Digital Humanities

Digital Humanities (Gansell 2019)

Digital humanities is more concerned about sharing knowledge and recreating it rather than the knowledge production itself, it’s about making data accessible and fairly distributed, meaning it cares more about enabling the creation of circular data. (Terras, Nyhan, and Vanhoutte 2013). This can be correlated to the concept of communities of practice and how people coming together sharing their knowledge can develop their skills and understanding of things further and how the digitalization has helped in creating more accessible and diverse communities of practice through which different theories and ideas of humanities can be digitalized  and shared.

One cannot consider Digital humanities as a narrow independent field it is fact is a nexus of different fields where scholars use digital tools to ask and tackle interdisciplinary questions and to present their work.(FITZPATRICK 2011)

The digitalization of humanities has led to a noticeable increase in the creativity and innovation of its output. Because instead of just having text books, now videos, interactive media, and dynamic maps…etc. are used to generate livable ways of hosting humanities. In addition to facilitating the work of humanists, since the speed of reaching, comparing and gathering Meta data has increased dramatically with the digitalization.

However the role of humanists in bringing new things to the table has been questioned after digitalization, they mainly used to work on creating, mitigating data and cultural heritage…etc. (DRUCKER 2012). However after the digitalization, data visualization has opened new opportunities and doors for new roles in humanities.

I think that most if not all humanists now are digital designers in one way or another, I mean they kind of have to be, since they are the ones doing the work they are probably the best to visualize it in order to properly accommodate and deliver their intentions in an engaging way that allows people to easily interact with it. Thus, they are no longer only adding to online platforms but they are also creating them.

As much as these online platforms can be liberating, it can also put some pressure on those who preferred the traditional methods, especially for older generations of humanists because sometimes keeping with the digital and technological developments can present a challenge to them. So we can ask the following questions, can there be a place for those who resist the digitalization in their fields? Do we judge the output by its data quality or by its visualization? Is it possible that some data in the humanities field to be overlooked if they were not properly digitalized/presented? Can outsourcing designers and visualizers solve that problem and will they do a good job considering the fact that they were not experts on the topics they are visualizing?


DRUCKER, JOHANNA. 2012. “‘Chapter 6: Humanistic Theory and Digital Scholarship | Johanna Drucker’ in ‘Debates in the Digital Humanities’ on Debates in the DH Manifold.” Debates in the Digital Humanities. 2012.

FITZPATRICK, KATHLEEN. 2011. “‘Chapter 2: The Humanities, Done Digitally | Kathleen Fitzpatrick’ in ‘Debates in the Digital Humanities’ on Manifold.” Debates in the Digital Humanities. May 8, 2011.

Gansell, Amy. 2019. “Digital Humanities.” Amy Gansell. January 26, 2019.

Terras, Melissa M, Julianne Nyhan, and Edward Vanhoutte. 2013. Defining Digital Humanities: A Reader. London; New York: Routledge.