As the global pandemic has not yet ended, this year's international Pacific Neighborhood Consortium Annual Conference and Joint Meetings (PNC 2021) will be held for the first time as an online virtual conference, from September 28 to 30, 2021. PNC 2021 will be hosted by Academia Sinica. The conference theme will be "Sustainable Digital Heritage." It will feature 3 keynote speeches from world-class experts, and 17 conference presentation sessions. Over 120 experts from over 10 countries are expected to gather online to explore how we can sustainably preserve cultural heritage and civilization in this age of digital sharing.
James C. Liao, President of Academia Sinica, will deliver welcoming remarks at the opening ceremony. He has high hopes for this year's conference and expresses that, in the past 30 years, many countries have made great strides in the effort to digitize their traditional cultural assets, even as new born-digital text, image, and audio data springs up around them. Physical repository institutions, such as galleries, libraries, archives, and museums, must devise storage systems with an eye for the long-term in order to effectively manage and sustainably preserve the gradual accumulation of digital content.
Deepening Cooperation in the Pacific Rim to Innovate the Digital Future
President Liao emphasizes, "International cooperation is key to the growth of sustainable digital heritage." This year's conference assembles research institutions and scholars from countries around the Pacific Rim, partaking in the expertise of their respective fields to jointly explore issues of sustainable digital heritage management, application, and open research. Through regional integration and cooperation, a more global community in this digital era can move towards a more humanistic horizon for the future.
Chin-shing Huang, PNC Chair and Vice President of Academia Sinica, remarks that since PNC was founded in 1993, it has successfully facilitated cultural and academic exchange among countries of the Pacific Rim. PNC emphasizes innovative information science technology, methods, and thinking, and applies various experimental approaches to the humanities disciplines. In 1997, PNC's administrative operations were transferred from the University of California, Berkeley to Academia Sinica in Taiwan. The conference has been hosted at a different institution around the Pacific Rim each year (with the exception of 2020 due to the pandemic), exploring the newest developments in information technology applications.
The Pacific Neighborhood Consortium Annual Conference and Joint Meetings (PNC 2021) continues its commitment to the broader topics of digital technology, digital dissemination, and information sharing. Aside from the 3 keynote speeches, this year's conference will hold its first ever roundtable session, as well as 4 special topic sessions, 3 paper sessions, 3 poster sessions, and 6 workshops.
Keynote Speeches by Renowned International Experts
Lewis Lancaster is Professor Emeritus at the Department of East Asian Languages at the University of California, Berkeley; founding director of the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative (ECAI) for digitizing maps; a pioneer in digitizing Buddhist texts; and one of the most renowned Buddhism scholars in the West. In his keynote speech, "Preserving the Narrative," he will explore the preservation of the stories that are behind the technological developments of the past decades.
Digital heritage as a knowledge field has faced many challenges due to its interdisciplinary nature and rapid developments in technology. Halina Gottlieb is CEO at Digital Heritage Center Sweden, founding director of Nordic Digital Excellence in Museums (NODEM), and an advocate of digital heritage modernization. In her keynote speech, "Designing for a Sustainable Future in Digital Heritage," she will employ her 20 years of experience in Sweden to discuss how museums, academia, and creative industries have responded to such challenges, including through experimental initiatives such as specialized laboratories, new methodological tools, a Nordic ambulating conference, academic and vocational training, knowledge transfer, and more.
Audrey Tang, Digital Minister of Taiwan and a long-time advocate of open government and digital democracy, will deliver a keynote speech titled "Digital Social Innovation" to discuss how, although technologists look forward to the "singularity," we should remember that the "plurality" is already here.
Pioneering Research, Plus PNC's First Roundtable
To tackle this year's conference theme, PNC 2021 has specially organized its first ever roundtable discussion session, moderated by Jieh Hsiang (Distinguished Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, National Taiwan University; Director, Research Center for Digital Humanities, National Taiwan University). The roundtable will bring together Peter X. Zhou (Director, C. V. Starr East Asian Library, University of California, Berkeley), Lee Yuh-jye (Deputy Executive Secretary, Board of Science & Technology, Executive Yuan), and Hao Song (CEO, Blue Planet Inc.) to discuss issues of digital cultural heritage and digital sustainability from the perspectives of academia, public policy, and industry. Among the topics examined will be how to build infrastructure to sustain a digital lifecycle program (DLP), as well as processes and methods for moving from "open data" to "data governance."
PNC has collaborated every year with the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative (ECAI). This year, ECAI has organized 6 workshops at the conference for scholars to share their practical research experience, focusing on topics such as heritage conservation infrastructure, cultural imaging, spatio-temporal cultural atlases, and cultural heritage data input, analysis, and preservation.
This year will also feature 4 special sessions, analyzing and exploring new developments in digital education, digital libraries, biodiversity and ecosystem services, and local religious systems, respectively. In addition, this year's 3 paper sessions are titled "Extracting Historical Data from Ancient China," "Organizing Culture with Semantic Models," and "Modern Data Extraction and Preservation." They will feature 9 paper presentations by research teams from Taiwan, America, England, and Japan, covering topics including nun pilgrimages across medieval China, the construction of platforms to track historical spatiotemporal data, and programs to automatically extract names and places from web newspapers.
Attendees can also freely watch presentations of 15 digital posters to sample the latest trends in research. This year’s posters feature the digital humanities knowledge bases and research projects being innovated by Academia Sinica’s many institutes.
Register by September 21 to Join Us!
Hsi-yuan Chen, PNC CEO and Director of the Academia Sinica Center for Digital Cultures, planned this year's conference and affirms that PNC will continue its role as a platform for research communities to share the resources of their respective nations. Conference registration this year will be open until September 21, 2021. We welcome everyone interested in digital humanities and related fields to join us at this virtual meeting of minds, and together meet the brave new digital world.
PNC 2021 Annual Conference & Joint Meetings (PNC 2021)
Dates: September 28 – 30, 2021
Conference Theme: Sustainable Digital Heritage
Hosts: Academia Sinica; Pacific Neighborhood Consortium
Co-hosts: Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiatives (ECAI); Ministry of Education, Taiwan
Technical Sponsor: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE)
Conference Website: https://sites.google.com/view/pnc2021/conference-info
Conference Program: https://sites.google.com/view/pnc2021/program?authuser=0
Registration Information: https://sites.google.com/view/pnc2021/registration
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