Philip R. "Pib" Burns

How do you Define DH?

My stock curmudgeon answer:

Humanities is humanities, digital or not — the study of literature, fine arts, history, language, and philosophy. We don’t distinguish digital sociology or digital astronomy, so why digital humanities? Just because computers are involved doesn’t mean the basic nature of the subject area is any different than it has been been traditionally. Computers allow for doing things with texts and other cultural artifacts that could not be done feasibly without the computational power and storage modern computers provide. Computers should be considered an extension of the scholar’s mind — very useful tools indeed.


Northwestern University


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