The Digital Humanities: A Primer for Students and Scholars by Eileen Gardiner

By Eileen Gardiner

The electronic Humanities is a accomplished advent and sensible advisor to how humanists use the electronic to behavior examine, set up fabrics, learn, and put up findings. It summarizes the flip towards the electronic that's reinventing each element of the arts between students, libraries, publishers, directors, and the general public. starting with a few definitions and a quick old survey of the arts, the publication examines how humanists paintings, what they research, and the way humanists and their learn were impacted via the electronic and the way, in flip, they form it. It surveys electronic humanities instruments and their capabilities, the electronic humanists' environments, and the results and reception in their paintings. The booklet will pay specific cognizance to either theoretical underpinnings and useful issues for embarking on electronic humanities tasks. It areas the electronic humanities firmly in the ancient traditions of the arts and within the contexts of present educational and scholarly lifestyles.

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Even Thomas Jefferson, a proponent of the new sciences and knowledge, based the core curriculum at the University of Virginia (UVA) on the humanist tradition: ancient and modern languages, mathematics, moral philosophy, natural philosophy, law and medicine, which matched the standard European university education of the time. In Jefferson’s model we can already see the impact of the scientific revolution, the Enlightenment and American pragmatism on the humanist tradition: chemistry and more practical skills were also integrated into UVA’s curriculum.

And so on. But twenty years after the digital revolution was born, we may no longer be able to rely on comfortable metaphor and simile: something has fundamentally changed in the way the digital accesses, preserves, aggregates and disaggregates, presents, privileges and reflects back upon scholarship that may leave old categories behind and change the way even Petrarchan humanists think, do research, author, publish and interact with their own communities. To examine these changes, we should, like all good humanists, turn back to history: the recent and relatively brief history of the digital and the far longer history of the humanities themselves.

But we do hope that our approach has brought them together clearly and comprehensibly. Everyone sets out to write the book that will answer their own questions, and we wanted here to explore the world of digital humanities in order to take stock after fifteen years to determine whether it fulfills the promise that it seemed to hold out in 1999. We came to the end of the book with the insight that Vincent Mosco offers in his The Digital Sublime:4 that despite all the almost millennial claims that America usually makes for each of its new technologies – whether the railroad, the telegraph or telephone, electricity, the radio, movies, TV, the fax or the computer – new technologies ultimately transform the way we live and the way we think not through their most dazzling new displays, but when they have become commonplace and broadly accepted, even perhaps banal and mundane – when everyone is using them without thinking twice.

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The Digital Humanities: A Primer for Students and Scholars by Eileen Gardiner
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