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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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Digital Humanities Triumphant?

Digital Humanities Triumphant?

(p.233) Digital Humanities Triumphant?
Debates in the Digital Humanities

William Pannapacker

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter argues that the field of digital humanities seems to be developing a cliquish dynamic that threatens to replicate the culture of Big Theory back in the 1980s and 1990s, which alienated so many people. The digital humanities seem more exclusive than ever before, with its identifiable stars who know they are stars, and senior figures in the field, like Alan Liu, who seem like gods. While this type of success is well earned for a community that has long regarded itself as facing uncomprehending resistance, the tendency to become like Big Theory may change the attractive ethics of the field, which has been described as “community, collaboration, and goodwill.” The growing tendency of the digital humanities to become an elite community—always pursuing the cutting edge—may leave most of us behind, struggling to catch up with limited support.

Keywords:   digital humanities, Big Theory, Alan Liu

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