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Research Article

Citizen Humanities as a Fusion of Digital and Public Humanities?

Barbara Heinisch    Universität Wien, Österreich    



Digital and public humanities have gained a foothold in academia, but very little is known about citizen humanities, which is referring to the engagement of the general public in scholarly research. Although the term is new, public participation in the humanities, either as the citizens’ contribution of intellectual effort or knowledge to academic research, or as the contribution of resources and tools, looks back on a long tradition. The citizen humanities range from the creation of dictionaries, the transcription and annotation of historical records to the decoding of ancient Egyptian papyri. While the digital humanities provide the citizen humanities with data, tools and techniques, the public humanities offer the means of engaging diverse publics in research activities. After embedding the citizen humanities theoretically in the responsible research and innovation paradigm, this paper will illustrate how digitisation and public involvement laid the foundations for today’s citizen humanities. With a focus on the fusion of digital and public humanities in citizen humanities, this paper will demonstrate the mutual influence on practices (of research). This influence is not only reflected in the approaches to research, analysis, communication, and dissemination but also in the citizen humanities’ novel ways of knowledge co-production.

Keywords: Responsible research and innovation. Third mission. Crowdsourcing. Public participation in research. Participatory research. Citizen science. Public engagement.

Language: en

Submitted: July 17, 2020   Accepted: Oct. 27, 2020   Published: Dec. 22, 2020  

permalink: http://doi.org/10.30687/mag/2724-3923/2020/02/001

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