If there are two things that academia doesn’t need, they are another book about Darwin and another blog post about defining the digital humanities. But it’s always right around this time of year that I find myself preparing for my digital history course and being pulled down the contemplative rabbit hole about how describe the nature of the digital humanities to a new and varied audience. But rather than create my own definition, I wanted one cobbled together from everyone else.
For this kind of exercise, there’s no better resource than the TAPoR wiki on “How do you Define Humanities Computing / Digital Humanities?“, which presents pithy definitions from ~170 people, who for one reason or another were compelled (thankfully) to offer their own take on the nature of digital humanities or humanities computing. The format surely encouraged sound bites rather than nuanced formulations, but the quick take still reveals the sentiment of the community—perhaps better than longer essays would have. What follows is my categorization of the responses from 2011.