Ca’ Foscari inaugurates new Center for Digital and Public Humanities

On June 4th, Ca’ Foscari inaugurated its new center dedicated to Digital and Public Humanities, a project that was made possible thanks to the state funding derived from the “Department of Excellence” title, which the Department of Humanities received in 2018.
The DPH@Ca’Foscari, coordinated by Professor Franz Fischer, Director of the Center, will focus on boosting and sharing scientific research through tools and methods belonging to the Digital and Public Humanities domain, two fields that will also be at the center of dedicated research projects (in areas like those of Digital Text Analysis, Digital History and Digital Cultural Heritage) and special activities (virtual exhibitions, promotion of cultural heritage).

The center, whose operations will be located in the Malcanton Marcorà building, will have a new and innovative digital lab, which includes an open space area for groupworks and cutting-edge equipment like 3D Laser Scanners and X-ray microtomography machines.
The international recruitment process has yielded great results: researchers Stefano Dall’Aglio and Holger Marc Essler will join the project’s core group, together with Diego Mantoan and Deborah Paci, who were already working for the Department of Humanities. 3 PhD students will also be part of the team.

“This center is a visionary initiative and making it happen has not been easy. It’s inspired by the peculiar ability that digital humanities possess, the ability to define a different point of view on the world. The blend of past and technology is the lifeblood of this discipline - stated Rector Michele Bugliesi - Our goal is encouraging the development of humanistic disciplines, one of Ca’ Foscari strong suits, as shown by the rankings, where we placed among the first 100 Universities for the study of Humanities. The centre will group together a series of initiatives that, with the right guide, will hopefully further advance these disciplines, directing them towards new applications. This project was born here but our hope is to see it widen its scope as much as possible”

Professor Franz Fischer, Director of the Center “This center  is meant to be an open space that groups together activities in the field of humanities and brings in new competencies, creating new sinergies. Another important point is to be open to the public, help people participate in research, make them interested and facilitate their approach to research, through public talks or in museums. We have to remain open to society to create great communities, where we can share information and knowledge

Giovannella Cresci, Director of the Department of Humanities “It’s important to understand the concept behind “public humanities”, that means communicating our research outside the academic field and doing so through new technologies and media. Just to give you an example, think about a child visiting an archeological excavation site, he only sees some rubble and can’t probably understand much about what’s going on. But if you provide him with a 3D reconstruction of the building, then he can understand and the goal of culture dissemination has been achieved”

Francesca Favaro