Defining the Digital Humanities


DH before class: Using technology to study traditionally non-technologically inclined fields in new ways.

DH post-discussion: Using technology to shape learning, teaching and research.

Because academia often exists in a big bubble, it seems like DH scholars should be experts in keeping up with technology (as much as they can) as it pertains to research, teaching and learning. There are tools that exist that people use… that academics should know about and should also be able to use.

I guess I’m still a little stuck on the word “humanities.” Is Digital Humanities about digitization and technology in academia in general, or just within the humanities? If you don’t confine it to a field, is it just about technology? It will be interesting to explore parameters. I also keep coming back to what was mentioned in class, about how people in the physical sciences think this debate is silly–because of course you should be collaborating and using technology in your research.

I’m interested in writing,  literature, and publishing, so the scope of this definition is pretty huge here.  If you think about the future of books, for example, which is obviously an important question for universities (or it should be), the purpose is further complicated (or, has room for expansion). Is the future of publishing something that should be addressed by publishers, or should Digital Humanists be doing this research? Are DHers using the tools, developing the tools or both? So is it just about research and teaching or about technology in the world in general?  After the end of our discussion, the definition became more broad, more overwhelming and even more fascinating. I’m hoping DH scholars are aiming to pop the academic bubble.