Digital Humanities is a field that aims to retell human experience. It is interactive and collaborative and uses various media outlets including video, photos, interviews, artifacts, and life stories. It makes this information accessible to the average individual and creates a connection between the creator, the viewer, and the storyteller.

This interdisciplinary field thrives when many individuals, with varying specialties and perspectives come together to create. These people include programmers, designers, analysts, researchers, founders, contributors, and the audience and their wide range of talents is what makes digital humanities projects possible[1].

Digital humanities projects provide databases for learning which experiment with organization, openness, and non-hierarchal relations, paving the way for a reform in the way that we think about culture and the meaning of humanity. Digital Humanities also pushes the boundaries for methods of communication and allows humans to find similarities in everyday events[2]. The field calls in to question the linear, orderly, everyday dimensions of being[3]. In doing so, digital humanists challenge the theory practice divide between the critical and the creative[4].

Through the study of digital humanities and the projects created in the field, humans are documenting information for the future and rendering information more accessible, which may otherwise be reserved for specialists. Of course, this documentation isn’t foolproof, as it may not last forever, especially with the rapid change of hardware and software. In order to preserve these projects we need to find a way to save both the information and the technology used to read and process the data[5]. Though the focus of digital humanities is on the information presented in a multitude of ways and on the collaboration of the team, it is still entirely dependent on the technology used to create and share it.

 

Samantha Donohoe, Elizabeth Detwiler, Courtney Power


[1] from class discussion 1/27/15

[2] Manovich, Lev. “How and why study big cultural data.”

[3] Kramer, Michael J. “What does digital humanities bring to the table?” (2012).

[4] Fitzpatrick, Kathleen. “The humanities, done digitally.” Debates in the Digital Humanities (2012).

[5] Turkle, Sherry. “Introduction.” Evocative Objects: Things We Think With (2011).

 

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