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Chapter 12: The participatory epistemic cultures of citizen humanities: Bildung and epistemic subjects

Chapter in book
Authors Dick Kasperowski
Christopher Kullenberg
Frauke Rohden
Published in A History of Participation in Museums and Archives : Traversing Citizen Science and Citizen Humanities / edited By Per Hetland, Palmyre Pierroux, Line Esborg
Pages 236-257
ISBN 978-0-367-18671-5
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication London & New York
Publication year 2020
Published at Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science
Pages 236-257
Language en
Keywords Humanities, Information Science, Museum and Heritage Studies
Subject categories Theory of science, Cultural Studies


Archives and repositories have until lately been exclusively confined to university libraries and departments, accessible only to professional researchers. However, as information and communication technology and digitization initiatives developed, new formats emerged for opening up and distributing research in the humanities. Several citizen humanities projects have been launched, described as “open to anyone,” that present contributors with the opportunity to participate in the research process regardless of training or knowledge. In this chapter, we map out epistemological relations between professional researchers and contributors, exploring how citizens’ engagement has led to the development of a “participatory epistemic culture” in citizen humanities. The premise is that important features of this epistemic culture result from the invitation of outsiders into work in the humanities, forming unexpected relations between individualized and more distributed epistemic subjects in citizen humanities.

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