What is “Digital Humanities?”
“Contemporary research in the humanities has expanded beyond anything that could be considered traditional. Historians are building interactive digital maps, literary scholars are using computers to look for patterns across millions of books, and scholars in all disciplines are taking advantage of the internet to make their work more dynamic and visually engaging. Digital humanities (DH) is the umbrella term that describes much of this work. It is neither a field, a discipline, nor a methodology. It is not simply the humanities done with computers, nor is it computer science performed on topics of interest to the humanities. DH is the result of a dynamic dialogue between emerging technology and humanistic inquiry…”
This a description of DH is taken from an American Libraries Association Special Report on Digital Humanities. It’s as concise a definition as you’re likely to find, because scholars have such varying ideas about DH. A Day of DH event compiled 817 different definitions; follow this link to read a few.
- How did they make that? Reverse Engineering Digital Projects by Miriam Posner. This article is a good place to start, if you’re looking for some exemplary DH projects and some ideas about methodology.
- “What is Digital Humanities and what’s it doing in English Departments? by Matthew Kirschenbaum.
- “What is Digital Humanities and what’s it doing in the Library?” by Micah Vandegrift
- Library Collections as Humanities Data: The Facet Effect by Thomas G. Padilla and Devin Higgins. This article explains what constitutes data for DH researchers.
- Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations
- Chicago Colloquium on Digital Humanities and Computer Science
- This annual, fall forum is in conjunction with a journal of the same name. The journal and the forum are to “examine the current state of digital humanities as a field of intellectual inquiry and to identify and explore new directions and perspectives for future research.”
- Digital Library Federation Forum
- This annual forum focuses on digital libraries, archives, labs, and museums. It’s especially relevant to academic librarians involved with digitization projects or digital initiatives. Notably for people at UWM, the 2016 Forum is in Milwaukee.
- Electronic Literature Organization
- This international organization is devoted to the continually developing, continually evolving field of digital publishing, and it hosts an annual conference.
- Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC)
- Annual HASTAC conferences are hosted by affiliate organizations at locations around the globe.
Common Online Resources
- The Association for Computers and Humanities (ACH), Digital Humanities Questions and Answers
- Digital Humanities Now
- centerNet, DHCommons
- Global Outlook::Digital Humanities (GO::DH)
- The Humanities and Technology Camp (THATCamp)
- Postcolonial Digital Humanities (DH Poco)
- National Endowment for the Humanities: Office of Digital Humanities