What is Digital Humanities?

The Digital Humanities is the overarching term for collaborative projects focusing on creation (and recreation) and curation in the humanities. In this revamped culture, the curation of material artefacts is becoming an accepted and even an important part of scholarly projects and research. Openness is a key element in these creation and curation projects: open-sourcing, open resources, etc. As part of this openness, these collaborative projects reach across disciplines to become transdisciplinary; digital creators and makers also believe repurposing open-sourced projects into something new is itself creation, providing multiple and varied channels of humanistic knowledge. The open-sourcing has even branched out into crowd-sourcing, keeping the public involved instead of hiding in academia’s ivory tower. As part of this collaboration, the idea of the author itself has been altered as several people come together to create, preserve and present new research.

Digital Humanities is the next stage in ongoing media revolutions. Unlike print, digital can incorporate textual, visual and audio aspects. As the Digital Manifesto reminds us though, this does not just mean sticking these aspects together, but incorporating them together to create changes in the presentation and output that shape change. The process and design is part of the project instead of just a piece of the end product.  Cultural and digital analytics have now become part of the conversation.

The new digital humanities are keeping humanities relevant in the digital and information ages while taking the various humanities’ disciplines to the next step. It retains the practices of the humanities’ disciplines but applies them in new and innovative ways. Two separate ideas and entities have come together to form a collective concept and identity. This new collective has created new challenges, but it is also inspiring new possibilities. I look forward to digging deeper into this new humanities revolution in the digital age.

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