POST: The New Wave of Review

In “The New Wave of Review,” Cameron Blevins (Rutgers University) considers what he sees as an increase in digital history project reviews that appear in the discipline’s print scholarly journals. Blevins identifies three trends in the approach of these reviews:

  • those that treat digital history projects primarily as public engagement (and not a scholarly contribution to the field)
  • those that “mistakenly evaluate digital projects in terms of what the reviewer wants them to be (a traditional academic monograph) rather than what they are (an online exhibit, research tool, pedagogical resource, etc.)”
  • those that focus too much on “data and design criticism,” or method over argument

Blevins ends with a call for digital historians to intervene in this trend by themselves participating in actively reviewing digital projects:

Regardless of whether we do so in blogs or print journals, we need to more substantively evaluate the work of our peers. We need to evaluate and critique each other’s work not just in terms of public engagement and pedagogy or data and design, but in terms of new historical knowledge, insight, and interpretations that these projects contribute to the field.


dh+lib Review

This post was produced through a cooperation between Camille Cooper, Joseph Grobelny, Chelsea Gunn, Liz Lorang, Sara Parme, Hillary A. H. Richardson, Chelcie Rowell, and Ayla Stein (Editors-at-large for the week), Roxanne Shirazi (Editor for the week), Sarah Potvin (Site Editor), and Caitlin Christian-Lamb, Caro Pinto and Patrick Williams (dh+lib Review Editors).