Big Digital Humanities has its origins in a series of seminal articles Patrik Svensson published in the Digital Humanities Quarterly between 2009 and 2012. As these articles were coming out, enthusiasm around Digital Humanities was acquiring a great deal of momentum and significant disagreement about what did or didn’t “count” as Digital Humanities work. Svensson’s articles provided a widely sought after omnibus of Digital Humanities history, practice, and theory. They were informative and knowledgeable and tended to foreground reportage and explanation rather than utopianism or territorial contentiousness. In revising his original work for book publication, Svensson has responded to both subsequent feedback and new developments.
Svensson’s own unique perspective and special stake in the Digital Humanities conversation comes from his role as director of the HUMlab at Umeå University. HUMlab is a unique collaborative space and Digital Humanities center, which officially opened its doors in 2000. According to its own official description, the HUMlab is an open, creative studio environment where “students, researchers, artists, entrepreneurs and international guests come together to engage in dialogue, experiment with technology, take on challenges and move scholarship forward.” It is this last element “moving scholarship forward” that Svensson argues is the real opportunity in what he terms the “big digital humanities,” or digital humanities as practiced in collaborative spaces like the HUMlab, and he is uniquely positioned to take an account of this evolving dimension of Digital Humanities practice.
Composition and Big Data
Amanda Licastro, Benjamin Miller University of Pittsburgh Press, 2021 Library of Congress PE1404.C6185 2021 | Dewey Decimal 808.0420285
In a data-driven world, anything can be data. As the techniques and scale of data analysis advance, the need for a response from rhetoric and composition grows ever more pronounced. It is increasingly possible to examine thousands of documents and peer-review comments, labor-hours, and citation networks in composition courses and beyond. Composition and Big Data brings together a range of scholars, teachers, and administrators already working with big-data methods and datasets to kickstart a collective reckoning with the role that algorithmic and computational approaches can, or should, play in research and teaching in the field. Their work takes place in various contexts, including programmatic assessment, first-year pedagogy, stylistics, and learning transfer across the curriculum. From ethical reflections to database design, from corpus linguistics to quantitative autoethnography, these chapters implement and interpret the drive toward data in diverse ways.
Can established humanities methods coexist with computational thinking? It is one of the major questions in humanities research today, as scholars increasingly adopt sophisticated data science for their work. James E. Dobson explores the opportunities and complications faced by humanists in this new era. Though the study and interpretation of texts alongside sophisticated computational tools can serve scholarship, these methods cannot replace existing frameworks. As Dobson shows, ideas of scientific validity cannot easily nor should be adapted for humanities research because digital humanities, unlike science, lack a leading-edge horizon charting the frontiers of inquiry. Instead, the methods of digital humanities require a constant rereading. At the same time, suspicious and critical readings of digital methodologies make it unwise for scholars to defer to computational methods. Humanists must examine the tools--including the assumptions that went into the codes and algorithms--and questions surrounding their own use of digital technology in research. Insightful and forward thinking, Critical Digital Humanities lays out a new path of humanistic inquiry that merges critical theory and computational science.
As machine-readable data comes to play an increasingly important role in everyday life, researchers find themselves with rich resources for studying society. The novel methods and tools needed to work with such data require not only new knowledge and skills, but also a new way of thinking about best research practices. This book critically reflects on the role and usefulness of big data, challenging overly optimistic expectations about what such information can reveal, introducing practices and methods for its analysis and visualisation, and raising important political and ethical questions regarding its collection, handling, and presentation.
Exploring the intersections of digital humanities and African diaspora studies
How can scholars use digital tools to better understand the African diaspora across time, space, and disciplines? And how can African diaspora studies inform the practices of digital humanities? These questions are at the heart of this timely collection of essays about the relationship between digital humanities and Black Atlantic studies, offering critical insights into race, migration, media, and scholarly knowledge production.
The Digital Black Atlantic spans the African diaspora’s range—from Africa to North America, Europe, and the Caribbean—while its essayists span academic fields—from history and literary studies to musicology, game studies, and library and information studies. This transnational and interdisciplinary breadth is complemented by essays that focus on specific sites and digital humanities projects throughout the Black Atlantic. Covering key debates, The Digital Black Atlantic asks theoretical and practical questions about the ways that researchers and teachers of the African diaspora negotiate digital methods to explore a broad range of cultural forms including social media, open access libraries, digital music production, and video games. The volume further highlights contributions of African diaspora studies to digital humanities, such as politics and representation, power and authorship, the ephemerality of memory, and the vestiges of colonialist ideologies.
