Still pondering the Digital Humanities…

The day after our first class, last Thursday, I had lunch with a friend and colleague from the History Department where we were talking about our work for the new semester. I told her that I was taking this Digital Humanities class, and her question was of course: What exactly is the Digital Humanities? As I launched into my fumbling explanation of my understanding of DH I was simultaneously thinking, “This is exactly what we talked about doing in class!” Ultimately in our discussion I found myself explaining DH through illustrations of how I thought it could enhance my own and her own dissertation research. After I left that day, I was reflecting on the “strategy” I had used to explain DH and I think it is one that could be very useful in convincing those in our profession who don’t understand or doubt the usefulness of DH. As we all know, people relate most to things that are personal to them. We discussed at length the possible concerns that some have with the emergence of DH and how we can encourage better understanding and acceptance of DH. So, as we as a class, learn more about the possibilities of DH, we can keep in mind how we might encourage others to use these tools, perhaps through relating our explanations to their own research.