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Debates in Digital Humanities

What does the phrase Digital Humanities mean to you? A Google search of the term will reveal many different definitions and explanations. At its root, Digital Humanities can be thought of as the intersection of the humanities and digital technology. Sounds like a good thing, right? Well, not everyone thinks so.

In a move that gained a great deal of attention, the Los Angeles Review of Books published an article blasting the Digital Humanities field. In Neoliberal Tools (And Archives): A Political History of Digital Humanities, the authors argue that Digital Humanities is more about economics than actual scholarship.

What Digital Humanities is not about, despite its explicit claims, is the use of digital or quantitative methodologies to answer research questions in the humanities. It is, instead, about the promotion of project-based learning and lab-based research over reading and writing, the rebranding of insecure campus employment as an empowering “alt-ac” career choice, and the redefinition of technical expertise as a form (indeed, the superior form) of humanist knowledge.

The article drew many responses, many of which are listed in this article on dh + lib.

Read Neoliberal Tools (And Archives): A Political History of Digital Humanities.

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