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Digital Humanities: A Pathfinder: Introduction

A resource guide for learning about and starting projects in the Digital Humanities.

Digital humanities (DH) has no precise definition -- what does either term mean, and both together?  Scholars have attempted to describe or map the subject since the rise of the phrase in the 1980s, and have continued to clarify DH since..  A working definition is helpful nevertheless, if only to attempt to relate digital projects and discourse to more traditional humanistic methodologies, discourses, and fields.   Matthew Kirschenbaum, Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Jeffery Schnapp, and many others have pointed out varieties of usage of the term DH: textual editing and analysis, computational linguistics, mapping and geospatial applications and analysis, and the social commitments of humanities who practice digital crafts: open access, share-alike, collaboration, competition, equitable and sustainable discourse, and social and political justice. (See the page Key Readings)

Digital Humanities Now provides introduction to current topics, research, and recent resources. DHNow is an experiment in contemporary scholarly communication practices and a critical case study for PressForward, a research project at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University.

Korey Jackson is now the Gray Family Chair for Innovative Library Services at Oregon State University.  He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in English Language and Literature, and has been a Postdoctoral Fellow in Publishing Services and Outreach for the Council on Library and Information Resources.  He last updated this presentation in 2014.  A full transcript of this presentation is available at the Prezi site.

Guide Author

Written by Peter Gavin Ferriby, Ph.D., University Librarian and Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies.  Last revised February, 2020. Links last checked: May 18, 2020.

Creative Commons License
Digital Humanities Research Guide by Peter Gavin Ferriby is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Greta Franzini is A researcher working in interdisciplinary projects in Digital Classics (particularly Latin), Digital Scholarly Editing and Natural Language Processing at at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Milan).  (Length: 1:57)

Jeffrey Schnapp is the founder/faculty director of metaLAB (at) Harvard and faculty co-director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. He holds the Carl A. Pescosolido Chair in Romance Languages and Literatures and Comparative Literature in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and is on the teaching faculty in the Department of Architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. (Length: 12:51)