Last Thoughts

“Digital humanities is an interdisciplinary academic field that encompasses the application of digital technologies and tools to the analysis, interpretation, dissemination, and advancement of traditional humanities disciplines.”

When I started this course, I vaguely knew what Digital Humanities was. After researching about this field, I managed to come up with a definition, but I have to admit that it was still an abstract concept. Though I will stick to this definition, now that I have played with different digital tools and checked many digital humanities projects, I better understand its crucial role in advancing academic and research goals.

In addition, I need to stress that this course exceeded my expectations by far. I was a bit intimidated by the course. Therefore, I would have never imagined that I would be creating a website on my own and enjoying every minute of it for my final project! Though I knew we would be dabbling in the field, I was not aware of the extent of our involvement. Thus, the strategy I used to approach it was focusing on a module without worrying about what was coming out next. And it paid off; as the class advanced, I realized that I could do it and even started to have fun with it. All this was possible because the modules were very informative, and the instructions could not be more straightforward.

I loved using Voyant Tools so much that I analyzed old essays and made word clouds with them, discovering the words I frequently used (sometimes too often,) which gave me another perspective of my own writing. This tool is beneficial for analyzing text, and I see myself using it in the future. My favorite section of the course, however, was learning about metadata and building exhibits using Omeka. For us approaching history through art, the visual aspect is crucial, and digital tools come very handily, not only for displaying artworks but also for analyzing art history scholarship to find patterns, connections, new research questions, etc. And to find out that there are many digital tools available for just that is wonderful. It is a relief to know you do not necessarily have to be a coder to enjoy the benefits of digital humanities. Many years ago, in the times of mainframe computers, Cobol, and floppy disks, I was a computer programmer. However, I am grateful not to be in the business of inventing the wheel once again.   

I indeed see myself using digital tools in the future. What’s more, I think I have finally found my true calling: working in some capacity in the digitization process of a museum. And this brings me to my last thought.  After learning so much about digital humanities, I am still unsure which will qualify you to work in that field. In other words, how much humanities and how much digital science do you need to work as such. I will certainly try to find this out to see what I need to get closer to my newfound purpose.

1 comment

  1. Hi Pia! I’ve really enjoyed watching you grow and learn this semester, and I’m glad you had a good experience too. As for your last question–how much digital skill do you need in order to do digital work–the answer is, not that much. Most digital work is learned on the job, so you already have a leg up!

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