Introduction to Digital Humanities

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

Cultures in the Digital World

People usually depend on the digital media, but it is often difficult to express some parts of culture depending on the artifact or the ethnic group.  The readings from this week have helped people understand the issues that are presented when taking a cultural object and setting up for the digital world

In Melissa Terras’s blog, she explained the issues about how difficult it was to take a cultural artifact and change it into something personal for oneself.  She offered some useful advice for people who are able to utilize their chosen antiques and modify parts of it for their own use.  There were some things to consider when taking an important relic because when folks try to download it, they want to make sure that others are able to use it whenever needed.

Leopold talked about the medical practices that the Cherokee natives used at the time and how it would be interesting to show their culture.  However, some of the Cherokee elders told them that they should not put any of those practices into public view because it could lead to consequences for anyone who is not a licensed Cherokee medic.  They explained that some of these methods could lead to disaster if they did not know what they were doing; in this case, they only appointed people who were trained and interested in this study to be able to utilize such techniques.

In conclusion, there are some cultures that are sometimes not ready to trust the digital media just yet because of how the public might think of their cultures.

1 Comment

  1. Great Post!! I don’t have much relation to culture (I don’t follow religion that close either), but I like your approach to it.

    In regards to Terra’s blog, your comment on taking a cultural artifact and trying to use it as one’s own, was pretty interesting. I can’t really relate to this, but I understand her POV on it. Cultural artifacts are specific to that one culture, and if the person is trying to use it to represent themselves, they would need background info into the culture.

    In regards to the Leopold article, I was pretty intrigued. I like how you brought up the idea of the Cherokee natives and the medical practice. It makes sense because a” non-cherokee ” would not be able to perform the medical practices as well as a Cherokee native, because they don’t have the necessary background info into the culture.

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