is a proud organiser of THATCamp Canberra and a member of the committee of the Australasian Association for Digital Humanities. You can find him online at and @wragge.

Photographer: Christopher Brothers, 2012, National Library of Australia,

Unremembering the Forgotten

Welcome to Australia in 2015 where ‘remembering’ is both an obligation and an opportunity. DH2015 comes just a few months after the 100th anniversary of the landing of Allied forces on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey – the beginning of a failed military campaign that has long been linked to Australian nationhood. Over the next few years the remembering will roll along as centenaries of the events of World War I accumulate. More documentaries will be made, more websites built, more documents digitised, more memorials dedicated – all to help us remember people and stories that are seen as in danger of being forgotten.

Who gets remembered and why? I’m a historian who works with digital cultural heritage collections. I’m a manager who helps maintain a national aggregation service that brings many of these collections together. I’m a hacker who wonders how I can subvert and play with their contents. In this talk I want to explore remembering from these different perspectives. As digital practitioners, how can we find and acknowledge the many lives that are neither remembered nor forgotten – that are documented within our collections, and yet remain unrevealed? How can we work within and against descriptive structures to trace existence, resistance and oppression? How can we play with the very idea of memory to challenge the power of commemoration?

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