Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Next Step

I have to be honest, I’m not so sure about this movement into the digital humanities. Sure, I can appreciate the movement forward within the field. But at the same time, I’m nostalgic about it all. I like paper and pen and books with folds in the corners. Although I do think that the digital humanities will allow more people to discover the theory. In his blog, Notes towards a Deformed Humanities, Mark Sample makes interesting points regarding the future of this subject.

For Sample, instead of “deforming” texts in order to better understand them as a whole, he wants to leave them in the pulled apart mess that they are in. He compares it to Humpty Dumpty, and he wants to leave him cracked on the ground. Sample’s idea is that there really isn’t as much of a need to go back to the original works after you've picked it apart and from that, a new text can be formed, “In my vision of the Deformed Humanities, there is little need to go back to the original. We work—in the Stallybrass sense of the word—not to go back to the original text with a revitalized perspective, but to make an entirely new text or artifact.” I think that this is a very interesting idea, further studying what makes up a text. Although, I would rather put it back together to see that larger picture, it is creative in the sense that you’re making something completely new. In a way, Deformed Humanities is a way of evolution.

Digital Humanities is definitely the next step in the theory department, maybe because I’m looking at it in its beginning stages is why I’m not all that used to it. But I can absolutely see the potential and the interesting directions it can go in.

With that, I end my final blog post for Critical Theory. 


  1. See if you can fix that formatting problem, Shannon...

    You definitely have that modernist nostalgia we were talking about in class. :) I wonder if DH is something that can be done with paper and pen? Is there anything about it that can be explored even without the aid of digital technologies? Interesting question...

  2. Shannon,

    I think many people can agree with you about your feelings of wanting what you know, cracking open a book. I really love your line, "I like paper and pen and books with folds in the corners." It's full of personality and really describes the idea of books, their usage-those corners were bent over and over by someone who loved that book. I think you make a great point of how Sample just wants to break a text and then leave the pieces behind, seeing that it doesn't need to be put back together, that it has been created anew.