Leonardo Reviews: Debates in the Digital Humanities 2016

Providing a historical context for DH, Gold and Klein's extremely useful introduction draws perceptively on the canonical art historical essay "Sculpture in an Expanded Field" by Rosalind Krauss (1979) so as to extend upon the "Big Tent" DH metaphor that governed the 2012 volume.

DDH 2016 (Gold and Klein)The collection is composed of six sections respectively about DH histories, methods, practices, disciplines, critiques and finally, a forum on digital text analysis and scale. Brevity is the hallmark of the majority of the 50 chapters. Many of them express a marked and uneasy concern regarding disciplinarity, not only of the relevance of each contributor's DH work to their own discipline but to other disciplines as well. Thus this wide ranging collection might be of particular interest to those working in transdisciplinary and inter–disciplinary studies. For instance, in Ryan Cordell's emblematic essay "How Not to Teach Digital Humanities" in Part V, Digital Humanities and Its Critics, he writes that the power of DH will lie in transferring information and lessons from one discipline to another, that "DH will only be a revolutionary interdisciplinary movement if its various practitioners bring to it the methods of distinct disciplines and take insights from it back to those disciplines" (p. 463). As this is however the formal definition of transdisciplinarity – not inter–disciplinarity – this volume might be of special interest to the Leonardo community especially considering the shared topical concerns.

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Published in: Leonardo Reviews
By: Jonathan Zilberg