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UCL Centre for Digital Humanities



Decoding Digital Humanities #1 London: who likes rabbits?

By Claire S Ross, on 17 March 2010

Last night saw the gathering of the first Decoding Digital Humanities

The aim was to get together to talk about  what Digital Humanities is, whether anyone has a definitive answer, where the discipline has come from and where we can take it.

It kicked off with some quick discussion centred around rabbits, apparently a must in digital humanities.

Starting with a classic, the first paper: Benjamin, W. 1936. the Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction fostered a lot of discussion about cultural materialism, old and new heros, the differences between visual and textual, and a lack of theoretical underpinning. As well as talking about notions of authority, authorship, copies and reproducibility in digital media. What is the ‘real’ work, does it matter?

The second paper: Wikipedia Digital Humanities Page we discussed whether or not we need to redefine digital humanities on wikipedia?

This provoked talk about digital identity, digital humanist online presence are digital humanists managing their own online presence?

other points raised:

  • Techies as ‘cultural producers’
  • Need to think about equality between Computer Science and humanities. Technology is not in service of humanities
  • Why do we perceive the need to have an ‘authentic’ single voice?
  • We need a common language in which CS and humanities can speak with equal confidence.

Do you have any points you would like to add to our discussion?

Thanks to all that came and made it a really enjoyable event.  We are planning the next one for April, we will keep you posted.