Digital Humanities as ‘Corporatist Restructuring’

May 11, 2016

See this very interesting and controversial article by Carl Straumsheim that argues digital humanities scholars are — intentionally or not — leading a “neoliberal takeover” of colleges and universities. This article was published May 6, 2016.

Many humanities scholars have praised the digital humanities as one of the more promising developments for their disciplines. But a recent article in the Los Angeles Review of Books compares digital humanities scholars to “Silicon Valley ‘disruptors,’” saying they are leading a “corporatist restructuring” of their fields.

The article, written by three digital culture studies and English professors at Carleton University in Canada, Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of the West of England, has once again brought to light the polarization among humanities scholars. Some have applauded co-authors Daniel Allington, Sarah Brouillette and David Golumbia for their “devastating critique,” while others have dismissed the article outright for being too one-sided.

“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,” the article, which ran on Sunday, reads. “It is, instead, about the promotion of project-based learning and lab-based research over reading and writing, the re-branding 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.”

See the full article!


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