A Shift in Digital Humanities

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I claim no expertise in the digital humanities (DH) but I feel like I have been involved or immersed in it since the 1990s. I wrote earlier this week about defining the field and about some history. In the past two decades, several shifts have occurred in the field.

Early on, DH projects often involved individual scholars or small teams working within specific disciplines. A major shift was in the growth of interdisciplinary collaboration. Scholars from diverse fields such as computer science, linguistics, history, literature, cultural studies, and others has led to developments in the digital humanities.

Interdisciplinary collaboration led to the development of innovative methodologies that draw on insights and techniques from multiple disciplines. For example, computer scientists may contribute expertise in data mining and machine learning, while historians provide domain knowledge and research questions.

Collaboration across disciplines also expanded the scope of research in the digital humanities, enabling scholars to tackle complex questions that transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries. This has led to new approaches to studying culture, history, literature, and other subjects.

Collaboration helped facilitate the development of shared infrastructure and resources, such as digital archives, data repositories, and software tools. These resources are often freely available and contribute to the growth of the digital humanities community.

Interdisciplinary collaboration has also enabled digital humanities scholars to engage with broader public audiences by creating accessible and engaging digital projects that communicate scholarly research in innovative ways. More about the public audience in a future post.


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