Discussion Panel- Prospects for the Digital Humanities

Posted in Events, Talks

On March 13, a panel discussion was held in collaboration with EGSA (English Graduate Students Association). This event was organized to give graduate students in the humanities a glimpse of the potential prospects for the digital humanities in their academic careers.

The panelists include McGill’s Mark Algee-Hewitt, Stéfan Sinclair, Matthew Milner, and Tom Mole. The discussion focused on what forms digital humanities scholarship might take in the future. The topics were meant to introduce graduate students to the continuing debates that are shaping the field. It was emphasized that at the base of the digital humanities is the notion of “Building and Making”. That is the digital humanities are concerned with making digital tools used towards the advancement of humanistic scholarship.

In contrast to the media hype that digital humanities is here and “resistance is futile,” the panelists presented a more tempered model. Digital humanities will become integral to humanistic scholarship to the point where the epithet “digital” will be dropped and the term humanities will again encompass all humanistic scholarship. Whereas considerable attention has been placed on “Big Data,” Mole suggested the model of “just enough data” will become of the most appropriate for scholars looking to incorporate a digital components into their research.

An important dynamic that was discussed  is the changing nature of the university. Tenured faculty positions are decreasing, and the neoliberal reform of the university continues. The digital humanities are a possible tool set for the graduate student considering an alternative academic career.