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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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Has Critical Theory Run Out of Time for Data-Driven Scholarship?

Has Critical Theory Run Out of Time for Data-Driven Scholarship?

(p.127) Has Critical Theory Run Out of Time for Data-Driven Scholarship?
Debates in the Digital Humanities

Gary Hall

University of Minnesota Press

After decades of the humanities being heavily marked by a variety of critical theories (Marxist, psychoanalytic, postcolonialist, post-Marxist), the present turn to data-driven scholarship has highlighted the difficulty in understanding computing and the digital as much more than tools, techniques, and resources, and thus how naive and lacking in meaningful critique they often are. This chapter considers the view of theoretical critique as being at best inappropriate and at worst harmful to data-driven scholarship. It argues that far from helping to keep the question concerning the use of digital tools and data-led methodologies in the humanities open, the rejection of critical-theoretical ideas as untimely is both moralizing and conservative.

Keywords:   digital humanities, computing, data-driven scholarship, critical theory

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