Grounded in contemporary theory and praxis, The Digital Black Atlantic puts the digital humanities into conversation with African diaspora studies in crucial ways that advance both.
Contributors: Alexandrina Agloro, Arizona State U; Abdul Alkalimat; Suzan Alteri, U of Florida; Paul Barrett, U of Guelph; Sayan Bhattacharyya, Singapore U of Technology and Design; Agata Bloch, Institute of History of Polish Academy of Sciences; Michal Bojanowski, Kozminski U; Sonya Donaldson, New Jersey City U; Anne Donlon; Laurent Dubois, Duke U; Amy E. Earhart, Texas A&M U; Schuyler Esprit, U of the West Indies; Demival Vasques Filho, U of Auckland, New Zealand; David Kirkland Garner; Alex Gil, Columbia U; Kaiama L. Glover, Barnard College, Columbia U; D. Fox Harrell, MIT; Hélène Huet, U of Florida; Mary Caton Lingold, Virginia Commonwealth U; Angel David Nieves, San Diego State U; Danielle Olson, MIT; Tunde Opeibi (Ope-Davies), U of Lagos, Nigeria; Jamila Moore Pewu, California State U, Fullerton; Anne Rice, Lehman College, CUNY; Sercan Sengün, Northeastern U; Janneken Smucker, West Chester U; Laurie N.Taylor, U of Florida; Toniesha L. Taylor, Texas Southern U.
Digital Critical Editions
Edited by Daniel Apollon, Claire Belisle, and Philippe Regnier University of Illinois Press, 2014 Library of Congress PN171.D37D54 2014 | Dewey Decimal 808.0270285
Provocative yet sober, Digital Critical Editions examines how transitioning from print to a digital milieu deeply affects how scholars deal with the work of editing critical texts. On one hand, forces like changing technology and evolving reader expectations lead to the development of specific editorial products, while on the other hand, they threaten traditional forms of knowledge and methods of textual scholarship.
Using the experiences of philologists, text critics, text encoders, scientific editors, and media analysts, Digital Critical Editions ranges from philology in ancient Alexandria to the vision of user-supported online critical editing, from peer-directed texts distributed to a few to community-edited products shaped by the many. The authors discuss the production and accessibility of documents, the emergence of tools used in scholarly work, new editing regimes, and how the readers' expectations evolve as they navigate digital texts. The goal: exploring questions such as, What kind of text is produced? Why is it produced in this particular way?
Digital Critical Editions provides digital editors, researchers, readers, and technological actors with insights for addressing disruptions that arise from the clash of traditional and digital cultures, while also offering a practical roadmap for processing traditional texts and collections with today's state-of-the-art editing and research techniques thus addressing readers' new emerging reading habits.
FRANCES CONDRON West Virginia University Press, 2001 Library of Congress AZ105.C593 2001
Digital Sound Studies
Mary Caton Lingold, Darren Mueller, and Whitney Trettien, editors Duke University Press, 2018 Library of Congress AZ105.D55 2018
The digital turn has created new opportunities for scholars across disciplines to use sound in their scholarship. This volume’s contributors provide a blueprint for making sound central to research, teaching, and dissemination. They show how digital sound studies has the potential to transform silent, text-centric cultures of communication in the humanities into rich, multisensory experiences that are more inclusive of diverse knowledges and abilities. Drawing on multiple disciplines—including rhetoric and composition, performance studies, anthropology, history, and information science—the contributors to Digital Sound Studies bring digital humanities and sound studies into productive conversation while probing the assumptions behind the use of digital tools and technologies in academic life. In so doing, they explore how sonic experience might transform our scholarly networks, writing processes, research methodologies, pedagogies, and knowledges of the archive. As they demonstrate, incorporating sound into scholarship is thus not only feasible but urgently necessary.
