Thomas Padilla (UC Santa Barbara) recently posted a portion of a talk he’d given at the University of Wisconsin Madison’s Digital Humanities Research Network on his blog. The extract, “Data Praxis in the Humanities: Function and Ethic,” focuses on Padilla’s efforts at communicating “the concept of data in the Humanities”:
Seeing and working with an object as data requires figuring out how to extend the ethics that many of you learn as you train to become Humanists in your respective fields. At the base of many Humanities disciplines, the thing we share in common are the sensibilities that are imparted to us as we consider how to work with the material evidence of Human activity, interest, and concern. Speaking from my own disciplinary training, I know that Historical inquiry hinges upon accessing, evaluating, interpreting, documenting, and developing arguments predicated upon primary sources.
The challenge we face as Humanists when working computationally with data is to adapt our praxis so that it is equally suited to evaluating primary data as it is to evidencing our work with that data …”