The role of new media in humanities scholarship

Conversation, via First MondayOne of my favourite reads online is the journal First Monday, one of the first openly accessible, peer–reviewed journals on the Internet, solely devoted to the Internet. The name of the journal was chosen, First Monday, based on its frequency, as issues appear on the first Monday of every month. In this month’s issue (Volume 15, Number 10 – 4 October 2010), there is an excellent article on the new media in the humanities by Oya Y Rieger:

Framing digital humanities: The role of new media in humanities scholarship

The phrase “digital humanities” refers to a range of new media applications that converge at the intersection of technology and humanities scholarship. It is an evolving notion and conveys the role of information technologies in humanities scholarship. Based on a qualitative case study approach, this paper interprets the concept by eliciting the diverse perspectives — which nevertheless express several discernible themes — of a group of humanities scholars. It synthesizes the wide range of opinions and assumptions about information and communication technologies (ICTs) held by these humanists by using Bijker’s (1995) notion of a technological frame. The digital humanities domain is interpreted through three lenses: digital media as facilitator of scholarly communication; digital media as a platform for creative expression and artistic endeavors; and, digital media as context for critical studies of digital culture. The article concludes that, while technologies are being positioned as driving forces behind academic innovation, it is more important than ever to understand the cultural, social, and political implications of new media and how they are perceived and used by humanities scholars.

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