Contributors. Myron M. Beasley, Regina N. Bradley, Steph Ceraso, Tanya Clement, Rebecca Dowd Geoffroy-Schwinden, W. F. Umi Hsu, Michael J. Kramer, Mary Caton Lingold, Darren Mueller, Richard Cullen Rath, Liana M. Silva, Jonathan Sterne, Jennifer Stoever, Jonathan W. Stone, Joanna Swafford, Aaron Trammell, Whitney Trettien
Just as a traveler crossing a continent won’t sense the curvature of the earth, one lifetime of reading can’t grasp the largest patterns organizing literary history. This is the guiding premise behind Distant Horizons, which uses the scope of data newly available to us through digital libraries to tackle previously elusive questions about literature. Ted Underwood shows how digital archives and statistical tools, rather than reducing words to numbers (as is often feared), can deepen our understanding of issues that have always been central to humanistic inquiry. Without denying the usefulness of time-honored approaches like close reading, narratology, or genre studies, Underwood argues that we also need to read the larger arcs of literary change that have remained hidden from us by their sheer scale. Using both close and distant reading to trace the differentiation of genres, transformation of gender roles, and surprising persistence of aesthetic judgment, Underwood shows how digital methods can bring into focus the larger landscape of literary history and add to the beauty and complexity we value in literature.
For well over a century, academic disciplines have studied human behavior using quantitative information. Until recently, however, the humanities have remained largely immune to the use of data—or vigorously resisted it. Thanks to new developments in computer science and natural language processing, literary scholars have embraced the quantitative study of literary works and have helped make Digital Humanities a rapidly growing field. But these developments raise a fundamental, and as yet unanswered question: what is the meaning of literary quantity?
In Enumerations, Andrew Piper answers that question across a variety of domains fundamental to the study of literature. He focuses on the elementary particles of literature, from the role of punctuation in poetry, the matter of plot in novels, the study of topoi, and the behavior of characters, to the nature of fictional language and the shape of a poet’s career. How does quantity affect our understanding of these categories? What happens when we look at 3,388,230 punctuation marks, 1.4 billion words, or 650,000 fictional characters? Does this change how we think about poetry, the novel, fictionality, character, the commonplace, or the writer’s career? In the course of answering such questions, Piper introduces readers to the analytical building blocks of computational text analysis and brings them to bear on fundamental concerns of literary scholarship. This book will be essential reading for anyone interested in Digital Humanities and the future of literary study.
For over a dozen years, the Vectors Lab has experimented with digital scholarship through its online publication, Vectors, and through Scalar, a multimedia authoring platform. The history of this software lab intersects a much longer tale about computation in the humanities, as well as tensions about the role of theory in related projects.
Tara McPherson considers debates around the role of cultural theory within the digital humanities and addresses Gary Hall’s claim that the goals of critical theory and of quantitative or computational analysis may be irreconcilable (or at the very least require “far more time and care”). She then asks what it might mean to design—from conception—digital tools and applications that emerge from contextual concerns of cultural theory and, in particular, from a feminist concern for difference. This path leads back to the Vectors Lab and its ongoing efforts at the intersection of theory and praxis.
Guerrilla Theory examines the political, ontological, and technological underpinnings of the guerrilla in the digital humanities (DH). The figure of the guerrilla appears in digital humanities’ recent history as an agent of tactical reformation. It refers to a broad swath of disciplinary desires: digital humanities’ claim to collaborative and inclusive pedagogy, minimal and encrypted computing, and a host of minoritarian political interventions in its praxis, including queer politics, critical race studies, and feminist theory.
In this penetrating study, Matthew Applegate uses the guerrilla to connect popular iterations of digital humanities’ practice to its political rhetoric and infrastructure. By doing so, he reorients DH’s conceptual lexicon around practices of collective becoming, mediated by claims to conflict, antagonism, and democratic will.
Applegate traces Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s radical democratic ingresses into network theory, the guerrilla’s role in its discourse, and concerns for the digital humanities’ own invocation of the figure. The book also connects post- and decolonial, feminist, and Marxist iterations of DH praxis to the aesthetic histories of movements such as Latin American Third Cinema and the documentary cinema of the Black Panther Party. Concluding with a meditation on contemporary political modalities inherent in DH’s disciplinary expansion, Guerrilla Theory challenges the current political scope of the digital humanities and thus its future institutional impact.
Interdisciplining Digital Humanities sorts through definitions and patterns of practice over roughly sixty-five years of work, providing an overview for specialists and a general audience alike. It is the only book that tests the widespread claim that Digital Humanities is interdisciplinary. By examining the boundary work of constructing, expanding, and sustaining a new field, it depicts both the ways this new field is being situated within individual domains and dynamic cross-fertilizations that are fostering new relationships across academic boundaries. It also accounts for digital reinvigorations of “public humanities” in cultural heritage institutions of museums, archives, libraries, and community forums.
