During class, I suggested that digital humanities was the digital creation and recreation of artifacts in order to reach the widest audience possible.
After listening to how others defined DH and reflection upon the reading, the field of digital humanities seems a bit harder to define. Since 3D printers can create physical objects, I think my focus on digital artifacts is perhaps too limiting. This time around I would also want to incorporate digital scholarship and pedagogy. Perhaps something more like: the incorporation of digital tools to create artifacts and methods that transform scholarly communication and pedagogical practices. That’s certainly a mouthful!
If I had to give certain attributes to the field of digital humanities I would say that it’s open in process and product as well as collaborative and disruptive in nature. I am involved in the ePortfolio project on my campus and trying to define dh reminds me in many ways of trying to define eportfolios. Of course, one could simply say that an eportfolio is a digital portfolio, but I would argue that it’s much more than that. I see it as a way for instructors to highlight (and perhaps recalibrate) high impact practices while giving students a sense of authorship and ownership.
In class I was struck by the number of students who expressed concern over privacy and sharing because it just seemed like a natural thing to me. Having graduated from one of CUNY’s online degree programs at SPS (and now administering their ePortfolio project) I guess I’m a bit more comfortable with the idea of sharing my work as well as the concept of peer review. After reading more about the history of peoples’ reactions to technology and it’s power to transform in my ITP Core 1 class, to question technology seems like a natural human response.
While I enjoyed all of the readings for class this week, Susan Hockey’s historical rundown of humanities computing and her focus on the importance of the TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) really spoke to me. The fact that these academics were able to collaborate and create guidelines which served as a model for those in the field seemed at the very heart of digital humanities.
I just want to end by saying that what drew me to the digital humanities track in the MALS program was the idea of making (which is why I’m totally bummed that I didn’t go to Maker Faire this weekend). Creating resources for students and faculty is one of the things that I love the most about my work with the ePortfolio project on my campus, and, since I need to make ePortfolio resources for students who may live in Hawaii, I enjoy the challenge of having to create things that are comprehensive yet easy-to-digest. The point is that it’s always changing and (hopefully) improving.
Since this week is about data visualization I decided to make a word cloud based on the #definingdh tag for this blog using wordle.net. Enjoy. 🙂
* I’m not the biggest fan of the MTA (as can be noted by my various MTA tweets), but I’m a sucker for a good slogan so there you go.