AUFS and “digital humanities”

How big a stretch would it be to say that we here at AUFS are “digital humanists”?

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9 Responses to “AUFS and “digital humanities””

  1. Robert Minto Says:

    Well, the digital humanities explicitly thematize the intersection of computing and the humanities, don’t they? You don’t get to be a digital humanist just by having a blog and working in the humanities. So I wouldn’t say that AUFS bloggers are really digital humanists for the most part any more than someone running for office is a political scientist; but on the other hand, I’ve read plenty of work in the digital humanities about the discourse in the humanities engendered by new media platforms like blogs. AUFS — its achievements, and even the kind of flak it receives from trolls and/or frowning eminences like Milbank — are a perfect instance of some of the digital humanists’ predictions for the effect of computing on academic discourse. So perhaps insofar as those results are intended, expected, and encouraged here you are a digital humanist…

  2. Adam Kotsko Says:

    So what’s missing is an explicit thematization of “digital humanities”-like stuff that we’re already doing?

  3. Robert Minto Says:

    No, the first half of your summary is right, but not the second.

    There’s a difference between doing something and ‘thematizing’ it. I use the word ‘thematize’ in the same sense that Husserl uses it when he says phenomenology thematizes consciousness in such a way that the contents of comsciousness are irrelevant. Politicians do politics but they’re not necessarily political scientists. We all live in society but we’re not all sociologists. Similarly one can blog about the humanities without doing work in the digital humanities.

    So if thematizing the intersection in question makes one a digital humanist, then it doesn’t seem you are one. But if simply doing work in the humanities using the internet makes one a digital humanist, then it does seem you are one. I’ve seen both definitions in use. For instance I think Alex Reid posted about this a while back endorsing the latter definition. But if one consults wikipedia, for example, it endorses the former definition.

    That’s all I was trying to say.

  4. Adam Kotsko Says:

    That makes perfect sense.

  5. Adam Kotsko Says:

    So I guess my attempt to get us all a free CV line for what we’re already doing isn’t going to work…

  6. Christopher Rodkey Says:

    We could start the first certification program in philosophy / theology / cultural theory and digital humanities.

  7. Brad Johnson Says:

    Robert’s distinction is a helpful one, too, for those among us who do work in theology, say, but bristle at the idea we are theologians.

  8. Christopher Rodkey Says:

    Brad, to that end, does this distinction also not mirror, say, McCutcheon’s notion of “critics, not caretakers?”


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