Adding another thought to Massimo’s post about the ways in which the digital humanities can be transformative. It is generative not only because it is about building but also because it can be about building in the open, and not by oneself, but with others.

I’m drawing here on Digital_Humanities. Consider two quotes:

Digital, polyvocal expression can support a genuine multiverse in which no single point of view can claim the center.

and

It serves to make humanities research into something of a new multi-player online game with global reach and relevance.

There’s no tradition of making all of your notes and primary sources available in the traditional humanities, just a very structured system of footnote references that is itself part of the argument. But digital humanities tends toward openness, as Jessop describes in the London Charter.

When that data is revealed, others can work with it too. There’s room for a new kind of data-based debate, for many voices to contribute. This might open the humanities up to a broader public – if not quite a multiversd, and not quite a multi-player game, a public humanities much more welcoming than the traditional forms of analysis and publication allowed. (Though there will be new restrictions on access based on technical skills; part of the job of public digital humanists is to think about how to overcome them.)

 

Advertisements