The Future of DH In Question?

After reading the first three essays found in Envisioning The Future of The Digital Humanities in the Debates Book, I truly felt as though the future of DH is being hindered by the same question we asked earlier in the semester: what is DH? This question seems to me as well as other DHers such as Matthew Kirschenbaum and Dave Parry as one of the major stumbling blocks that are keeping the future of DH in question. However, the fact that this puzzling question is being asked once again helps to make this particular DH course come full circle; it could be implied that as a class we can individually take all of what we learned this semester and individually try to come up with an answer to the question on our own. In my opinion, it is up to this generation of DHers- the first generation- to find a way to answer this question sufficiently as we have found various ways to introduce DH tools and projects to the public in the past decade.

One of the readings, David Greetham’s The Resistance to Digital Humanities, particularly caught my eye given that it briefly quoted Dr. Stephen Brier and briefly mentioned the Graduate Center’s innovative work in DH. Dr. Brier was quoted in saying that the graduate and doctoral students at the Graduate Center play a vital role in the future of DH due to the fact that they can apply DH methods and techniques in the undergrad classes that they teach. By using the classroom as a testing ground, young and old DHers alike can get a better sense of the true nature of DH and can finally put the lingering question to rest.

 From what I have read in the Envisioning The Future Section, the future of DH seems unclear unless DHers come together and tackle the big issues facing this recently formed discipline, such as the skepticism of DH being a genuine discipline due to the fact that the work centered around it is basically digital. I feel that if such disciplines such as anthropology (which was established in the 19th century) can become widely accepted by members of academia, then DH has a chance of being accepted as well.

3 Responses to The Future of DH In Question?

  1. Dale Katherine Ireland December 3, 2012 at 10:24 am #

    I am with you, Jonathan in that this week’s readings bring us back to where we started, but, perhaps, we are different. I will see if I can convey this idea of mine briefly in another post. I enjoyed reading your post; it helped me develop an idea regarding my project. Thanks!


  2. Jonathan Conrad Maxwell December 3, 2012 at 11:36 am #

    Your welcome! See you later!

  3. Mikayla Zagoria-Moffet December 3, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    I agree absolutely that many of the readings echoed that initial question. It’s interesting because I became interested in the DH through a course I took with David Greetham last semester, where he spoke a lot about the Debates in the Digital Humanities book.

    I really like that CUNY appears on the cutting edge of a lot of the DH stuff– but just to poke a little bit: do we hear that so much because we are involved at the GC and are reading a lot of CUNY scholars?

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