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Photograph of Dr Aengus Ward

Dr Aengus Ward (Department of Modern Languages - Spanish) will lead one of the three areas of strategic priority in a new partnership between the University of Birmingham and Trinity College Dublin. 

The two universities have launched a strategic research and education partnership which aims to strengthen European academic links and enhance collaborative research outputs.Dr Ward will lead on digital engagement and textual editing

The partnership emerges from world-leading Digital Humanities expertise in TCD and complementary ground-breaking digital editing at the University of Birmingham. Though we will continue to pursue our research streams, through our complementary sets of expertise, we also seek to build on them, and between us to reflect on digital theory and practice and thereby influence the creation of digital cultures and the digital expressions of culture.

The creative instability of the digital world has brought in its wake incalculable advantages but also a significant alteration to the status of authority. The partnership aims to address significant theoretical questions which arising in this context of change. For example, if we are now able to conceive of texts, people, events in multiple digital ways, does this fundamentally change our interactions with our cultural artefacts? What is a book, a library, a page, a document or a work in the digital culture editors are creating? And how does this revised understanding alter our conception of cultural and political artefacts?

The partnership also aims to collaborate over how we might understand editing as a process in digital native projects, the characteristics of the 'social' edition, and indeed the cultural contexts of editing. From all of this we could draw parallels between digital editions and e.g. contemporary production and consumption of fake news. There will shortly be a workshop at the University of Birmingham to scope a concrete plan of research.