In this book, the first published in the #writing series, Derek N. Mueller offers a methodological response to recent efforts by scholars in rhetoric and composition/writing studies to account for patterns indicative of the discipline's maturation. Influenced by work on distant reading (Moretti, 2005) and thin description (Love, 2010 & 2013), this monograph attends to forms of knowledge newly available via computationally mined, aggregated data from large collections of texts, which is then used to build experimental models for discerning non-obvious relationships. By shedding light on large-scale patterns, the models promote what Mueller refers to as a network sense of the field, which regards these as crucial structures of participation for orienting newcomers to the shifting terrain of disciplinary knowledge and for sustaining a generalist's wherewithal in the midst of a growing archive of increasingly specialized scholarship.
The emergence of digital humanities has been heralded for its commitment to openness, access, and the democratizing of knowledge, but it raises a number of questions about omissions with respect to race, gender, sexuality, disability, and nation. Postcolonial digital humanities is one approach to uncovering and remedying inequalities in digital knowledge production, which is implicated in an information-age politics of knowledge.
New Digital Worlds traces the formation of postcolonial studies and digital humanities as fields, identifying how they can intervene in knowledge production in the digital age. Roopika Risam examines the role of colonial violence in the development of digital archives and the possibilities of postcolonial digital archives for resisting this violence. Offering a reading of the colonialist dimensions of global organizations for digital humanities research, she explores efforts to decenter these institutions by emphasizing the local practices that subtend global formations and pedagogical approaches that support this decentering. Last, Risam attends to human futures in new digital worlds, evaluating both how algorithms and natural language processing software used in digital humanities projects produce universalist notions of the "human" and also how to resist this phenomenon.
The field of electronic literature has a familiar catchphrase, "You can't do it on paper." But the field has in fact never gone paperless. Reaching back to early experiments with digital writing in the mainframe era and then moving through the personal computer and Internet revolutions, this book traces the changing forms of paper on which e-lit artists have drawn, including continuous paper, documentation, disk sleeves, packaging, and even artists' books.
Paper Electronic Literature attests that digital literature's old media elements have much to teach us about the cultural and physical conditions in which we compute; the creativity that new media artists have shown in their dealings with old media; and the distinctively electronic issues that confront digital artists. Moving between avant-garde works and popular ones, fiction writing and poetry generation, Richard Hughes Gibson reveals the diverse ways in which paper has served as a component within electronic literature, particularly in facilitating interactive experiences for users. This important study develops a new critical paradigm for appreciating the multifaceted material innovation that has long marked digital literature.
An illuminating volume of critical essays charting the diverse territory of digital humanities scholarship
The digital humanities have traditionally been considered to be the domain of only a small number of prominent and well-funded institutions. However, through a diverse range of critical essays, this volume serves to challenge and enlarge existing notions of how digital humanities research is being undertaken while also serving as a kind of alternative guide for how it can thrive within a wide variety of institutional spaces.
Focusing on the complex infrastructure that undergirds the field of digital humanities, People, Practice, Power examines the various economic, social, and political factors that shape such academic endeavors. The multitude of perspectives comprising this collection offers both a much-needed critique of the existing structures for digital scholarship and the means to generate broader representation within the field.
This collection provides a vital contribution to the realm of digital scholarly research and pedagogy in acknowledging the role that small liberal arts colleges, community colleges, historically black colleges and universities, and other underresourced institutions play in its advancement. Gathering together a range of voices both established and emergent, People, Practice, Power offers practitioners a self-reflexive examination of the current conditions under which the digital humanities are evolving, while helping to open up new sustainable pathways for its future.
Contributors: Matthew Applegate, Molloy College; Taylor Arnold, U of Richmond; Eduard Arriaga, U of Indianapolis; Lydia Bello, Seattle U; Kathi Inman Berens, Portland State U; Christina Boyles, Michigan State U; Laura R. Braunstein, Dartmouth College; Abby R. Broughton; Maria Sachiko Cecire, Bard College; Brennan Collins, Georgia State U; Kelsey Corlett-Rivera, U of Maryland; Brittany de Gail, U of Maryland; Madelynn Dickerson, UC Irvine Libraries; Nathan H. Dize, Vanderbilt U; Quinn Dombrowski, Stanford U; Ashley Sanders Garcia, UCLA; Laura Gerlitz; Erin Rose Glass; Kaitlyn Grant; Margaret Hogarth, Claremont Colleges; Maryse Ndilu Kiese, U of Alberta; Pamella R. Lach, San Diego State U; James Malazita, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Susan Merriam, Bard College; Chelsea Miya, U of Alberta; Jamila Moore Pewu, California State U, Fullerton; Urszula Pawlicka-Deger, Aalto U, Finland; Jessica Pressman, San Diego State U; Jana Remy, Chapman U; Roopika Risam, Salem State U; Elizabeth Rodrigues, Grinnell College; Dylan Ruediger, American Historical Association; Rachel Schnepper, Wesleyan U; Anelise Hanson Shrout, Bates College; Margaret Simon, North Carolina State U; Mengchi Sun, U of Alberta; Lauren Tilton, U of Richmond; Michelle R. Warren, Dartmouth College.
