What is the Digital Humanities (DH)?
[T]he digital humanities today is about a scholarship (and a pedagogy) that is publicly visible in ways to which we are generally unaccustomed, a scholarship and pedagogy that are bound up with infrastructure in ways that are deeper and more explicit than we are generally accustomed to, a scholarship and pedagogy that are collaborative and depend on networks of people and that live an active 24/7 life online. (Matthew G. Kirschenbaum, ADE Bulletin 150 (2010)).
Wikipedia calls Digital Humanities (DH) “an area of research, teaching, and creation concerned with the intersection of computing and the disciplines of the humanities.” One popular definition points out that if you’ve tried to define DH, then you are already doing DH. Here is a recent list of brief definitions by recognized “DHers”. Choose your favorite. And welcome to the fold.
See the useful links page for many resources (both quick and in-depth) about the digital humanities.
Why are we using the term Digital Liberal Arts (DigLibArts)?
We prefer the term “Digital Liberal Arts” (coined by William Pannapacker in this article in the Chonicle of Higher Education) since we see the interdisciplinarity of digital methodologies as essentially related to the mission and goals of a twenty-first century liberal arts education.
Rafael Alvarado usefully summarizes the distinctive ethos of Digital Liberal Arts:
the digital liberal arts seeks to locate digital media squarely within the frame of the liberal arts, broadly conceived as a curriculum, not a discipline or even set of disciplines, and as a distinctive mode of educational experience, not a set of received theoretical concerns.
Alvarado goes on to point out three distinctive features of Digital Liberal Arts
First, [diglibarts] is inclusive of the entire arts and sciences spectrum, from the humanities and performing arts to the social sciences and the natural sciences.
Second, [diglibarts] is explicitly residential and dialogical…DLA is from the outset concerned with the integration of technology into the everyday life…
Third, [diglibarts] is as concerned with pedagogy as it is with research, pursuing models of research and service based teaching that characterize small liberal arts colleges today.
Read his full blog post here.