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Debates in the Digital Humanities$
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Matthew K. Gold

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780816677948

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816677948.001.0001

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Sunset for Ideology, Sunrise for Methodology?

Sunset for Ideology, Sunrise for Methodology?

(p.124) Sunset for Ideology, Sunrise for Methodology?
Debates in the Digital Humanities

Tom Scheinfeldt

University of Minnesota Press

Historical discourse in the late twentieth century was dominated by a succession of ideas and theoretical frameworks. For most of the last seventy-five years of the twentieth century, ideologies such as socialism, fascism, existentialism, structuralism, poststructuralism, conservatism vied with one another in both politics and academic conferences. But it was not always so. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, scholarship was dominated not by big ideas but by methodological refinement and disciplinary consolidation. This chapter suggests that we are at a similar moment of change, that we are entering a new phase of scholarship dominated not by ideas but once again by organizing activities, in terms of both organizing knowledge and organizing ourselves and our work. The Internet has shifted the work of a growing number of scholars away from thinking big thoughts to forging new tools, methods, materials, techniques, and modes or work that will enable us to harness the still unwieldy, but obviously game-changing, information technologies now sitting on our desktops and in our pockets.

Keywords:   historical discourse, methods, theories, Internet

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