University of Michigan Press

Digital Humanities

Published by: University of Michigan Press


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Digital Humanities


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Big Digital Humanities

Imagining a Meeting Place for the Humanities and the Digital

Patrik Svensson

Big Digital Humanities has its origins in a series of seminal articles Patrik Svensson published in the Digital Humanities Quarterly between 2009 and 2012. As these articles were coming out, enthusiasm around Digital Humanities was acquiring a great deal of momentum and significant disagreement about what did or didn’t “count” as Digital Humanities work. Svensson’s articles provided a widely sought after omnibus of Digital Humanities history, practice, and theory. They were informative and knowledgeable and tended to foreground reportage and explanation rather than utopianism or territorial contentiousness. In revising his original work for book publication, Svensson has responded to both subsequent feedback and new developments.
Svensson’s own unique perspective and special stake in the Digital Humanities conversation comes from his role as director of the HUMlab at Umeå University. HUMlab is a unique collaborative space and Digital Humanities center, which officially opened its doors in 2000. According to its own official description, the HUMlab is an open, creative studio environment where “students, researchers, artists, entrepreneurs and international guests come together to engage in dialogue, experiment with technology, take on challenges and move scholarship forward.” It is this last element “moving scholarship forward” that Svensson argues is the real opportunity in what he terms the “big digital humanities,” or digital humanities as practiced in collaborative spaces like the HUMlab, and he is uniquely positioned to take an account of this evolving dimension of Digital Humanities practice.

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Digital Rhetoric

Theory, Method, Practice

Douglas Eyman

What is “digital rhetoric”? This book aims to answer that question by looking at a number of interrelated histories, as well as evaluating a wide range of methods and practices from fields in the humanities, social sciences, and information sciences to determine what might constitute the work and the world of digital rhetoric. The advent of digital and networked communication technologies prompts renewed interest in basic questions such as What counts as a text? and Can traditional rhetoric operate in digital spheres or will it need to be revised? Or will we need to invent new rhetorical practices altogether?

Through examples and consideration of digital rhetoric theories, methods for both researching and making in digital rhetoric fields, and examples of digital rhetoric pedagogy, scholarship, and public performance, this book delivers a broad overview of digital rhetoric. In addition, Douglas Eyman provides historical context by investigating the histories and boundaries that arise from mapping this emerging field and by focusing on the theories that have been taken up and revised by digital rhetoric scholars and practitioners. Both traditional and new methods are examined for the tools they provide that can be used to both study digital rhetoric and to potentially make new forms that draw on digital rhetoric for their persuasive power.

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Hacking the Academy

New Approaches to Scholarship and Teaching from Digital Humanities

Daniel J. Cohen and Tom Scheinfeldt, Editors

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Interdisciplining Digital Humanities

Boundary Work in an Emerging Field

Julie Thompson Klein

Interdisciplining Digital Humanities sorts through definitions and patterns of practice over roughly sixty-five years of work, providing an overview for specialists and a general audience alike. It is the only book that tests the widespread claim that Digital Humanities is interdisciplinary. By examining the boundary work of constructing, expanding, and sustaining a new field, it depicts both the ways this new field is being situated within individual domains and dynamic cross-fertilizations that are fostering new relationships across academic boundaries. It also accounts for digital reinvigorations of “public humanities” in cultural heritage institutions of museums, archives, libraries, and community forums.

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Teaching and Learning History with Technology

Kevin Kee, editor

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Teaching History in the Digital Age

T. Mills Kelly

Although many humanities scholars have been talking and writing about the transition to the digital age for more than a decade, only in the last few years have we seen a convergence of the factors that make this transition possible: the spread of sufficient infrastructure on campuses, the creation of truly massive databases of humanities content, and a generation of students that has never known a world without easy Internet access. Teaching History in the Digital Age serves as a guide for practitioners on how to fruitfully employ the transformative changes of digital media in the research, writing, and teaching of history. T. Mills Kelly synthesizes more than two decades of research in digital history, offering practical advice on how to make best use of the results of this synthesis in the classroom and new ways of thinking about pedagogy in the digital humanities.

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Web Writing

Why and How for Liberal Arts Teaching and Learning

Jack Dougherty and Tennyson O'Donnell, editors

The essays in Web Writing respond to contemporary debates over the proper role of the Internet in higher education, steering a middle course between polarized attitudes that often dominate the conversation. The authors argue for the wise integration of web tools into what the liberal arts does best: writing across the curriculum. All academic disciplines value clear and compelling prose, whether that prose comes in the shape of a persuasive essay, scientific report, or creative expression. The act of writing visually demonstrates how we think in original and critical ways and in ways that are deeper than those that can be taught or assessed by a computer. Furthermore, learning to write well requires engaged readers who encourage and challenge us to revise our muddled first drafts and craft more distinctive and informed points of view. Indeed, a new generation of web-based tools for authoring, annotating, editing, and publishing can dramatically enrich the writing process, but doing so requires liberal arts educators to rethink why and how we teach this skill, and to question those who blindly call for embracing or rejecting technology.

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Writing History in the Digital Age

Jack Dougherty and Kristen Nawrotzki, editors

Writing History in the Digital Age began as a “what-if” experiment by posing a question: How have Internet technologies influenced how historians think, teach, author, and publish? To illustrate their answer, the contributors agreed to share the stages of their book-in-progress as it was constructed on the public web. To facilitate this innovative volume, editors Jack Dougherty and Kristen Nawrotzki designed a born-digital, open-access, and open peer review process to capture commentary from appointed experts and general readers. A customized WordPress plug-in allowed audiences to add page- and paragraph-level comments to the manuscript, transforming it into a socially networked text. The initial six-week proposal phase generated over 250 comments, and the subsequent eight-week public review of full drafts drew 942 additional comments from readers across different parts of the globe. The finished product now presents 20 essays from a wide array of notable scholars, each examining (and then breaking apart and reexamining) if and how digital and emergent technologies have changed the historical profession.


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