Reflections on Martin Foys’ Visit

After reading Martin Foys’ Virtually Anglo-Saxon and then listening to his lecture, I have done a lot of reflecting on our discussions on remediation.  In particular, Foy’s discussion of digital media as a new form of media, similar to the advent of printed texts in the middle ages has really gotten me thinking. In my own simplified terms, Foys suggested that new media does not have its own logic from inception, so it must imitate the old media form before it can develop its own logic and then eventually reject the old media. Thinking of digital media in this fashion has kind of opened my eyes to more of the possibilities with DH. I think that we have been in the stage where digital media was “imitating” print media, and now we are at the point where we are trying to move past that stage. I realized that for me personally, despite my willingness to embrace DH, I have still been thinking of DH as I would print in many ways. This sort of thinking can be limiting on the imagination and can limit the usefulness of digital media for humanists because we are not exploring its full potential. I have found this revelation extremely useful simply in that it has freed me to be more creative and conceptualize totally new ways that I could explore my research.

I also think that part of the issue with those colleagues who may not embrace the digital humanities could be linked to this idea as well. If we view digital media as we do print then we may ask the question: Why do we need the digital humanities when we have print? One answer could be, because digital media can represent things that print simply cannot represent as well. For example, Foys suggested that depth can be shown in digital media in a way that print can never represent it.

Thanks again to Martin Foys for such an interesting and stimulating discussion!