September 16-19, 2018
Faculty: Monika Dommann, Thomas Haigh, Ben Peters, Claus Pias, Daniela Wentz
The CDC summerschool discussed issues along a set of questions
1. concepts and theories
What are the theoretical models that are able to contribute to a better understanding of the history and historiography of digital cultures? But also: How do digital cultures affect and shape common and current theoretical models of (media) historiographies?
2. methods and methodologies
What are the methods that meet the challenge of bridging digital media technologies with the field of history? How do the methods of the digital humanities affect the methodology of historic research?
3. critical revision of the so-called digital history
Does the source under digital conditions also change the construction of history and the rhetorics of its narration? Which “politics of the archive” can be observed in the course of or as a result of digitization?
In this framework I presented an excerpt from the thesis that dealt with the histories of the relational database model. It discussed three actors and their institutional background shaped early developments of what later became know as the relational model. E.F. Codd, C.T. Davies and David Childs in various constellations discussed issues of set theory, machine independence, data independence, time-sharing against the backdrop of the IBM System/360 and its pre-decessors. It aimed at decentering a narrative that is solely concentrated on the person of E.F. Codd putting it into the tension field between university and industry research.
It has been great to meet this particular faculty because they are all very involved in the histories of computing and were able to make very helpful suggestions. Also the fellow phd proposals were great to discuss, ranging from algorithmic structures to the history of object oriented programming to research about salesforce.com.