Reflective Post 1


When first thinking about the phrase “Digital Humanities”, I thought it to be very self-explanatory. To me, Digital Humanities was simply “Humanities gone digital”, humanities research and scholarship digitized- brought to the digital world of websites and scanned PDFs from the analog world of published research and graphs. However, the digital humanities are so much larger than just digitalized humanities research, and I’m only beginning to realize that.

In A Digital Humanities What, Why, & How, after lamenting on the over-definition of the word, Amanda Visconti describes it herself, defining Digital Humanities as research and scholarship in the field on humanities not only transformed to a digital form but also interpreted and applied with countless digital tools.

Digital Humanities provides scholars, educators, and students exposure to a range of tools through which they can translate their research into digitalized forms. With a plethora of techniques including making and using websites, software, online showcases, timelines, blogs, maps, graphs, mobile apps, Digital humanities equips us with the opportunity to make our work all the more interactive, engaging, and thus memorable and impactful. As much as Digital Humanities is about transforming humanities research, it is also about utilizing digital technologies and applying it to humanities thinking. It may be using timelines to draw different interpretations about the changes in society of certain time periods, about changes in attitudes, art, culture, etc. in the span of several decades, and even about the nature of change between different eras. It may also be things such as using digital webs to discover and establish connectivity among various events. The scope of digital humanities is wider than I ever would have guessed.

What I found most interesting is that Digital Humanities is distinct field with its own set of core values. In This Is Why We Fight”: Defining the Values of the Digital Humanities, Lisa Spiro lists five values she says the Digital Humanities aspires to achieve: openness, collaboration, collegiality and connectedness, diversity, and experimentation. Digital humanities as a field continues to attempt to meet these five core values and operates within the guidelines of these values. There is great importance to the notion of open access, shared knowledge, group work, diversity in techniques and ideas (brought about by diversity in the people who think them), digital and physical connectivity, as well as a sense of spontaneity and openness to experimentation.

For me, DH is an opportunity to learn more, to better myself. My DH is an open space of building projects with ever increasing scopes of techniques to foster my creativity. It is a diverse space that allows collaboration, constant feedback, and experimentation of a variety of ideas and techniques. DH is a project that is constantly changing, always iterated and reiterated, and I am excited to see what evolutions my project (and I) will go through throughout the course of this fellowship.

Written by Shukirti Khadka, Gettysburg College Class of 2024, and part of the DSSF 2021 Cohort.  

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