Representing Harvard’s metaLAB, Jeffrey Schnapp and Jesse Shapins introduced the concept of Digital Humanities to the iLaw audience, and facilitated a lightening round highlighting specific Digital Humanities projects. Digital Humanities was described as a choral voice from a distributed network, a voice meant to produce knowledge in, for, and about the language of the world wide web (our new public domain). This new scholarship is not solely about the digital medium, but rather the opportunities and challenges that arise from the conjunction of the term ‘digital’ with the term ‘humanities’. Taking advantage of these opportunities will result in new modes of scholarship and institutional units of collaborative study, increasing the visibility of humanistic research.
After Jeffrey and Jesse’s introduction to metaLAB and Digital Humanities a number of groups (whose descriptions are given above) explained how they are addressing the opportunities that come from the conjunction of ‘digital’ and ‘humanities’, and how individuals can get involved.
Questions for Further Discussion
- How do we help citizens become curators of their own cultural history? Is the preserver or archivist an additional model of cultural behavior to Read-Only and Read-Write culture?
- How are those leading the Digital Humanities charge accounting for the technical fragility and legal ambiguity of link-based contributions and information?
- How do experiential, scruffy, and curatorial attitudes of digital humanities reshape the genre of research? Should Digital Humanities projects work to supplement or replace more traditional modes of scholarship? And how does this fit with Zittrain’s concern about scholarship and entrepreneurship in the university?