May 27, 2022

Next Week: Duke University Will Host Symposium to Highlight Tech-Driven Art History Research

From Duke University:

“Art history, of all the disciplines in the humanities, is the best-suited to digital interventions,” said Caroline Bruzelius, Anne M. Cogan Professor of Art History. “For decades we have used maps and other graphical representations to capture the growth, change and movement of objects. This sort of thing is amazingly well-suited to digital applications.”

Bruzelius organized the symposium with John Taormina, director of the visual media center within the Art, Art History and Visual Studies department. She said the next step for Duke art historians is to meet and exchange ideas with their colleagues from around the world who are using digital technologies to teach and research.

On Feb. 22, more than 100 experts and students of art history, archaeology and visual studies will convene in the Nasher Museum of Art to discuss teaching and research projects that also incorporate technologies like GIS, mapping, modeling and databases. “Apps, Maps and Models,” the university’s first symposium on digital pedagogy and research, is co-sponsored by the Department of Art, Art History and Visual Studies and the Wired! Group. Attendees must register online in advance.


“We hope there is something there for everybody and that people who attend will see a wide span of what kinds of questions they can start to ask with these tools [at their disposal],” Bruzelius said. “Research in a library or an archive will always remain research in a library or an archive. The ability to document your research in a database afterwards [so that] others can study it, too, is what these tools afford.”

Ultimately, said Bruzelius, our modern software will actually help researchers—and the public they aim to educate—better understand old objects.

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Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.