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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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Where Is Cultural Criticism in the Digital Humanities?

Where Is Cultural Criticism in the Digital Humanities?

(p.490) Chapter 29 Where Is Cultural Criticism in the Digital Humanities?
Debates in the Digital Humanities

Alan Liu

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter discusses how the digital humanities have been oblivious to cultural criticism and how the lack of engagement cultural criticism prevents the digital humanities from becoming a full partner of the humanities. It argues that the appropriate, unique contribution that the digital humanities can make to cultural criticism at the present time is to use the tools, paradigms, and concepts of digital technologies to help rethink the idea of instrumentality. The goal is to think “critically about metadata” (and everything else related to digital technologies) in a way that “scales into thinking critically about the power, finance, and other governance protocols of the world.” Phrased even more expansively, the goal is to rethink instrumentality so that it includes both humanistic and STEM fields in a culturally broad, and not just narrowly purposive, ideal of service.

Keywords:   digital humanities, cultural criticism, instrumentality

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