Research Questions

What are some ways in which virtual reality and/or augmented reality can benefit humanities research through methods that differ from conventional humanities practices?  We wish to learn this through specific case study examples from various disciplines, and to abstract from these examples more generalized rubrics for creation and assessment.

How do the different levels of abstraction and interpretation necessary for any sort of visualization or other transformation affect the meaning produced by these systems? This question ties to data science practices, metadata content development, and principles of museum communication. We will consider these questions in pragmatic and critically-informed registers of inquiry.

What is the value of virtual reality and/or augmented reality to communication of such research?  What are the best practices for collaborating on such projects? We will learn from practitioners in the sciences who are doing this kind of work regularly, as well as consult with humanities scholars who have successfully participated in such projects.

How can virtual and augmented reality practitioners in the humanities learn from media arts practitioners and scientists engaging in these fields of inquiry and expression? How are creative uses of not only visual but also auditory, kinesthetic, and sensory modes of expression contributing to the production of new experiences and ideas? We will explore this by introducing these complementary channels of knowing into our VR/AR experience design.

How do we know such work is good/useful/important with both the context of VR/AR production and scholarly practice?  We will assess this by reviewing the literature in the field within the content of virtual and augmented reality as engineering disciplines as well as against the emerging standards for digital humanities scholarship that have been evolving over the last several years through scholarly organizations and other venues.

How can such projects be presented, published, and shared in ways that are consistent with the expectations for peer reviewed publications? We will examine the various publishing platforms available today and assess the gaps between what is possible there and what we need to achieve this goal.

What do the arts and humanities contribute to scientific discourse around virtual and augmented reality in terms of theories, aesthetics, politics, cultural impact and social effects? We will explore these questions through discussion of demonstration projects, exploration of critical readings, and through our own experiences designing and implementing projects throughout the workshop and over the course of the succeeding year.