Defining DH

What are the Digital Humanities?  The question at first seems impossible to answer, so numerous and nebulous are the fields of study the term encompasses.  The Digital Humanities is a series of methodologies that teach us to read one million books and how to interpret what we find in them; force us to reimagine the archive; take us to the studio and ask us to design and create; and allow us to transform education from what it means to publish to the way we teach.

Here, we have attempted to define the Digital Humanities through each of its parts.  Returning to the topics we presented in English 668k at the University of Maryland, we have sought to demonstrate that each of those elements is still an ongoing part of the field.  Indeed, DH is not a solid, inert discipline. It is still developing, debating, and reviewing itself. Even the texts we read are not indelible; Fitzpatrick’s online version of Planned Obsolescence, published in 2011, shows comments as late as March 2013. Thus, we are defining digital humanities not by what we believe it to be (as we did at the beginning of the course) , but by what it actually does and continues to do.

In order prove this, we have selected from a few of the myriad tools of the trade, such as Storify, Twine, and Zotero to make visible the ongoing work of DHers.  Furthermore, we have utilized one of the most basic and essential aspects of the digital humanities: collaboration and communication.

— Clifford Hichar, Katie Kaczmarek, and Nigel Lepianka


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