Adam Rabinowitz

How do you Define DH?

For the Day of DH 2013, I defined Digital Humanities as the use of digital tools to do all of the following: collect richer datasets during our research; document those datasets in such a way that they can be more easily understood and reused by others; use digital datasets to identify patterns that inform us in new ways about our subject matter; and communicate our research and subject knowledge to our students and the general public in innovative, interactive, and engaging ways.

In 2014, I am less convinced by the idea that what I described above is actually a distinct field of inquiry. Frankly, I think everyone should be doing the things I mentioned — and most scholars these days are already doing at least the first thing (using digital tools to collect richer datasets). I’m also a bit put off by the title “Digital Humanist” or the statement “I do Digital Humanities”. These seem to me increasingly statements meant to define in-groups and out-groups (and, consciously or not, to better position the speaker for funding and promotion opportunities). So this year, I’m a Humanist who works with digital tools. I do Humanities, digitally. So should you.


The University of Texas at Austin


I’m a dirt archaeologist with a PhD from IPCAA at the University of Michigan, currently teaching in the department of Classics and affiliated with the Institute of Classical Archaeology at UT Austin. I am particularly interested in the role of formal drinking-parties in the development of ancient Greek communities, and the relation between Greeks and non-Greeks in colonial contexts. I am currently involved in a field project at Chersonesos in Crimea, Ukraine (in a publication phase). I’m interested in digital tools for archaeological recording, but also in the long-term preservation and accessibility of digital archaeological documentation. I am also very interested in the use of digital platforms to help students understand the visual, temporal, and spatial complexities of the ancient world (and our interpretation of the ancient world). I am the PI of GeoDia, a spatial timeline of ancient Mediterranean archaeology ( developed in 2008-2010 to help students in art history and archaeology classes. And thanks to the generosity of the NEH Office of Digital Humanities, I am now also the co-PI, with Ryan Shaw of the University of North Carolina, of “Periods, Organized (PeriodO): A gazetteer of period assertions for linking and visualizing periodized data”.