How do you define Humanities Computing / Digital Humanities?

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Every year, the Day of Digital Humanities application form asks participants for their own definition of Digital Humanities. Listing below are the responses that participants gave permission to post.

Feel free to add (or edit/remove) your own definition.

How do you define Digital Humanities? (2011)


Anything a Humanities scholar does that is mediated digitally, especially when such mediation opens discussion beyond a small circle of academic specialists. -David Wacks, University of Oregon, USA


Developing tools and workflows to create comprehensive, interoperable, and innovative digital resources. -Jennifer Stertzer, Papers of George Washington, University of Virginia, USA


Humanities gone digital and vice versa -Anna Caprarelli, università degli studi della Tuscia (Viterbo), Italy


In SpecLab (2009), Johanna Drucker explains that the digital humanities does not simply entail “the creation of new electronic environments for access to traditional or born-digital materials. It is the study of ways of thinking differently about how we know what we know, and how the interpretive task of the humanist is redefined in these changed conditions” (xii). What resonates with me about Drucker’s definition is how she conceives of DH both in terms of its epistemological function, and in terms of its function for us as critics—and I will add to her definition, as teachers as well. -Lauren Klein, The Graduate Center and Macaulay Honors College, CUNY, USA


Une pratique réflexive des outils numériques en sciences humaines et sociales. -Björn-Olav Dozo, Université de Liège, BE


I wouldn't dare! I'm interested in how the definition is evolving. I'm more interested in the variety of methods employed in the digital humanities. And I'm most interested in the results and interpretation of research and scholarship in the digital humanities. -Jon Christensen, Stanford University, Bill Lane Center for the American West, USA


Dare I try such a thing when the debate seems to continue on?! I'm still on the quest to find my personal definition of DH. When I find one, I'll let you know. -Susan Rojo, Stanford University, USA


Digital Humanities is in its simplest form conducting humanities research with the help of a computer whether it is visualizations or text analysis. Digital Humanities can also include combining our expertise of computing and programming with the humanities to complete web based projects or other projects that require some programming knowledge. -Ashley Moroz, University of Alberta, Canada


Humanities research based on Digital Data and the Internet. -Kozaburo Hachimura, Ritsumeikan University, Japan


DH stands for a wide variety of disparate practices, methodologies, and ways of communicating that take advantage of technology in order to enable and encourage the act of thinking deeply and critically about life. From this perspective, DH is the name given to the work of the most open-minded and courageous humanists working today. -Stewart Varner, Emory University, USA


I think of digital humanities as an umbrella term that covers a wide variety of digital work in the humanities: development of multimedia pedagogies and scholarship, designing & building tools, human computer interaction, designing & building archives, etc. DH is interdisciplinary; by necessity it breaks down boundaries between disciplines at the local (e.g., English and history) and global (e.g., humanities and computer sciences) levels. -Kathie Gossett, Old Dominion Univ, USA


I see 'Digital Humanities' as an umbrella term for two different but related developments:1) Humanities Computing (the specialist use of computing technology to undertake Humanities research) and 2) the implications for the Humanities of the social revolution created by ubiquitous computing and online access. Since the late Noughties the latter seems to have become the driving force in DH with responsibility for much of the 'boom' in public interest and funding. -Leif Isaksen, University of Southampton, UK


A 'community of practice' (to borrow Etienne Wenger's phrase) whereby the learning, construction and sharing of humanities knowledge is undertaken with the application of digital technologies in a reflexive, theoretically-informed, and collaborative manner. -Kathryn E. Piquette, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin, Germany


Digital humanities is a constantly evolving discipline based on scholarship and pedagogy derived from the intersection of computing and technology with traditional humanities education and field of study. -James Neal, Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, USA


A name that marks a moment of transition; the current name for humanities inquiry driven by or dependent on computers or digitally born objects of study; a temporary epithet for what will eventually be called merely Humanities. -Mark/Marino, University of Southern California, USA


One of those moments where the rest of the world and Humanities collide. Digital Humanities is an opportunity for the Humanities to explore the immense possibilities that the technologies of today can support (and I tentatively suggest, improve) the way in which identification, collection, interpretation, and dissemination of data happens in our field. -Nicole Smith, University of Southampton, GB


