Introduction to Digital Humanities

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

What is digital humanities and why do we care what it is?

For me these past 2 weeks of class have been confusing and frustrating. Even the readings have made me even more confused because everyone has a different opinion as to what digital humanities is. What I have gain from the readings and in class discussions is that digital items taking on human characteristics and humans taking on a robotic way of thinking or doing. Sounds like a very interesting topic, yes to some it might be but for others like me its hard for me to make a connection with what is being discussed so I care a lot less. However, I do like what Mark Sample said “The heart of digital humanities is not the production of knowledge; it’s the reproduction of knowledge”. This is a true statement and it speaks to how the field of digital humanities even came about. I also liked Lisa Spiro and how she talked about having a core set of values and then using that to achieve a bigger goal as a united community. I think with team work and determination you can do anything. Me, do I love this field so far no, but that doesn’t mean I wont learn to love it later on which is what I hope to do. From the looks of it those that do truly understand this field find it so intersecting that they can’t wait to find out more and do more research on this topic. I do realize that once I do have a full complete understanding of digital humanities then not only will I care but I will most likely want to learn more too.


  1. To speak more on the point that you made about how everybody seems to have a different opinion on the digital humanities, it seems clear, to me, that the digital humanities is still very much a debated subject in terms of what they encompass. Many of the articles we have read in this class were written to do just that, an attempt by each author to try to define what they feel are the traits of the digital humanities from their perspective. Even our textbook for this class is titled “Debates in the Digital Humanities”, further signifying that this debate is a large portion of what the digital humanities currently are. I think because the idea of digital humanities is still relatively new, especially when compared to traditional humanities that have been around for centuries, we are experiencing, firsthand, the search for the true definition of the digital humanities.

  2. I can relate to how it was difficult in understanding digital humanities from the first few weeks of classes, yet we can only wait once we gain a deeper concept of it. It is true that most of the readings have different ideas on defining digital humanities, yet they all have the same goal in trying to see the significance that it has over our lives. Digital humanities has been doing its best in converging with our human traditions, even though it may look like we are becoming more robotic from these digital connections, we still keep in touch with our human-self.

  3. I feel like I can really relate to your statements. I’ve also been pretty confused, and the readings expanded my knowledge but confused me as well. I went into this class not knowing what it was and I’m still not 100% sure, but I find digital humanities quite interesting. I hope we all learn to love it as time goes on!

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