Knowledge creation through recommender systems

AbstractThe way materials are archived and organized shapes knowledge production (Derrida, J. Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression. Vancouver: University of Chicago Press, 1996; Foucault, M. L’archéologie du savoir. Paris, France: Éditions Gallimard, 1969; Kramer, M. Going meta on metadata. Journal of Digital Humanities, 3(2), 2014; Hart, T. How do you archive the sky? Archive Journal, 5, 2015; Taylor, D. Save As. e-misférica, 9, 2012). We argue that recommender systems offer an opportunity to discover new humanistic interpretative possibilities. We can do so by building new metadata from text and images for recommender systems to reorganize and reshape the archive. In the process, we can remix and reframe the archive allowing users to mine the archive in multiple ways while making visible the organizing logics that shape interpretation. To show how recommender systems can shape the digital humanities, we will look closely at how they are used in digital media and then applied to the digital humanities by focusing on the Photogrammar project, a Web platform showcasing US government photography from 1935 to 1945.