[Humanist] 24.345 defining the digital humanities?

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Mon Sep 20 23:25:35 CEST 2010

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 24, No. 345.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Mon, 20 Sep 2010 11:31:16 -0500
        From: "Cogdill, Sharon E." <SCogdill at stcloudstate.edu>
        Subject: Question about defining digital humanities

Pursuant to the discussion of how to build an academic department for digital humanities, I've got an opportunity to get a question about digital humanities into a survey my university is sending out, to see if there is sufficient interest to begin developing ideas for some new programs. The survey will give the name of the proposed area of study, offer a short definition, and then present a Likert scale, ranging I think from "not interested" to "very interested."

We are not in a position to do the level of digital humanities many people on this list have described, which have sounded just wonderful and, to be honest, ideal to me, but I would love to be able to introduce master's-level graduate students, including teachers in the schools, to some of the things that digital humanities can do, especially in attracting younger students to the humanities.

So now my problem is to get a definition out for this survey in a form that would make sense to and attract people thinking about returning to school for a master's degree.
We'll need to develop something interdisciplinary rather than a stand-alone program. Not only does my language need to be pretty accessible, but it needs to come in at less than 50 words. I'm wondering if any members of this list would have suggestions for me.

Here is the first definition, which is for New Media/Digital Humanities, which it may need to do: "Using computers and the Internet in the arts and the humanities, including language arts (English, communication studies, mass communications), history, and geography."

Here is the one more focused on digital humanities: "Bringing computers and the Internet into the presentation, preservation, and study of new and historical texts (including literature and public and private documents) - for lovers of the humanities, including language arts (English, communication studies, mass communications), history, and geography."

Thanks for whatever suggestions you have for me.


Sharon Cogdill
Professor, Department of English
159 Building 51
St. Cloud State University
St. Cloud, MN 56301-4498

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