DH Definition in Transition

Beginning of class: The traditional studies in the humanities layered with digital tools that enhance the ability to collaborate and to share scholarship but also that contributes to the field of study in a meaningful/relevant way.

End of class: I haven’t framed it properly yet, but it’s active. My definition before class has too many infinitives and weak verbs. I think maybe the digital humanities needs to have active participation. Maybe it’s about actively engaging with the resources and the texts through digital tools.

I feel like in “traditional” humanities studies, there’s quite a bit of passive engagement with the text. You read it, yes. But it doesn’t have the ability to act on you in any way (yes, it can cause some sort of intense reaction, but how often does that happen really, especially when we’re teaching first year writing?) nor do you have the ability to act on it. We can, as English professors love to say, rip the text up and analyze it, but we don’t do anything to the text. It’s still there on the pages as it was before. There seems to be an element of interaction that in some way changes either the object or the viewer in some way. Still thinking, but I’m sticking with the word active.