A Final Reflection on DH

It’s the end of my final week as a DH fellow and I can honestly say the eight weeks have flown by. On my first day, I don’t think I could have adequately defined DH if someone had asked me. By the end of my first week, I had a had a much more broad understanding of all that his encompassed by DH. In my first blog: My DH I described a better understanding of the values of DH as well as the importance of community. In particular, I emphasized accessibility, public participation and collaboration, and critical thinking as the primary values of DH. I had also begun to see the potential for social justice work in DH.

At the end of these eight weeks I still agree that accessibility, public participation and collaboration, and critical thinking are some of the primary values of DH. My understanding of the projects that DH can encompass, however, has been vastly expanded. In particular, attending the PCLA Digital Scholarship Student Symposium at Lafayette College we so a wide array of DH projects both with similar and different approaches to my own cohort’s. From medieval archives to a baseball predictor, projects in DH have endless opportunities and potential purposes. With this in mind, however, when I started with DSSF, my perception of DH was narrowed primarily to history projects. Engaging with a broader DH community definitely showed me the opportunities in this field.

From our discussions and communities of practice, I would also be much more hesitant to point to something as not being DH that was intended to be. I’ve come to believe that if scholarship is utilizing digital tools to present information in a collaborative and accessible way than it can fall within the field of Digital Humanities. Additionally, being a part of this program has definitely made me think more critically about what is considered scholarship, particularly in the tenure process for professors and even within my own classes at Gettysburg College. Even at a liberal arts college like Gettysburg, my academic work before this fellowship has been almost entirely limited to academic papers and the occasional presentation. There is a whole world of scholarship in the form of DH that has been largely untapped by the traditional undergraduate academic system.

Overall, I am so grateful for the research and learning opportunities I have had in the past eight week with DSSF! My project grew from a singular research question to a project and website I’m proud of as well as an introduction to a community I was completely unfamiliar with prior to this summer. I know that I will continue to use this foundational knowledge in DH moving forward with all future academic projects.

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