New technologies have enabled innovations in the ways in which we create knowledge, access information, and engage with our heritage. These changes also affect the public, which is not just leaving digital traces, but increasingly playing a part in contributing to knowledge production. The OII is charting the ongoing digital transformations of the sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities, and their implications.
The aim OxDEG is to provide a platform for cross-disciplinary collaboration among students and staff across the university with interests in digital ethnography and qualitative research practice in an online environment.
In October 2011, an unofficial interdisciplinary seminar group was started by Dr William Kelly of the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography (SAME) and Dr Eric T. Meyer of the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) to provide a space for students and faculty to meet to discuss ethnographic practice in the digital realm. The positive response from students and faculty across the university led to students taking a leading role in 2013 with a small grant from the Economic and Social Research Council through Oxford’s Doctoral Training in Social Science program. This year, we will have a combination of invited speakers and seminars to engage with the latest questions and research methods in digital ethnography.
The overarching theme is digital ethnography, broadly conceived. The group aims to extend inter-disciplinary academic research and collaboration among scholars at Oxford University interested in understanding rich, qualitative approaches to researching behaviour online. It will encompass a variety of research interests within this field, including digital visual anthropology as well as a variety of qualitative, ethnographic methodologies appropriate to the study of the digital environment.
This research cluster brings together researchers whose work is aimed at understanding the impacts of digital technologies on scholarly and public engagement with knowledge, arts, culture and heritage. Our work has involved physicists, marine biologists, historians, theatre companies, film makers, scholarly archives, major libraries, museums, universities, crowdsourcing projects and the BBC in research projects at the forefront of understanding this shifting landscape.