Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Does the Human Disappear from Digital Humanities?

On the concept of the Digital Humanities, I'm torn between loving the progression towards a digitized field and hating it. This is the way I am with most things involving technology. I love things like social media and the internet and my phone, but at the same time, I also hate them. I have the same feelings towards Digital Humanities. I love that the digital world opens up new pathways for creativity to be shared with the world, but I also prefer the comfort of a physical book in my hand over an e-reader.

I also think that Sample makes some interesting points in his article "Deformed Humanities", but I think he takes the idea of the Digital Humanities a little too far. He points out that "computers let us practice deformance quite easily, [by] taking apart a text" and I agree that technology allows us to dig deeper into texts when we use it as a tool. However, when he talks about the beauty in purposely finding/making no meaning within a text, that is when he loses me. I don't think the Digital Humanities shouldn't be about destroying for the sake of destroying meaning completely, but instead destroying in order to better understand texts. Technology can provide new mediums through which text can be made, and that is the most exciting part about it.

Either way, I'm torn. I think that the field will continue to become more and more digitized, and it is unavoidable. We can either hate it and long for simpler times from the past or fully embrace the technological madness. Or we can just stand somewhere in the middle, hating it one day and loving it the next, but there is nothing we can do to prevent Digital Humanities from evolving. Which is kind of scary (exciting)?

And there is my last post. It has been a pleasure blogging with you all. Yay, Crit Theory!


  1. "when he talks about the beauty in purposely finding/making no meaning within a text, that is when he loses me." I love that, because I think he might agree that being "lost" is precisely the point (if being lost can be a point)...

    And yay for Crit Theory! And for your wonderful work this Spring!

  2. Kendal,
    I can agree with you completely about loving technology and hating it at the same time. I, too, love my phone and the internet, but often hate such technology for it's cause of distraction or in other technologies, it's difficulty to understand. I would also prefer to read from a book, turning the pages, the smell of an old book etc. I dislike reading on an eReader because of its lack of authenticity.

  3. well this is interesting .
    thank for sharing.

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