Am I in The Digital Humanities?

I’m reading a series in The Chronicle of Higher Education on the digital humanities, and it’s sparked this question: assuming I intend to focus on technology and new media in my doctoral program, will my scholarship be considered “digital humanities”? To me, “digital humanities” suggests more visual presentation and analysis of data rather than traditional scholarship applied to digital projects. I think. Truth is, I’m not sure. I’m quite interested in incorporating digital media into my scholarship, but I’m not sure whether I’ll actually create digital projects in my scholarship.

I’m hoping to begin answering this question a little more clearly while and after taking my “Theories of Networks” class this semester. Our study will include a theoretical foundation for understanding networks along with a technological perspective. My professional work as web manager is all about using technology in networked environments. I had not imagined I’d find some aspect of scholarship that matched my professional work, but I’m discovering there are areas of overlap. What those areas of overlap may be remains unclear.

I’m curious to see how using the disciplinary tools of English studies can be applied to technology networks. I’m curious about how networks can be studied theoretically. I’m curious how critical approaches can contribute to understanding networks, and how network theory can contribute to understanding culture and texts. And whether networks themselves can be studied as text, or whether networks are more like tools for creating texts that are to be analyzed.

I’ve read the first three articles for the class, and I’ll admit that i’m not sure how it all fits together. Classes start next week, and I’m eager to get started.

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