Within the framework of this project three laboratories are going to be established within the building located at tř. Svobody No. 26. The laboratories are planned to be fully functional in 2020 and they will become an excellent research basement for linguistic specialists, specialists on surveys and social sciences as well as specialized workplace for surveys on material culture (storage rooms, laboratory for material analyze).
The laboratories which are planned to be established are as follows:
Language laboratory and studio
High-quality speech and sound recording within the Sinophone Borderlands Project is supported by its Phonetics Laboratory & Studio. Its main purpose is to facilitate recording of high-quality speech for phonetic analysis and high quality narratives, conversation, poetry, songs, other oral art production or music for documentary purpose. The laboratory is equipped to serve this purpose both in the laboratory site as well as in the field conditions. The laboratory consists of a large room with inbuilt sound-proof recording booth. The main room holds the storage capacity for the equipment and the recording controls. The main room holds also a computer and back-up utility.
The laboratory has a double function, serving both as a research and as a training facility. It is available to all Dialogue Units and upon agreement also to the students of linguistics and other departments working on speech.
Laboratory for IT analyses
The laboratory of the Information Technology Analyses equips the humanities work of the project members with necessary analytic tools based on computing power of soft- and hardware. Such technologies as Geographic Information Systems and their application in data processing and visualization, play one of a central role as well as the modelling and creation of databases for the later storage of data collected in the project. Standardization is an important aspect of this work in point of view of making the data available to the researchers worldwide.
Establishment of the laboratory is crucial duet to collecting and processing huge data, concerning surveys in various countries that are neighboring with China (Vietnam, Laos, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia), as well as within China itself (DU 2, 7, 8, 11). It will be intensely used by te Meta Unit 1 that prepares and analyses surveys and data on demography. It will be also used by all Dialogue Units that care for material culture and architecture (DU 3, 5, 6, 9, 10) which can process 3 D scans, print out 3D models, or create virtual urban space and landscape. Special work stations, printers and data fields for data storage will fit the needs of various Dialogue Units and Meta Units mentioned above.
Laboratory of material culture
Sinophone project together with Dpt. of Asian Studies, Dpt. of Sociology and Cultural Anthropology and Regional Center of Advanced Technologies and Materials is jointly developing Material Culture Laboratory that will contain equipment with the ability to analyze various secular and religious objects and artefacts gathered during ethnographic fieldwork, with the main focus on fieldwork on Sinophone borderland.
The Lab will dedicated to illustrating concepts, theories and studies of cultural anthropology (as well as archaeology and linguistics) in the artefacts and social life including symbolism, myths, rituals, spirituality, shamanism, ritual functions of objects versus everyday functions of same types of objects. It will also focus on detailed material analysis which should corroborate hypothesis coming from Social science and Humanities approaches.
The intent is to create cutting edge research possibilities and enhance training experience of students and scholars in this new opened field at Palacký University. Its aim is to promote scholarship, stimulate theoretical discussion, and provide chemical, anthropological, linguistic or sociological explanation with ethnological and geographical foundation. Through these objects, students and scholars are exposed to fieldwork data, which embody the mental constructs and daily practices of people in various cultures.
Material Culture Lab holdings will include: pictorial representations or real presence of wooden, metal and ceramic objects, head covers, containers, weavings, ceremonial objects, tools, weapons, utensils, machines, ornaments, art, buildings, monuments, written records, religious images, clothing and any other ponderable objects produced or used by humans, demonstrating the use of material culture in the secular and religious lives of the cultures represented. Apart from collecting and analyzing series of object, we would focus on representative examples of material culture artifacts from following representative concepts:
Barn / Nursery Seeds of cultural plants, agricultural instruments (manual work), horse riding objects
Armory Objects of consciousness and markers of ethnic differences, objects of defense, amulets against evil spirits etc
Temple Objects of luck and fortune, talismans, objects of ritual use
Food culture/Food stalls Spoons, noodle boxes, chop sticks, plates (no groceries)
Beauty Saloon Items of beauty for everyday use as well as for ceremonial use (wedding etc.)
The most important aspect of the Material Culture Laboratory will be the encouragement of dialogue and thought. The lab will host a range of events including reading group, member presentations to help develop ideas, workshop days with other disciplines and a guest lectures bringing in scholars from around the world. It will also hold occasional workshop or conference. All of our events will be open to the wider student and academic research community.
Membership in the lab will not be exclusive, but it will require an individual to be willing to participate in laboratory events and present on occasion at one of our meetings. Being a member means you can have access to the laboratory and its equipment for research purposes.
The Material Culture Laboratory will be always outward looking – we want to engage with others interested in material culture and discuss similarities – and differences – in how we interpret the relationship between material, things and people.