[box type=“warning“] I haven’t written many english articles in the past few years. So bear with me until I’m back to my old self. [/box]
I’ve been at a conference in Hannover for three days last week and let me tell you: What a memorable experience. And I’m not just talking about the food. I’ve met so many nice people that the conference itself was as personal as it was professional. Those two things mingled pretty often in the past year, probably because anxiety about the future does that to you. Meeting so many people, who share your passion, your problems and your wishes, brings a little hope back.
Now from the personal to the professional. This must have been the best organized conference I’ve ever been on. I’ve got an ambivalent attitude towards foundations. Their work is important and I respect them for doing it. This being said, some of them have an aura of self.righteousness about them which drives me mad. Not the staff from the Volkswagen Foundation, calling them nice and eager would be understatement. They were so caring, almost loving. In other words, the mood at the conference was friendly, curious and open-minded.
The conference has inspired me to write some articles in the next days. I really hope I’ll get to that, because my workload is rather huge now. It was interesting to learn about the problems and conflicts in other countries. I didn’t know what in US you are prohibited by law to fund projects combining humanities and sciences. Like this Digital Humanities are difficult to work with. All the more reason it should be much better in germany. But it isn’t as Gregory Crane vividly told us on the last day. He is paid to kick america’s as and drive Digital Humanities forward in Germany, which he gladly does. But he has to hire US researchers to do it, because our researchers are missing the expertise. This pretty much paints the whole picture.
Let’s hope conferences like this make something better. At least it was great and eye-opening for me.