Glen Worthey joins The First Draft podcast hosts Elijah Meeks, Jason Heppler, and Paul Zenke (all of Stanford University) for an episode entitled “Humanities Savior Narrative.” Their lively, wide-ranging conversation touches on the recent Digital Humanities 2014 conference (including discussion of keynotes, #dhsheep, and multilinguality), the “big tent,” the question of whether DH will save or become synonymous with the humanities, the bureaucracy and community of DH, DH graduate training, and the role of Twitter.
In one exchange, Meeks reflects on his evolving sense of what constitutes DH practice:
…I think publication is extremely important, interactive scholarly works are important. But … when I first started really thinking of myself as doing digital humanities… I derided this other kind of digital humanities, this engagement with digital objects, and this, sort of, this salon version of digital humanities where you got together with scholars and you looked at some digital object and you thought about it, and you were sort of critically engaged with it. Or other people who said: ‘Well, I’m, I do digital humanities, I’m on Twitter.’ And I thought: ‘Well, that‘s not really doing digital humanities.’ And, actually, as I’ve sort of matured in my understanding of it, it’s a realization that that is. That this tight integration of new mediums of communication, new mediums of collaboration. And also just the reappraisal of old methods of dealing with things to suddenly include digital objects … I think is all digital humanities. And so that’s part of that restoration of relevance, it’s not just sort of a popular thing that shows up in the New York Times and at least is on people’s radar … But also just that, in the practice, it’s taking place on Twitter, it’s taking place with digital objects, and that just makes it, by that very virtue, more part of the real world.