#dhpraxisdiary Why are we talking about Digital Humanities?

For over a year, I’ve been thinking about digital archives. My main focus is archiving digitally born materials, and more specifically collecting urban activists’ video recordings. Since the very beginning of my research project, I’ve been reading books interrogating the concept of archive, and the impact of digital tools. In other words, I was struggling with theoretical approaches, and I had no idea about the real life. What are people doing in digital? Then I visited New York in January 2016, and  thanks to my mentor in the city, got into contact with several archivists and scholars. Matthew K. Gold was one of them. I was recommended his name, because he is the co-founder of Digital Humanities at CUNY GC. Digital Humanities? Wait. What is that?

Since the minute I’ve googled Matt’s works, and texts, I got it, this would be the best place to address my questions. After having a series of email exchanges, now I am back in New York, and auditing the class of “Introduction to Digital Humanities”, lectured by Steve Brier and Lisa Rhody.

In very short, Digital Humanities “now encompasses a wide range of methods and practices: visualizations of large image sets, 3D modeling of historical artifacts, “born digital” dissertations, hashtag activism and the analysis thereof, alternate reality games, mobile makerspaces, and more.” (Lauren F. Klein, Matthew K. Gold, 2016)

Digital Humanities is strongly related to English departments. Till the first class, I kept asking myself, what is the relationship between digital and literature? Seriously. Why so obsessed? Indeed, the answer is quite simple; within the digital era, our reading experiences have been changed. Just remember the discussions emerged after epublications. Mayday! Mayday! Are printed books gonna die soon? Definitely, NO. But there is a transformation, and people from English, Literature, Linguistics, etc. are trying to discover this new period (not in a black and white perspective, but pros and cons), and also discussing the new way of knowledge production in the perspective of our new digital based experiences.

Since I arrived in New York, I have been always asked about my field study, and especially about the class. So, I decided to keep a diary on my blog by modifying the hashtag of this year’s class. (If you are interested, I definitely recommend you to follow #dhpraxis16 on Twitter.) Actually, instead of having weekly reports, I’m planning to update through various discussion topics, readings (sometimes only quotes), and projects that I stumble upon. Hope you enjoy Digital Humanities as much as I do. Or, shout out your objections. I’d love to hear your comments. Hence, we can have a discussion on the blog. Plus, it would perfectly fit in the spirit of Digital Humanities. Because it is Social-Reading and Social-Writing. I’ll talk about these topics in the up-coming posts. Stay tuned.


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