Week 13 English 516

Harley Farris, Exploring Digital Humanities: “We always apply our ways of thinking about current technology to new technology and this is one of the reasons it can be hard to adopt new media practices, we almost always need a frame of reference or at least a really good metaphor to understand how a tool could be useful. …are we practicing digital humanities, or are we just digitizing the humanities?”

” These events were subsequently discussed in a series of cross-postings and conversations that spilled across Twitter and the blogosphere for several weeks after the convention ended. Many seemed to feel that the connection to wider academic issues was not incidental or accidental and that digital humanities, with a culture that values collaboration, openness, nonhierarchical relations, and agility, might be an instrument for real resistance or reform.” -Matthew Kirschenbaum, What Is Digital Humanities and What’s It Doing in English Departments?

” these debates can be most productive if we understand them as a means of opening ourselves to the kinds of conversations that true interdisciplinarity can support. While disciplinarity is often institutionally useful, after all—allowing for the development of centers, departments, and tenure lines—it can also be turned against its adherents, restricting their movement and disciplining, literally, the knowledge they produce” – The Humanities, Done Digitally by Kathleen Fitzpatrick

“The digital world is replete. It resists any efforts to be colonized by the postcolonialists. We cannot escape it by holing up in Berkeley waiting for the taurus of time to roll around to 1968. It will find us and it will videotape our kittens…It’s not the digital that marks the future of the humanities—it’s what things digital point to: a great outdoors. A real world. A world of humans, things, and ideas. A world of the commonplace. A world that prepares jello salads. A world that litigates, that chews gum, that mixes cement. A world that rusts, that photosynthesizes, that ebbs. The philosophy of tomorrow should not be digital democracy but a democracy of objects” -Ian Bogost, The Turtlenecked Hairshirt

In these quotes, I’ve tried to sort of outline the trajectory of my overall thoughts.  No, I didn’t actually try to do that, but I like the flow they have together.  At any rate, it’s this transition from the beginning of adopting new media to a democracy of objects I found fascinating about these pieces.  Are we relinquishing more control than is advisable to our technological tools in the disciplines related to the humanities, or are our technological tools allowing us to have better global communities?  Two different things, but I think the latter is definitely true.


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