Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Conference on Digital Archiving of Community Knowledge

Conference on Digital Archiving of Community Knowledge

Organized by Centre for Community Knowledge, Ambedkar University, Delhi

15-18 December 2010

The conference will deliberate on systems and methods of collecting, documenting and applying Knowledge located and embedded in people and communities. Such knowledge is location and context specific and grows in the processes of its acquisition, use and dissemination by members of the community in changing social, political, cultural and economic contexts.
The challenge is to archive such knowledge, usually oral, in a form that can link to acquisition, use and dissemination in modes compatible with formal, academic, multi-disciplinary and institutional processes. Effort must be made to ensure that such archives are available to the communities concerned to enable them to enrich their own repositories of knowledge.
The conference is being organized in collaboration with the World Oral Literatures Project, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge UK.
In the context of the conference, what we refer to as Community Knowledge has also been called Traditional Knowledge, Oral Knowledge, Grass-roots Knowledge, Indigenous Knowledge, etc. The areas covered under this rubric include:
  • Oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of cultural heritage
  • Performing arts, such as traditional music, dance and theater
  • Social practices, rituals and festive events
  • Knowledge and practices concerning life, nature and the universe
  • Plastic Arts and Traditional craftsmanship.
The Conference will be of interest to:
  • The Communities concerned who wish to document such knowledge
  • Field workers who collect such knowledge
  • System designers engaged in database management, who can contribute to an open-source design solution, catering to large quantities of video and audio data, in addition to images and documents.
  • Scholars and researchers interested in linking their disciplinary knowledge with oral community knowledge.
Digital archiving entails discussion on a matrix of three linked aspects:
  1. Data and Information Collection: What and how to document – who decides?
  2. Documentation/ Archiving: Design parameters of MIS (storage and retrieval); Classification and Codification; Open Source Technology Platforms.
  3. Users of Archives: Researchers, Scholars, Policy makers and the Communities concerned. They would suggest Retrieval Taxonomy/ Thematic aggregations and the level of detail expected from the Archives.
The Conference will be conducted in an interactive mode following presentations by Keynote speakers like Dr Mark Turin of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge, and Dr Kim Fortun of the Department of Science and Technology Studies, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York.
If you are interested in attending the conference, please submit a short statement of interest (300 words) and a brief CV to Akha Mao (kaihriimao[at]@gmail.com) by 30 September 2010. Invitations to attend the Conference will be despatched by 15 October 2010.
The language of the Conference will be English.

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