Week 1: Expressions of Digital Humanities

Through our class discussion and readings, it is enlightening to learn how the digital humanities field has evolved over the years. Furthermore, it seems that the field has faced similar setbacks and reckonings with regards to defining the field, who is part of the community and how changes in society can impact the field.

The sites and projects we’ve explored embody the concepts discussed in the readings. Whether it’s access to prior online publications, or online archives of history bringing hidden stories to life through texts, maps and images, each site captures the definitions of digital humanities discussed throughout the readings and in our last class. In addition, the sites represent the complexity of digital humanities and how the field is not a “one-size fits all.” 

For instance, in The Early Caribbean Digital Archive and The Colored Conventions Project, the scholars have compiled powerful digital tools that not only bring attention to social issues, but serve a purpose to educate audiences on our painful history, and encourage us to think about the ways we teach history to future generations. This ideology is also referenced in A DH That Matters in the context of addressing problems we currently face, “…  we must interrogate our work to ensure that we are not ourselves complicit in the neoliberal practice of naming problems in order to evade their resolution.” 

Meanwhile, in Reviews in Digital Humanities, Drs. Jennifer Guiliano and Roopika Risam have designed an open access archive of peer-reviewed journals, providing those who wish to enter digital humanities a deep dive of the current phenomena in the field. Such sites are crucial as they begin to provide accessibility (excluding those who don’t have access to technology or computers), but simultaneously serve as a means of transparency of which fields of study are featured on the site, bringing back the questions of who is currently part of the digital humanities community? And who is being excluded as a result?