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#4Hum: Showing the Arts and Humanities Matter (A Week Later)

#4Hum: Showing the Arts and Humanities Matter (A Week Later)


It's hard to believe it's been a week already since we witnessed the official opening of the 4Humanities Local Chapter at University College London.
4Humanities is a platform and resource for advocacy of the humanities, drawing on the technologies, new-media expertise, and ideas of the international digital humanities community.  You can read its mission statment here.
Showing the Arts and Humanities Matter” was a one day symposium at University College London (UCL) organised in conjunction with 4Humanities, Arts Emergency, UCL Centre for Digital Humanities, and UCL Department of Information Studies. The event was brilliantly hosted by Dr Melissa Terras.
As a 4Humanities international correspondent, it was a real honour to live-blog the event. If you want to catch up with what happened on site and on the Twitter backchannel (there's nice photos of those who presented), please read the post I published on 4Humanities as the symposium drew to a close. 
All the slides for each of the presentations are now available online here.
One of the highlights of the event was the presence of a conference artist in residence. Dr Lucy Lyons did a terrific job at visually documenting the proceedings with her drawings. 
As seen in other recent conferences such as the OECD Institutional Management In Higher Education General Conference and the Online News Association Conference, hand-drawn cartooning, illustration and visual storytelling offer unique, inspiring, challenging ways to think about complex topics. Hopefully we will start seeing more drawing and visual storytelling in academic conferences everywhere. 
The 4Humanities @ UCL symposium offered a glimpse of the variety of strategies and measures that academics in the arts and humanities can take as we face unprecedented challenges. Hopefully in the future we will see more involvement from scholars and practitioners in the arts (an overwhelming majority came from humanities and digital humanities). 
There is, indeed, strength in numbers (in all the senses of the phrase). There is still much work to be done to make arts and humanities advocacy more effective, but important steps have already been -and continue to be- taken.

For information on 4Humanities Local Chapters and how you can start your own, click here.


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