First, What Is Digital Humanities?
Humanity (and not just the humanities) mediated through the largest extant body politic. A global vehicle (and personal prosthetic) for containing what it is to be human and humanist–within and without the academy. – Robert Long.
Digital Humanities: the creation and preservation of extensible digital archives to document, and tools to interact with, material culture. – Robert Whalen, Northern Michigan University.
A fluid term to describe a variety of practices applying and theorizing the intersection of technology and humanities questions. – Amy Earheart.
There’s more. Much more.
Introduction: In the decades following the onset of the Index Thomisticus project, medievalists were often early adopters of the digital, and continue to play an important role in the development of a broader field, which came to be called digital humanities. This field took other forms and names during its emergence and subsequent development: humanities computing, humanist informatics, literary and linguistic computing, digital resources in the humanities, eHumanities, and others.
These competing alternatives, among which “humanities computing” had long been dominant, have only recently made place for the newly canonical term “digital humanities,” which today is rarely contested. “Digital humanities” is generally meant to refer to a broader field than “humanities computing.” Whereas the latter is restricted to the application of computers in humanities scholarship and had narrower technical goals, the former also incorporates a “humanities of the digital,” including the study (potentially via traditional means) of digitally created sources, such as art and literature.
DH is therefore profoundly multidisciplinary and attracts contributions from scholars and scientists both within and outside the humanities and the humanistic social sciences. Digital humanists have taken care to define themselves in an inclusive rather than exclusive manner. As a result, the term “digital humanities” connotes a greater sense of integration than the diversity of approaches that are sheltered within the “big tent” of DH and that are also reflected in the contents of this supplement.