Evaluating Digital Humanities

Evaluating Digital Humanities has proven to be a difficult undertaking for me. As we’ve read about Digital Humanities for the past few weeks, I think we all have seen how ambiguous and nebulous the field is. I think this is due in part to the relative infancy of the field in comparison to other realms of the humanities, and I think this ambiguity and vaguery is freeing to the field as it allows for the field to take on many different shapes rather than be tethered to one singular set of standards, it also makes the process of legitimizing and evaluating products of the field to be somewhat of an arduous task.


One reason this is such a difficult task, as  Dr. Schocket mentioned, is the myriad of Digital Humanities projects that exist. As I began reviewing the lists of DH projects to evaluate, there seemed to be a little bit of everything listed from things I have familiarity with like EverNote and Tumblr, to things I had never heard of (but wish I had!) such as Cornell Notes PDF Generator and QuarkXPress. While all of these products are very unique, useful for humanities in a variety of ways, promote and illustrate the scholarship of their creators, and have some connection to politics, or social power of users and creators– just some of the categories for DH as discussed in Debates in Digital Humanities— these projects are so widely different it’s difficult to be comparative of them with any objectivity to truly and fairly evaluate them.

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