Introduction to Digital Humanities

RELI/ENGL 39, Fall 2015, University of the Pacific

Digital Humanities: What is it?

Since being in this class, we have been exposed to many things: Cybernetics, technology, text tools, etc. These are all a part of the Digital Humanities. Now, I have not yet been able to find a very straight forward definition for the term, but I believe it symbolizes so many things. The DH (Digital Humanities) can be referring to things such as: using a computer to type up a paper, using a cell phone to send a text message to your friend, or communicating with someone through skype.

The topic that most interested me throughout the beginning of the course, has to be the topic about algorithms, and whether or not we associate them with having god-like abilities. The culture of algorithms includes different aspects, including: Netflix recommending you watch things, based upon things you have previously watched, determining the retention rate at a university, or using text analyzing tools, such as Voyant, to find a deeper meaning to a set of text. This intrigued me because it opens up one’s thinking to other possible answers to various questions. The algorithmic culture that is upon is, is flourishing, and we are becoming more and more dependent upon things to just hand us information, instead of coming up, or thinking of it, ourselves.

The digital humanities is further examined by Mark Sample, and stated that it is not about building, but about sharing. Sample constitutes that a person is supposed to expand upon another person’s idea, or work, in order to move the development of that particular field forward. Lisa Spiro, in her essay, speaks more on behalf of “collaboration,” and how different humanists are supposed to share their work, including ideas about different technology, as well as their own personal points of views on certain aspects of the DH. When you factor in the matter of communication amongst humanists, the best way is through the technologies, because it allows them to communicate much quicker.

So all in all, the digtal humanities has been evolving day by day. Its been pushing more and more to a technological field, allowing the communication between humanists to be much easier, as well as being more centered around “collaboration”.

1 Comment

  1. I agree that in today’s society people are more reliant on technology, so much to where people have to google help on how to tie their shoes. Also, that the next generation expects the information to be given to them whether by there teacher or by the internet, and they do not want to put in the effort to search for the answer in a book.

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