Recent developments in computer technology are providing historians with new ways to see—and seek to hear, touch, or smell—traces of the past. Place-based augmented reality applications are an increasingly common feature at heritage sites and museums, allowing historians to create immersive, multifaceted learning experiences. Now that computer vision can be directed at the past, research involving thousands of images can recreate lost or destroyed objects or environments, and discern patterns in vast datasets that could not be perceived by the naked eye.
Seeing the Past with Computers is a collection of twelve thought-pieces on the current and potential uses of augmented reality and computer vision in historical research, teaching, and presentation. The experts gathered here reflect upon their experiences working with new technologies, share their ideas for best practices, and assess the implications of—and imagine future possibilities for—new methods of historical study. Among the experimental topics they explore are the use of augmented reality that empowers students to challenge the presentation of historical material in their textbooks; the application of seeing computers to unlock unusual cultural knowledge, such as the secrets of vaudevillian stage magic; hacking facial recognition technology to reveal victims of racism in a century-old Australian archive; and rebuilding the soundscape of an Iron Age village with aural augmented reality.
This volume is a valuable resource for scholars and students of history and the digital humanities more broadly. It will inspire them to apply innovative methods to open new paths for conducting and sharing their own research.
Jennifer Travis and Jessica DeSpain present a long-overdue collection of theoretical perspectives and case studies aimed at teaching nineteenth-century American literature using digital humanities tools and methods. Scholars foundational to the development of digital humanities join educators who have made digital methods central to their practices. Together they discuss and illustrate how digital pedagogies deepen student learning. The collection's innovative approach allows the works to be read in any order.
Travis and DeSpain curate conversations on the value of project-based, collaborative learning; examples of real-world assignments where students combine close, collaborative, and computational reading; how digital humanities aids in the consideration of marginal texts; the ways in which an ethics of care can help students organize artifacts; and how an activist approach affects debates central to the study of difference in the nineteenth century.
A supplemental companion website with substantial appendixes of syllabi and assignments is now available for readers of Teaching with Digital Humanities.
Word Toys: Poetry and Technics is an engaging and thought provoking volume that speculates on a range of textual works—poetic, novelistic, and programmed—as technical objects.
With the ascent of digital culture, new forms of literature and literary production are thriving that include multimedia, networked, conceptual, and other as-yet-unnamed genres while traditional genres and media—the lyric, the novel, the book—have been transformed. Word Toys: Poetry and Technics is an engaging and thought-provoking volume that speculates on a range of poetic, novelistic, and programmed works that lie beyond the language of the literary and which views them instead as technical objects.
Brian Kim Stefans considers the problems that arise when discussing these progressive texts in relation to more traditional print-based poetic texts. He questions the influence of game theory and digital humanities rhetoric on poetic production, and how non-digital works, such as contemporary works of lyric poetry, are influenced by the recent ubiquity of social media, the power of search engines, and the public perceptions of language in a time of nearly universal surveillance.
Word Toys offers new readings of canonical avant-garde writers such as Ezra Pound and Charles Olson, major successors such as Charles Bernstein, Alice Notley, and Wanda Coleman, mixed-genre artists including Caroline Bergvall, Tan Lin, and William Poundstone, and lyric poets such as Harryette Mullen and Ben Lerner. Writers that trouble the poetry/science divide such as Christian Bök, and novelists who have embraced digital technology such as Mark Z. Danielewski and the elusive Toadex Hobogrammathon, anchor reflections on the nature of creativity in a world where authors collaborate, even if unwittingly, with machines and networks. In addition, Stefans names provocative new genres—among them the nearly formless “undigest” and the transpacific “miscegenated script”—arguing by example that interdisciplinary discourse is crucial to the development of scholarship about experimental work.