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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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The Digital Humanities Situation

The Digital Humanities Situation

(p.50) The Digital Humanities Situation
Debates in the Digital Humanities

Rafael C. Alvarado

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter assesses the field of digital humanities. It cites the absence of a definition of digital humanities, as well as a lack of connection among the different groups of digital humanists beyond a shared interest in texts and the use of computational technologies to explore and understand them. But more important, none of these groups has successfully demonstrated to the wider community of humanists that there are essential and irreplaceable gains to be had by applying digital tools to the project of interpreting (and reinterpreting) the human record for the edification of society. The chapter argues that the digital humanities, as both a broad collection of practices and an intense, ongoing interpretive praxis generative of such practices, is best thought of as having two very concrete but equally elusive dimensions. On the one hand, the digital humanities comprises something very much like a curriculum, an interrelated collection of subject domains and resources that, as a whole, contributes to both the construction of knowledge and the education of people. The second and more important dimension is that center of gravity is not a particular assemblage of technologies or methods but the ongoing, playful encounter with digital representation itself.

Keywords:   digital humanities, digital humanists, curriculum, digital representation

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