Editors’ Choice: Bend Until it Breaks: Digital Humanities and Resistance

The capability inherent in digital humanities for resistance is part of what makes digital humanities “humanistic“ — rather than, say, techno-utopian or neoliberal — it’s what connects the digital humanities to the humanities. Alan Liu and Stephen Ramsay have both argued for the necessity of theorizing “resistance” and its place in the work of digital humanists. Ramsay gets to the heart of what “resistance” might look like in this context when, in his eloquent “defense“ of the humanities in general, he describes the humanities as a discursive space in which we answer the pressing question, “How do we become individuals who move through the world with awareness, empathy, and thoughtfulness, and who know how to act upon those dispositions?” What if, “we can resist” were at least a partial answer to Ramsay’s question? If this is what resistance can do for us, for the project of being or becoming human, then I think we can see pretty clearly why it matters, why digital humanists should be investing time and resources in activities of resistance.

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This content was selected for Digital Humanities Now by Editor-in-Chief Stephanie Westcott based on nominations by Editors-at-Large: Anu Paul, Ayla Stein, Ester Rincon Calero, Dana Bublitz, Beth Secrist, Amy Williams, Gregory Zobel, Dale Russell, Aisha Clarke, and Sarah Canfield Fuller.