Debates in Digital Humanities

As we read more into Digital Humanities each week, we see how the field has evolved and the controversies that have followed.  This week’s readings predominantly dealt with the credibility of digital work and how to properly use Digital Humanities in academia.  One of the main questions poised in this week’s readings was do digital artifacts really exist without a real world source or artifact?  This question reminded me of when Facebook went public on the stock exchange.  Facebook initially ran into criticisms by economic experts because it lacked any physical product in the real world and would be hard to track its “real” worth on the market.  Economic experts thought this would scare investors away and Facebook would just be another failed digital start up trying to get on the stock exchange.  However just the opposite happened, stock holders and company founders became billionaires and millionaires in a matter of hours proving that the general public didn’t care if a company produced a physical product.  I can see a lot of carry-over from this scenario and Digital Humanities.  If a piece of Digital Humanities is not tied to any preexisting commentary or artifact does it make it less relevant?  I think the answer is no because if Facebook has proved anything the general public doesn’t care anymore if something has real world backing.  While the ivory tower of academia might scoff at this notion it doesn’t necessarily make Digital Humanities less relevant.

While facts will always be an important part of academia, this week’s experts gave us much to ponder on how Digital Humanities could be used in education.  The first theory we are given to ponder is the Thing Theory.  This theory presents that Digital Humanities is a prototype that theories can be built upon.  An easy way to think of this is Digital Humanities is the thesis of a paper, in which we research and build upon a topic.  Another way Digital Humanities is presented in the readings is in the form of a tool or instrument.  Like a telescope is used to see the universe, Digital Humanities is a lens to see the wider world of the study of humanities.  The final theory we are presented with is the digital as a theoretical model.  With this theory we are faced with the question can computing (coding, graphical interfaces) be a model in humanities.  This theory is much tougher than the rest to grasp because you need some background in how computers work.  The issues being most people in academia outside of computer programs lack the ability to read code and don’t know how computers truly operate and to try and decipher this code into something that fits into the guidelines that is Humanities is monumental task.  Personally I don’t think Digital Humanities has one specific way in which it can be described and used.  Like most things in humanities, Digital Humanities functions better as a combination of practices rather than a defined methodology.  With these combined practices we have the ability to observe multiple ideals and are not limited to one narrative.

What is Digital Humanities?

After reading through Sarah’s and Dave’s posts, I am in agreement that the classification of what is and is not Digital Humanities is a major task in the field. As an undergraduate, I was both a History major and a Telecommunications major so I have some background in Digital Humanities. Despite this background, I did not have a large amount of interaction with DH and, more importantly, I was and am still unable to figure out what constitutes DH. In regard to Dave’s mention of vlogs and YouTube, there must be some line that separates meaningful contributions to the field of DH and the seemingly uninformative, useless videos. But at the same time, are these videos useless? Do they not give us an idea of the other side of the pendulum? Do we sometimes ignore “stupid” videos because they do not explicitly advance our understanding of DH, or are they simply another important part of the DH community in the sense of “all opinions matter”?

Continue reading “What is Digital Humanities?”

Three things to get you through HTML/CSS and coding

Here are few things to think about, as you do your HTML/CSS on Codecademy, and then do your coding, but a lot of this will help for just about any of our tool/methodology exercises. They may not be as useful as the three things that Homer taught Bart, but they cover quite a bit. Continue reading “Three things to get you through HTML/CSS and coding”

What is Digital Humanities?

What is Digital Humanities? The better question is what isn’t Digital Humanities in electronic world that we live in today?  Prior to this class I had never heard of the term Digital Humanities.   Being a social studies major throughout college I had studied humanities but not in what I had perceived in the digital realm.   I had been interpreting digital humanities for years without knowing the concepts name.  From the readings these past two weeks I’ve gathered that there is no one true definition of Digital Humanities.  A quick Google search would reveal that Digital Humanities “is an area of research and teaching at the intersection of computing and the disciplines of the humanities”.  However that’s not enough for the purposes of this course.  Digital Humanities in a since is a multitude of subject areas that intersect with technology and the digital world.  Something that is always present in our digital lives but not always noticed.  Some examples might include blog, vlogs, YouTube, social media, and gaming.  Not only the fields themselves but the ethics, history, culture, and science within them.   It combines the methodology of traditional subjects like the social sciences, history, art, science, philosophy, and math with the tools of modern day technologies.

The next logical question is why is Digital Humanities important?  Digital Humanities is important for many reasons. The world around us is constantly changing with technology as the cornerstone of this process. We need to meet the challenges that these new technologies bring in an ethical and rational way.  As a teacher it is important to stay up to date with technology because it allows us to be better connected to our students and transfer knowledge easier.  It also allows for better communication with students and colleagues.  In addition, it allows teachers to stay up to date of current methodologies and professional development.  It makes teaching a 24/7 profession and allows for more efficient data collection.  Throughout this upcoming semester I hope to gain more insights into what Digital Humanities is and how it will affect our perception of this course.  I am sure as we learn more this semester our definitions of Digital Humanities will continue to evolve and I excited to see where this course will take all of us.

What is DH?

So the question of the first week is what is DH? That is a great question. Coming into this class I wasn’t so sure myself. Intro to Digital Humanities sounded cool, and it looked a lot better than some of the other classes offered this semester. After doing some reading, I began to understand what all DH consisted of, and it all made sense. I just never really used the term Digital Humanities.

After reading the Intro and Part 1 of Debates I found some answers as well as clarification on what DH is, or at least what DH consists of. Here is what I gathered from the reading. Digital Humanities in fact is made up of a ton of different topics, categories, and things. What is involved in the study of Digital Humanities consists of a variety of topics. DH is the study and research, the teaching and computing of certain knowledge. DH is also driven by the many types of social media. In fact, many of us do not realize it but things we have in our everyday lives falls into the category of DH. DH is also; “history, musicology, performance studies, media studies,” and so much more. I think that maybe DH is just a name for one category that a lot things fit into.

I never really thought about what DH consisted of until I began this class. As a teacher, I realize that I have it all around me everyday. The one point made in Part 1 was that composition and computers go together. Electronic archives and electronic literature are becoming more and more popular and everything else is becoming part of the past. DH can expand cultural studies because of the electronic and online resources.

Social Media, texting and technology are constantly changing. The more advanced technology gets, the more advanced society becomes. It is a constant race to have the “newer, smarter” phone, tablet, laptop, and even car. Even though technology is changing, it will still always be in the category of DH.The more digital the world is, the faster, and usually better things will be. The times of reading a book, and actually hand writing letters and papers are becoming more and more things of the past. Welcome to the digital world.