— Alan Liu (@alanyliu) June 6, 2015
I am very happy that our edited volume on Between Humanities and the Digital (MIT Press, 2015) is now available! It came out early this summer in the US and more recently in some other parts of the world (including Sweden). The book is a collaborative venture between David Theo Goldberg and myself (as editors) and a large number of first-rate contributors from all over the world. We also had great help by Anna Finn, Maia Krause and Emma Ewadotter.
Why an edited volume in the first place? There are three primary reasons in my mind:
- There is an interest in defining, developing and challenging a field and ideas.
- There is a curatorial incentive and a meaningful and important thematic thread.
- There is a group of excellent people willing to come together to do the work.
Between Humanities and the Digital responds to these reasons in the following way (in my mind):
- The time is right for profoundly considering the intellectual, institutional, disciplinary and infrastructural underpinnings of the intersection between the humanistic and the digital.
- We felt that there is an intellectual argument to be made and a range of scholars who were willing to contribute to a rich and grounded investigation of the humanities and the digital. There were three main and overlapping perspectives: institutional, disciplinary and infrastructural.
- Essentially everyone we asked was willing to take time to contribute to the volume and unless asked about contributing an existing text (which we encouraged in a few cases), the authors went considerably beyond what they had done before. They took up the challenge (and with the chapters based on existing texts, they had already taken up the challenge).
MIT Press has done an excellent job with the volume and I think that the format – simultaneously companion-like and monographic – manifests the positioning of the volume.
This excerpt is from the introduction:
What today falls under the designation of “ digital humanities” both builds on and challenges what has been characterized by contrast as “ traditional humanities,” in conception and application. On one hand, while digital humanities has sought discrete status, it accordingly is not a distinct and separate discipline, although it may seek institutional integrity to be productive. It looks to engage with, build on, and connect with pretty much any and all humanities disciplines, while looking at once to push the traditional and conventional to new insights and newly productive ways of making knowledge. It seeks persistently to touch the heart of humanities disciplines and interdisciplines, to advance them individually and interconnectedly, but also to look outside the humanities proper for relational possibilities of opening up new insights, new ways of thinking about subject matters, indeed new subject matters. It looks to provide productive resources to address traditional research questions but equally to pose old questions anew and new questions for long established or more recent fields. Digital humanities should be sufficiently open to incorporate data heavy projects, encoding methodologies, the textual with the visual and the sonic as well as critically and theoretically based analyses. And indeed to have its principal and driving premises challenged by the latter. One of the major challenges at the intersection of humanities and the digital is the interweaving of intellectual, exploratory and technological modalities. Johanna Drucker describes this challenge in terms of creating “ intellectual middleware. ”
C) Table of Contents
Below follows the table of contents (which hopefully gives a good sense of the content):
I THE FIELD OF DIGITAL HUMANITIES 9
1 The Example: Some Historical Considerations 17
2 Humanities in the Digital Age 35
Alan Liu and William G. Thomas III
3 Me? A Digital Humanist? 41
4 Critical Theory and the Mangle of Digital Humanities 55
5 “ Does This Technology Serve Human Purposes? ” A “ Necessary Conversation ” with Sherry Turkle 69
6 Humanist Computing at the End of the Individual Voice and the Authoritative Text 83
7 Beyond Infrastructure: Re-humanizing Digital Humanities in India 95
8 Toward a Transnational Asian/American Digital Humanities: A #transformDH Invitation 109
9 Beyond the Elbow-Patched Playground 121
10 Why Yack Needs Hack (and Vice versa): From Digital Humanities to Digital Literacy 131
Cathy N. Davidson
11 Toward Problem-Based Modeling in the Digital Humanities 145
Ray Siemens and Jentery Sayers
12 Deprovincializing Digital Humanities 163
David Theo Goldberg
II INFLECTING FIELDS AND DISCIPLINES 173
13 Circuit-Bending History: Sketches toward a Digital Schematic 181
Whitney Anne Trettien
14 Medieval Materiality through the Digital Lens 193
15 Computational Literature 205
16 The Cut between Us: Digital Remix and the Expression of Self 217
17 Locating the Mobile and Social: A Preliminary Discussion of Camera Phones and Locative
18 “ Did You Mean ‘ Why Are Women Cranky? ’ ” Google — A Means of Inscription, a Means of De-Inscription? 243
19 Time Wars of the Twentieth Century and the Twenty-first Century Toolkit: The History and Politics of Longue-duree Thinking as a Prelude to the Digital Analysis of the Past 253
20 An Experiment in Collaborative Humanities: Envisioning Globalities 500 – 1500 CE 267
Geraldine Heng and Michael Widner
21 Digital Humanities and the Study of Religion 283
22 Cyber Archaeology: A Post-virtual Perspective 295
23 Literature, Neuroscience, and Digital Humanities 311
Natalie Phillips and Stephen Rachman
III KNOWLEDGE PRODUCTION, LEARNING, AND INFRASTRUCTURE 329
24 The Humanistiscope — Exploring the Situatedness of Humanities Infrastructure 337
25 “ Stuff You Can Kick ” : Toward a Theory of Media Infrastructures 355
26 Distant Mirrors and the LAMP 375
27 Resistance in the Materials 383
28 The Digital Humanities as a Laboratory 391
Amy E. Earhart
29 A Map Is Not a Picture: How the Digital World Threatens the Validity of Printed Maps 401
30 Spatial History as Scholarly Practice 411
31 Utopian Pedagogies: Teaching from the Margins of the Digital Humanities 429
32 The Face and the Public: Race, Secrecy, and Digital Art Practice 441
33 Scholarly Publishing in the Digital Age 457
34 Critical Transmission 467
35 Post-Archive: The Humanities, the Archive, and the Database 483
36 Final Commentary: A Provocation 503
N. Katherine Hayles