Theoretical and Critical Approaches

Although taken up by many communities, "Digital Humanities" is a complicated and sometimes contested term. Theorists, practitioners, and critics have weighed in on the question of what is included and not included in that definition. Is the digital a modifier of humanities practice as it has been understood within existing disciplines? Is it inherently distinct? Is it is a set of tools and methods in its own right? How are theory, code, teaching, public-facing scholarship, activism understood within and across the field? How are the intersecting power relations that affect other aspects of academia played out in this "field"? And how is digital scholarship to be evaluated within and across these frameworks of interaction? Does DH include non-textual forms of analysis, as it so often does at Duke? If so, how, and in what relation to prior traditions of humanities computing? What are the relationships between DH and media studies? Science and technology studies? Race, gender, sexuality, and postcolonial studies?  Communications studies? Performance studies? Informatics? Software studies? Physical Computing? Installation art? Data and visualization?

Our concept of Digital Humanities is meant to embrace these questions by including a variety of perspectives on them, and providing opportunities to explore and interrogate this emerging set of practices online and through courses, workshops, and sponsored/co-sponsored events and projects.  We encourage DH-interested scholars to investigate related opportunities like Bass Connections, Archives Alive, the Information Initiative, the PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge (graduate students), the STEAM Challenge, the Computational Media, Arts & Cultures Rendez-Vous, the Visualization Friday Forum, and the various workshop opportunities featured here - and to bring back some of the perspectives they have gained back to their own work and local scholarly communities.