Yesterday, March 27, was this year’s “Day of DH.” D what? DH, stands for digital humanities. (More on what that actually means below.) And “Day of DH” is a day of, well, documentation and display—a showcase of global projects in the digital humanities, posted by their creators.
So just what is this “digital humanities” I speak of? The University of Alberta, which sponsors the event, has created a wiki page devoted precisely to this question. You can go broad with your definition: digital humanities = good ole humanities but with digital tools, especially when those tools facilitate participation beyond specialist audiences. Or you can go micro, naming all the different forms these practices might take:
- Creating digital editions, archives, websites, maps, visualizations and exhibits that allow for new explorations of humanities subjects, often across traditional disciplinary formations.
- Involving students in the research and creation of such editions, archives, websites, visualizations and exhibits, so that students gain hands-on experience with the production of knowledge.
- Studying the history and culture of media, often in alignment with the history of the book, the history of technology, film studies and material culture studies.
- Studying social media, digital culture, human-computer interactions and cultural informatics.
- Creating algorithms for studying humanities questions at large scale, or employing such “scaled up” analytic methodologies.
- Reconsidering and reinventing traditional practices and ideas of scholarly communication: publication, peer review, intellectual property; as well as traditional definitions and locations of scholarship: professor, library, book, journal, faculty, humanities.