Digital Humanities

Digital Humanities Bust?

Monday, 16th October 2017

From Oct. 16, 2017 [behind a paywall, unfortunately]

While some useful points are made here, to quote the author, there’s a rookie mistake. DH has never been about more data, or data being mistaken for knowledge. It’s about being able to ask different questions than in the past. Many DH naysayers seem to think that the questions have always been there. They are perennial. And the digital humanities are supposed to be a new repository of data to answer those perennial questions.

I don’t think so. It is, rather, to ask different, more timely questions. Ones focused on communities that had previously been overlooked, human experience previously discounted, places previously written off as irrelevant.

It’s also a challenge to the classic humanist mindset of perennial questions, the mindset that informs this review. It’s no wonder the author can’t see progress here. It’s his questions that prevent it.

Or, I could just say this: come to the HASTAC conference we’re hosting at UCF in a couple of weeks. You might leave with more questions than you came with. And that’s not such a bad thing.

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