Patrick O’Brien, Dre Coston,
What is Digital Humanities?
“Digital Humanities” is an area of study at the crossroads of computing technology, and the study of humanities. Traditional humanities, such as history, science, and English are morphed using digital tools such as computing, archiving, providing data visualization, statistics, publishing, etc. Through the application of these digital methods and tools, digital humanities allows a broaden access and interaction in the study of humanities.
The study of digital humanities is prevalent in today’s technological world. Lincoln Mullen, a professor at George Mason University, explains, “Digital humanities is a spectrum where all humanities scholars use digital practices and concepts to one degree or another, even those who do not identify as digital humanists”(Mullen). Whether it is collecting samples, music and history for a jazz archive or inserting a statistics table into a class presentation, digital humanities are fundamentally transforming scholarship. (Mullen)
Matthew Kirshenbaum describes digital humanities as involving “investigation, analysis, synthesis and presentation or information in electronic form”(Kirshenbaum). After looking at the DH archives in class, one immediately realizes the immense amount of information these websites have on historical moments in history. Opposed to a “blog” for instance, these archives have reliable data with first hand accounts of what happened in history. Sources are clearly labeled, and the formal of these DH projects/archives are unquestionably scholarly. The sites are interactive; users can easily navigate and explore the topic at hand, and sometimes users can even contribute and expand the project. Allowing others to examine, reuse, discuss and discover.
The Internet has allowed for a vast expansion of knowledge and scholarship, and while there is an insurmountable amount of different URL’s, digital humanity projects and archives are scholarly online memory banks for people to embrace and expand.
- Kirshenbaum, Matthew. “Debates in the Digital Humanities.” Debates in the Digital Humanities. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Feb. 2015. <http://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/debates/text/38>.
- Mullen, Lincoln. “Lincoln Mullen.” · Digital Humanities Is a Spectrum; Or, We’re All Digital Humanists Now. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Feb. 2015. <http://lincolnmullen.com/blog/digital-humanities-is-a-spectrum/>.