Why I chose this image: An image that shows our contstant distractions when using digital tools. Justifies why I had such a difficulty in concentrating when I tried to write this blog post.
As I’m relatively new to the field of Digital Humanities, I am using this blog as an archive that will explore and organise my inner thoughts and confusion in this broad area of academic study.
Trying to Define Digital Modernisms
I had a hard time explaining to my new-met colleagues what my elective course was about. As I was the only one in this company with this elective course, I was expected to be able to answer the immediate question that came afterwards: “So what is this course about, really?” . As I didn’t have a clear idea about it (we haven’t started our lectures yet), I mumbled a little and tried to answer with some vague explanations , underlining the fact that I wasn’t quite familiar to this academic field. Although, I came across an MA course at TCB, when I was searching for my postgraduate studies I had the feeling that this field was so interdisciplinary and newly born that its definition was still in ”a process of becoming”.
To be quite honest, this foggy cloud in my mind that surrounded “digital humanities” started to vanish slowly when I read Chris Forster’s and Claire’s Ross posts . Both scholars that are constantly experimenting with DH had a clearer view of what is going on. Forster’s definition was tangible as he uses four categories, ”rings”, to define DH. As he explains, DH cover the application of digital tools not only in Humanities research but also in the New Media and in classroom. However, he moves beyond practical applications and studies the ways that this relationship shapes our lives. Claire Ross offers an interesting insight to this definition as she exemplifies the questions that concern DH:” How technology shapes our lives?”, ”Is this change beneficial for us?”.
From my point of view, DH is a brand new approach of using the web, socializing and sharing academic knowledge in the humanities.It includes archiving, visualising, and creating virtual places for researching in literary scholarship . It is a completely new way of experimenting and approaching humanities worldwide.
What I found most fascinating from our first DH seminar is the analysis of DH’s practices in the chaotic space of the web. Although it uses the web as a means of productive “remixes” (8:55- 9.11) , these world-wide limitless pathways that research moves into, may entail risks for academics. On the one hand, recreation follows legal patterns where laws of copyrights and research ethics apply and plagiarism can be easily detected. On the other hand, information might be transformed or used in a misleading way by others, as in the case of an academic who posted a finding in the blog of her research and, although she underlined that this piece of finding wasn’t accurate yet , a newspaper twisted the information and claimed that it was an actual finding of her research.
However, as the umbrella of DH is quite broader, I will try to explore its functions and practical aspects in my forthcoming posts as my elective course Digital Modernities at the University of Edinburgh processes.
Forster, Chris. ”I’m Chris, Where Am I Wrong?.” Hastac. 2010. 22 Sept. 2013 .Web http://www.hastac.org/blogs/cforster/im-chris-where-am-i-wrong
Ross Claire.”Me Museums and Digital Humanities.’‘ Hastac. 22 Sept. 2013 .Web http://www.hastac.org/blogs/claire-ross/me-museums-and-digital-humanities-hopefully-not-needle-hastac