Cambridge Conversations: Digital transformation - a revolution in the humanities?

Cambridge Conversations: Digital transformation - a revolution in the humanities?

Cambridge Conversations: Digital transformation - a revolution in the humanities?

event Thursday, May 26, 2022 schedule 5.30pm - 6.20pm BST
event Thursday, May 26, 2022 schedule 5.30pm - 6.20pm BST
  • Electrical sparks with Cambridge Conversations logo
Digital transformation - a revolution in the humanities?
Open to: 
Alumni and guests

Technologies are intimately bound up with our hopes for the future – and with our deepest fears and anxieties. Living in a world that is saturated with digital technology, we swing between enchantment and disenchantment, and with good reason: tech is famously neither good nor bad nor even neutral, but instead reflects ourselves and our cultures and societies in all our complexity and ambiguity.  

Whether we know it or not, the humanities have always shaped our relationship with technology. They continue to play an integral role in the way we understand and respond to global digital transformations. But are we now on the cusp of a ‘moment of automation’ that will profoundly alter our human existence? Or is the digital ‘revolution’ more a process of evolution that has been quietly unfolding over decades? 

Join Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen J Toope and panellists from Cambridge Digital Humanities: Professor Caroline Bassett, Professor of Digital Humanities and Dr Siddharth Soni, Isaac Newton Trust Research Fellow. Together, we’ll explore what we mean by ‘digital humanities’ and examine the humanities’ crucial role in understanding our digital past, present and future. 

Watch Now


Professor Stephen J Toope (Trinity 1983)

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stephen J Toope

Professor Stephen J Toope OC, LL.D. is 346th Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, the first non-UK national to hold the post. He was Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, and President, the University of British Columbia. A former Dean of Law, McGill University, Toope was also Chair of the United Nations Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances.

Professor Toope publishes in global journals on human rights, international dispute resolution, international environmental law, the use of force, and international legal theory, and has lectured at universities around the world.

His current book project with Professor Jutta Brunnée explores mechanisms and processes fostering stability and change in international law.

Professor Caroline Bassett

Professor Caroline Bassett

Professor Caroline Bassett is Professor of Digital Humanities in the Faculty of English, Director of Cambridge Digital Humanities (CDH), and a Fellow of Corpus Christi. She researches, teaches and writes widely around digital media, computational humanities, AI and the transformation of knowledge cultures, technology and social power, science fiction, utopian thinking, critical theories of the digital, and gender, technology and the political. Her publications include the ‘Arc and the Machine’, on narrative and new media, ‘Furious’, a co-authored monograph on feminism, gender and digital worlds. Her latest monograph ‘Anti-Computing’, which explores histories of resistance to computerized cultures, has just been published by Manchester University Press. 

Dr Siddharth Soni (St Edmund's 2016, English)

Dr Siddharth Soni

Dr Siddharth Soni is the Isaac Newton Trust Research Fellow at Cambridge Digital Humanities (CDH) and an Associate Fellow at the Faculty of English, University of Cambridge. Siddharth wrote his PhD thesis at Cambridge on the short story form in India. He is also the member of the University of Cambridge Open Research Steering Committee.

Reading list

The panel’s discussion will be in the context of the Research Centre, Cambridge Digital Humanities (CDH). More information on the Research Centre can be found here.

Booking information

Webinar: Thursday 26 May, 5:30pm to 6:20pm BST