Defining Digital Humanities, Briefly

I’m participating in the Day of Digital Humanities this year, and the organizers have asked all participants to briefly define “digital humanities.” It’s a helpful exercise, and for those new to the field, it might be useful to give the many responses a quick scan. I wrote this one-sentence answer out fairly hastily, but think it’s not so bad:

Broadly construed, digital humanities is the use of digital media and technology to advance the full range of thought and practice in the humanities, from the creation of scholarly resources, to research on those resources, to the communication of results to colleagues and students.

The best answer to “How do you define digital humanities?” came from Lou Burnard: “With extreme reluctance.”

7 replies on “Defining Digital Humanities, Briefly”

I think that the digital humanities, as defined here, are important. What I am interested in is reversing the term: humanities informatics. Rather than taking digital media and technology as they are and “applying” them to the humanities, I think that we need to revolutionize computer science with influence from the humanities. The impact of the humanities on reinventing computing, rather than just the impact of computing on the humanities. We need to invent Computer Science 2.0, stopping to regard it as a purely technical-engineering discipline, and bring it in its fundamentals much closer to the humanities and social sciences.

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