There Are No Digital Humanities
Chapter 2 considers the extent digital humanities offer us one productive way to think about new ways of being theorists. It examines the “computational turn”, whereby techniques and methodologies drawn from computer science are being increasingly used to produce new ways of understanding texts in the humanities. Will the use of digital tools and data-led methods to help us analyze the networked nature of knowledge in post-industrial society produce a major change in theory and the humanities? Chapter 2 addresses this question by means of an analysis that moves from Jean-François Lyotard’s account of how science is augmenting the power of states and corporations, through the relation between the digital humanities and twentieth-century critical theory, to Lev Manovich and the Software Studies Initiative’s work on Cultural Analytics.The overarching question raised by this chapter is: Should we be looking to develop still newer forms of theory and the humanities in the twenty-first century, characterized by an ability to combine the methodological and the theoretical, the quantitative and the qualitative, digital and the traditional humanities? Or do we need “something else besides”: a theory that we might begin to think of as being not just post-digital but post-humanities too?
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