How to Make a Digital Humanist? DHSI, Victoria, BC, Canada, 8 June 2012

I’ve blogged here the Prezi and notes from the colloquium talk I gave at DHSI 2012. The title of my presentation today, as it appears in the schedule, is “How to make a digital humanist.” The title of the presentation, as it appeared in the proposal I submitted back in December 2011, was [next slide] “How to make a digital humanist?” So, for those of you who were hoping for a recipe, a set of instructions on how to train the next generation of DHers, you are probably going to be disappointed, because what I’d really like to do is ask some questions. Or at the very least, propose a framework for generating questions, the answers to which may help to define not only digital humanities pedagogy, but digital humanities as a discipline. As a community, digital humanists generally agree our work requires some level of technical competence. The NEH Summer Institutes, THATCamp bootcamps, and of course, DHSI have all come about in order to fill this perceived need to develop the technical literacy of humanists who are engaged or interested in digital scholarship. We sometimes disagree, however, on the details regarding the exact of level of expertise, the precise composition of the skill set, or the identity of “essential” technologies. This disagreement about how much and what sort of technical expertise is required to do digital humanities work can, I think, fairly be characterized as part of a larger conversation within the discipline about the relative importance of building or “hacking,” and theory or “yacking” in DH. For some, building and doing takes precedence. [next slide] Others question...
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