The most current issue of Digital Humanities Quarterly (DHQ), issue 17.2, focuses on Critical Code Studies and Tools Criticism, which the editors define as “the application of the hermeneutics of the humanities to the interpretation of the extra-functional significance of computer source code. ‘Extra’ here does not mean ‘outside of’ or ‘apart from’ but instead it refers to a significance that is ‘growing out of’ an understanding of the functioning of the code.” In other words, the articles in this issue seek to understand code as a text which humanists can interpret, rather than just a means to a computational end.
Articles on topics such as Close Code Readings, Code Legibility and Critical AI, and Code Languages and Linguistics, as well as Tools Criticism are included. The editors have described these articles in 3 categories:
“In addition to demonstrating established methods and best practices, scholars in this issue offer new and nuanced approaches to a wide range of code objects as well as developing new approaches, expanding the realm of what can be analyzed through critical code studies — accompanied by in-depth readings performed by top scholars in the field. This first issue presents three groupings of articles: 1) exemplary close readings of code, 2) new directions in critical code studies (such as code legibility and Critical AI), and 3) new work in programming languages and linguistics (including esoteric programming languages and indigenous programming languages).”