10 Jun 2022 · 11.00 am

Algorithmizität als Kultur des Verstehens? Digitale Erkenntnisprozesse in den Humanities

Venue: Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung (ZfL), Schützenstraße 18, 10117 Berlin, 3. Etage, Trajekte-Tagungsraum / Zoom
Contact: Jonathan D. Geiger ( ), Rabea Kleymann (

In the digital humanities, traditional structures of knowledge production are renegotiated on the basis of computational processes. In addition to reflecting on the mediality and sociality of epistemic processes in the humanities, dichotomies such as analogue/digital, qualitative/quantitative, and continuous/discreet are put to the test. In this context, the question arises of how discipline-specific cultures of understanding can be brought into relation with one another. Furthermore, established methods and practices in the humanities are reformulated under a digital paradigm.

Therefore, the hybrid conference “Algorithmizität als Kultur des Verstehens?“ (Algorithmicity as a Culture of Understanding?) organized by the DHd working group Digital Humanities Theorie addresses the algorithmic constitution of epistemic processes in the humanities. A first starting point is the presumption that latent forms of algorithmicity can be rediscovered in traditional and current scientific practices within the humanities. This not only includes digital forms of research in the sense of a procedurally understood algorithmization. The term ‘algorithmization’ also refers to the respective level of formalization of instructions that manifests itself in methods of the humanities sui generis.

Against this backdrop, the conference views algorithmicity as a gradual phenomenon. This allows for a differentiation between latent and explicit forms of algorithmicity. One the one hand, these range from processes of quantification and discretization to machine-readable courses of action. On the other hand, discipline-specific interactions with algorithmicity also become visible. The conference aims at uncovering and discussing applied algorithms or rule-governed method settings. Furthermore, the conference promises to name the differences between knowledge production in the humanities and in information science.

The conference takes place in a combined format with both a livestream and an in-person session (in accordance with current hygiene rules) at the Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung in Berlin.

This conference is supported financially by Bielefeld University.

Organized by Manuel Burghardt (Leipzig University), Jonathan D. Geiger (Academy of Sciences and Literature | Mainz), Jan Horstmann (University of Münster), Rabea Kleymann (Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung), Jascha Schmitz (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), and Silke Schwandt (Bielefeld University).



  • Welcome
  • Introduction

11.45 Keynote

  • Gabriele Gramelsberger: Algorithmizität – Eine philosophische Perspektive

14.00 Lightning talks

  • Nikita Braguinski: Die Algorithmizität musikalischen Denkens
  • Charlotte Coch: Passen/Nicht-passen: Zur Binarität der Interpretation literarischer Materialitäten
  • Charlotte Feidicker: Wie funktioniert der Vergleichsalgorithmus? Vergleichsformationen in englischen Rechtsquellen des 13. Jahrhunderts

15.10 Lightning talks

  • Fotis Jannidis: Begriffsbildung und Operationalisierung in den Computational Literary Studies
  • Dennis Möbus: The Discovery of Grounded Theory und die Algorithmisierung der Hermeneutik
  • Thomas Nyckel: Algorithmen als Faustregeln

16.30 Final discussion

Media Response

17 Jun 2022
Tanz den Algorithmus

Conference report by Chris W. Wilpert, in: Neues Deutschland, 17 Jun 2022