DH: between disciplines, communities, and cultures

DH: between disciplines, communities, and cultures

In order to understand engagement in DH, one aspect to describe is the configurations of participating people. One approach would be to consider the interactions between different disciplines such as history and computer science. In this post, I will reflect on the concept of disciplines, and discuss alternative concepts of communities of practice and cultures.

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Why do we need a definition of DH?

Like all great debates in DH, the return of the “what is DH” debate started off with a tweet:

This is a recurrent question, and one might ask whether in 2017 it’s still a fair question. Indeed, in 2017 it is not so popular anymore to debate definitions of DH. As I wrote in my previous blogpost, I agree it is not always important, as I don’t think it is an important question when educating students about DH. On the other hand, one might ask whether this isn’t just evasive; we can’t define DH, so we deny the importance of that definition.  In this blogpost, I will not provide a definitive answer to what is DH, but I will argue that is remains an important question for two reasons: practical and epistemological.

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