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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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Eternal September of the Digital Humanities

Eternal September of the Digital Humanities

(p.243) Eternal September of the Digital Humanities
Debates in the Digital Humanities

Bethany Nowviskie

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter presents the author’s thoughts about a so-called eternal September of the digital humanities. “Eternal September” is a notion that comes from Usenet culture—the early peer-to-peer newsgroups and alt discussions that were an introduction to networked discourse and digital identity. Because Usenet activity centered in colleges and universities, a large influx of new students each September disrupted its established, internal standards of conduct, or netiquette. About thirty days in, newbies had either acclimatized to Usenet or they had dropped away, and the regular roiling of September could be left behind for another eleven months. But once AOL began offering Usenet to its subscribers, September was eternal. The author says that the “Eternal September” of the digital humanities runs deeper than simple overwork, and most threatens to exhaust them all when their newer colleagues, who are most visible online, make two assumptions: they think that all this is new; and they think that the current scene is all there is.

Keywords:   digital humanities, humanities computing, Usenet culture, Eternal September

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