A Further 13 Million Crowns to HUMlab for Research in the Humanities and Information Technology

This is an English translation of a press release that was made public earlier today:

A substantial investment in research in the humanities and information technology has been made by Umeå University. It comes in the form of 13 million kronor for equipment and research positions with HUMlab, which has just also been recently awarded a million crown grant for work with the EU-project QVIZ.

The area of Humanities and information technology is a growing research field with Umeå University’s humanities faculty. Many humanist subjects are already involved in IT research, such as the analysis of the interplay between people and information technology, computer game culture, language, blogs, and online chat, electronic literature and their emerging affects on our cultural fabric.

HUMlab is a node for research and development in these areas. HUMlab is a meeting space where humanist and cultural disciplines combine with modern information and media technologies, both in virtual and actual forms. In HUMlab ideas from various epochs, cultures, environments and scientific areas meet. HUMlab has developed into a progressive and exciting environment which has received excellent international evaluations.

Recently almost 15 million was awarded by the EU to a project coordinated by HUMlab and now almost the same is being spent to create an international research environment around the laboratory. Together the new funding combines to around 13 million Swedish crowns (around 1.8 million US dollars).

“This is excellent” said Patrik Svensson, Director of HUMlab. “This is a substantial investment which means a lot for the long term work needed to create a world leading research environment in the humanities and information technology.” The grant is specially directed towards the areas of electronic literature, participatory media, digital culture and digital art.

The Knut and Alice Wallenbergs Scholarship Foundation contributed with 8 million crowns which will primarily be used in advanced display and interactive technologies in an extension of HUMlab. The Kempe Foundation has granted 1.6 million crowns to attract a number of international guest researchers to HUMlab. Furthermore Umeå University has contributed strategic extra funding of 3.5 million crowns to be used in both research and equipment.

“That we have brought about such coordination between diverse forms of resources is very pleasing” said Dean for the Humanities, Britta Lundgren. The development of HUMlab’s role favours many of the faculty’s institutions and has a very meaningful role to play in cooperation over the faculty’s various disciplines. The funding as well strengthens Umeå’s position in a growing and important research area. HUMlab: http://www.humlab.umu.se

For more information or interviews please contact Project leader Patrik Svensson, director of HUMlab. Patrik travels Wednesday 21 June, but between 1pm and 3 pm (CET) he can be reached via mobile telephone. +46 (0)70-397 84 66. Other office hours his telephone number is +46 (0)90- 786 90 907913 or email: patrik.svensson@humlab.umu.se .
It is also possible to speak to Director of the Library at Umeå University and project leader Kjell Jonsson, who is the Chairman of the HUMlab steering group. He can be contacted during office hours at +46 (0)90-786 9280

uncontrollable semantics

On a day when your mind works slowly, you have to find little ways to kickstart your train of thought.

At home, I’ll take a bath or go with the cat for a walk. At work, I’m not so lucky, so I’ve had to find other outlets. One of them, I’ve spoken about before (Endless Forest) and another I thought I would share now.

It’s a dreamlike art experience, a smatter of colours and sounds – and it’s interactive… doesn’t get much better than that, does it?

uncontrollable semantics

Try it out – it’s very enjoyable. And while you’re at it, read a bit about the artist:

Jason Nelson

The Internet is destroying the apostrophe!!

(I guess that sarcasm is difficult to express through a blog).

Down here in HUMlab, we are made up of quite a few linguists – or budding linguists – who are interested in CMC and articles like this one from the Toronto Star about how the Internet is killing off punctuation is just one more in a line of scare pieces about what the Internet is doing to language. I could sum it up for you, but a weblog I have recently found and really like, mike’s web log, does such a great job that I thought I would just point you there. Enjoy.

Student Seminars

Earlier this semester I tried a different sort of seminar. As a doctoral candidate, we are given the opportunity to present our work once a semester to our advisers and others in the department. This semester, in addition to my advisers, I skyped in Lilia as an outside opponent. I greatly appreciate feedback given by my advisers and others from my department, but I have to admit that skyping in someone turned out to be a worth-while experiment (even though I had some technical difficulties in the beginning). You create a ‘mini-conference’ atmosphere which gives participants a bit more enthusiasm in commenting.

cartoon from PhD comics

This enthusiasm in commenting can make a real difference in a student’s work. Tomorrow Therese will present a WIP paper at her seminar (seminar entitled Multiplex conversations afforded by technology).She has written about it on her blog and is even offering a copy of the draft! Looking forward to participating and commenting!