[Humanist] 23.534 the next big thing

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Tue Jan 5 09:56:07 CET 2010

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 23, No. 534.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Mon, 04 Jan 2010 10:47:53 -0800
        From: Richard Heinzkill <heinzkil at uoregon.edu>
        Subject: "digital humanities" at MLA  meeting

Thought list subscribers might find this part of an article in Chronicle 
of Higher Education (accessed Jan 4, 2020) on MLA meeting 
interesting.-------Richard Heinzkill, University of Oregon Library.

        Old School, New School

It was also interesting to see, during the convention and after, a 
debate among the Twitter crowd about the label "digital humanities" and 
whether it was accurate or useful and how to get humanists, digital and 
otherwise, to talk more (or more usefully) to one another. A catchall 
phrase comes in handy—it's hard to imagine the NEH's establishing an 
Office of Cool Scholarship Done With Digital Tools—but it doesn't do 
justice to the very different kinds of work done under that label. Maybe 
the term is just a place holder, and the day is not far off when people 
won't feel the need to make a distinction between the humanities and the 
digital humanities.

To this observer at least, the 2009 MLA did highlight how social media 
are being deployed by scholars, even if they are (temporarily) a 
minority. It will be interesting to see, when the next MLA rolls around, 
in January of 2011, how many more outside the digital-humanities crowd 
have added social media to their scholarly-communication arsenal.

Such attention to the digital world obscures the fact that the digital 
humanities are still a relatively small part of what happens at the MLA, 
even if they make some of the liveliest and most visible contributions. 
MLA 2009 had no shortage of old-school panels devoted to authors and 
genres and literary traditions.

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