Editors’ Choice: The Digital Humanities as an Emerging Field in China

The “digital humanities” (usually translated as shuzi renwen 数字人文 in mainland China and shuwei renwen 數位人文 in Taiwan) have recently received a lot of attention in Chinese academic circles, even though it took a long time for the concept to come to the attention of mainland China universities. The first digital humanities centre in China was established by Wuhan University in 2011. It remains the only mainland Chinese member of centerNet, an international network of digital humanities research centres.

But even though such research centres are so rare in China, plenty of Chinese scholars have been taking part in the field and have been conducting digital research for more than a decade. Several key universities have academic departments and centres that are developing digital projects for the humanities, such as historical GIS. It is also clear that some institutions are becoming increasingly interested in digital humanities initiatives. Peking University, for instance, recently organized its first digital humanities forum through its library in May 2016, which attracted about two hundred participants. University libraries will likely become important focal points for developing digital scholarship in China. Researchers from various humanistic disciplines are aware as well that the digital humanities can be a useful platform for them to discuss the latest developments that have something to do with computational tools in their fields, and have organized events through their faculties and institutes to conduct such discussions. These include library science, the history of the Qing dynasty, and other fields.


Source: The Digital Humanities as an Emerging Field in China