KBR Digital Heritage Seminar: Computer Vision and the humanities, Thomas Smits

KBR in cooperation with UGent, ULB, VUB and UCL invites you to attend a scholarly series on digital cultural heritage: the KBR Digital Heritage Seminar.

In this series from February to June 2022 we will virtually host three academic scholars in presenting their work on cultural heritage and specifically on image processing. “The devil is in the details!” When it comes to digital cultural heritage, this is as true as “The devil is in the images!” Great efforts have been devoted to the digitization of original collections in the cultural heritage. On the one hand, this helps greatly in promoting the collections and in allowing the general public to have much easier access to the collections (e.g. by publishing the images on websites like our digital library Belgica). On the other hand, technologies still need to be advanced in order to fully exploit the information (e.g. texts) that are still locked behind the digitized images. In this series, we are very honored to have three researchers who have rich experiences in image analysis and especially for extracting information from digitized collections.

Thomas Smits, University of Antwerp will present on “The Visual Digital Turn: Computer Vision and the humanities” on 22 February 2022, 14:00 - 15:30 CEST.

Digital humanities research has focused primarily on the analysis of texts. However, digital and digitized sources also contain large numbers of images. Using several research projects as examples, I’ll discuss how scholars in the humanities can apply computer vision techniques in their research. Among other things, these new visual AI methods allow researchers to analyze patterns of (re)circulation of images, analyze patterns of media (use), analyze patterns in visual content at scale, analyze patterns of representations (gender/social class), analyze patterns in visual scenes and analyze patterns of visual style. In short, I’ll show how these techniques have opened up the visual side of the digital turn.

About the speaker
Thomas Smits is a PostDoc at the Implicit Bias project at the University of Antwerp. Interested in the intersection of history, visual culture and computational methods, he is author of the prize-winning The European Illustrated Press and the Emergence of a Transnational Visual Culture of the News, 1842-1870 (Routledge, 2020). Recent work has been published in New Media and Society, Memory Studies, Visual Communication and Social Movement Studies. 

Practical information
Registration is free but mandatory. The morning of the event you will be sent the link to the meeting and the etiquette to follow. Should you have any further questions please email tan.lu@kbr.be