Sammen med den amerikanske internetforsker Kirsten Foot arrangerer jeg en paneldiskussion om webhistorie ved The Association of Internet Researchers konference i København 16.-18. oktober 2008 (for nærmere tid og sted henvises til konferencens program, der vil foreligge til efteråret). Paneldiskussionen har som overskrift ‘Developments on the Web: Challenges in the Emerging Field of Web History’, og den præsenteres med følgende ord:
When we as internet researchers study how web artifacts and the use of the web have de-veloped over time we enter a tension between the present and the past, thus opening a his-torical perspective where the past is seen from the present and the present is seen in the light of the past. When we want to shed new light on the web artifacts of today by looking back, questions such as these arise. To what extent do we consider this kind of study a historical study? Are we conscious that we are entering the field of historical research and thereby a new field that could be labelled ‘web history’? And can the theoretical and methodological in-sights from traditional historical research be used, unchanged, within web history or should they be developed in order to ‘fit’ the web?
This roundtable aims to place the emerging field of web history on the research agenda and to interpolate it with existing internet studies. Taking the above mentioned fundamental tension as a point of departure the roundtable sets out to address the following three clusters of questions.
1) The role of web history. What role can/must historical studies play within internet studies? Are they a necessity or just a possibility, and why? And how do historical studies of the web interact with internet studies based on ahistorical social sciences?
2) The state of affairs. What kinds of web history projects are being carried out today, including projects focusing on both theories and methods as well as projects with a more ana-lytical/empirical perspective?
3) Future directions. What will be the most important issues that have to be addressed in the near future? What directions should web history try to take in the years to come?
Participants & procedures
The roundtable involves seven scholars who have contributed to historical studies of the web. The roundtable discussion is to be initiated with brief statements from each of the participants (max. 10 min.) that address the three clusters of questions posed above. These statements are to be followed with a general discussion. The following persons have agreed to take part in this roundtable:
• Niels Brügger, The University of Aarhus, Denmark (confirmed)
• Meghan Dougherty, Researcher, Webarchivist.org, USA (confirmed)
• Vidar Falkenberg, The University of Aarhus, Denmark (confirmed)
• Kirsten Foot, University of Washington, USA (confirmed)
• Charles van den Heuvel, Virtual Knowledge Studio, Netherlands (confirmed)
• Jeremy Hunsiger, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA (confirmed)
• Steve Schneider, SUNY Institute of Technology, USA (confirmed)