The need for an "Observatoire des humanités numériques"

, updated on
17 July 2021
Sander Weeteling - Unsplash

The École normale supérieure is an institution in which digital humanities have long been anchored, in all their diversity and in all the disciplinary fields of the humanities and social sciences.

ENS-PSL is also a privileged place to observe how the humanities and social sciences interact with the sciences, in the digital field and in the interpretative revolution that the latter brings.

Complex and collaborative, work in the field of digital humanities requires a high degree of mastery for its actors, in addition to disciplinary skills: while there is no need to be a computer scientist to lead a digital project, it is necessary to know and master the logic of processing languages, because no choice will be without effect on the final result, nor on the process of the work itself. The stakes of training, both initial and ongoing, are therefore high.

The creation of an Observatoire at the École normale supérieure responds to the ambition and necessity of understanding, analyzing, and questioning the eminently plural, shifting, and dynamic phenomenon that is digital humanities. Located at the crossroads of all the departments of the ENS and at the heart of PSL, the Observatoire des humanités numériques is part of the transdisciplinary tradition of the École normale supérieure, offering a space for dialogue and exchange between the humanities, social sciences, sciences and computer science. As such, it

Analyzes the perimeter of digital technology within the pedagogical and research activities of the ENS, in a critical and multidisciplinary approach

  • Promotes the digital humanities projects carried out by the ENS components and the continuing education programs for students and staff
  • Promotes a critical and multidisciplinary approach to the digital humanities, especially their cultural and social implications
  • Ensures the dissemination of information about projects and training in digital humanities at the ENS, within the EUR Translitterae and PSL
  • Promotes synergy between ENS components and international partners, around projects and training in digital humanities