Digital Humanities for me is the way that we can collaborate and share online, all over the world, bringing to life again the old stories while creating new stories of our own, in words and in images. -Laura Gibbs, University of Oklahoma, USA


We use “digital humanities” as an umbrella term for a number of different activities that surround technology and humanities scholarship. Under the digital humanities rubric, I would include topics like open access to materials, intellectual property rights, tool development, digital libraries, data mining, born-digital preservation, multimedia publication, visualization, GIS, digital reconstruction, study of the impact of technology on numerous fields, technology for teaching and learning, sustainability models, and many others. -Brett Bobley, NEH, United States


Using computational tools to do the work of the humanities. -John Unsworth, University of Illinois, USA


Where the English department surrenders to the Media Arts department under the conditions that they remain in charge of what storytelling means in the 21st century. Hehe. Just kidding. The merging of Literature, Media Arts and other schools of storytelling and criticism into an emergent network that benefits from history but lacks the downside and fixed ideas of entrenched interests be it in the classroom, the boardroom or copyright office. This is an attempt to cast a wider net to include social media and the democratization of media production into the literary cannon complete with thoughtful and insightful analysis and scholarly study and reportage. Literature department walls become osmotic membranes and connecting tissue between liberal arts scholarship in academia, art, technology and social media content producers. DH is a conceptual location where good ideas, best practices and innovation is encouraged. Transdisciplinarity is the new DH Norm. DH is a network aggregate university. While individual universities are slow to change, the networked body consisting of DH individuals from many different universities can combine to evolve an educational ecosystem that thrives on change, embraces technology, plurality and open doors, while benefitting from the support of traditional educational organization. . -DC Spensley, San Jose State University, USA


Opening up new knowledge and new ways of learning through the application of digital technologies to any humanities subject. -Daisy Abbott, Digital Design Studio, Glasgow School of Art, UK


Digital Humanities is an academic field self-reflexively looking at the application of digital technology to humanities fields of enquiry. -James Cummings, University of Oxford, United Kingdom


Charting and exploring the interface of computing and the Humanities to ask and answer all kinds of questions about what it means to be Human and how computing can help us to interpret that -Julianne Nyhan, UCL & Universitaet Trier, UK


I would say there are five branches in the Digital Humanities : - Computing in the Humanities - History of Computing and Information systems - Digital Publishing and Scholarly Communication - Digital Archiving - Epistemological Thinking about Humanities and the digital Turn. -Enrico Natale, Infoclio.ch - Swiss portal for digital history, Switzerland


For me, DH is about creating digital toolsets that allow users to undertake new forms of research in the humanities. Just as importantly, it's about making sure we build a deeper understanding of what's changing in the wider world as digital content and interactions become central to our personal and professional endeavours. -Paul Gooding, University College London, United Kingdom


I do my small part to define it through my work as a humanist--by bringing traditional questions about values, norms, and the role of education to bear on the changing landscape of human expression, communication, and production. -Mark Fisher, Penn State b, USA


  • using computers to study text
  • studying digital text
  • studying on-line materias with a concern for the human condition

-Eleni Stroulia, University of Alberta, Canada


The study of the role of technology in helping to structure the work of writers and writing contexts. -Stuart Selber, Penn State, USA


I define Digital Humanities as the re-figuring of computing, a historically positivist field, in order to pose and answer the more speculative questions typical of the humanities. -Constance Crompton, York University, Canada


I do my small part to define it through my work as a humanist--by bringing traditional questions about values, norms, and the role of education to bear on the changing landscape of human expression, communication, and production. -Mark Fisher, Penn State b, USA


I don't. But for the time being I do focus on issues of large-scale connectivity between diverse forms of digital scholarship and evidence as mediated through the public availability of both. -Sebastian Heath, New York University, USA


I view the digital humanities as a collaborative, open, and emerging field of inquiry. A state of mind, a methodology, and theoretical approach to knowledge, I embrace how it forces us to reconceive our practice. In my own work, I embrace curation, as a means of reweaving and reintegrating theory and practice in history. I seek to interpret space, place, and identity in a multi-sensory way. I fail more often than not. But the digital humanities is like jazz in that it is about process, as well as out outcome. -Mark Tebeau, Cleveland State University, USA


My definition of Digital Humanities is the creative analysis, synthesis and presentation of information (both print and non-print) in digital environment. Digital humanities investigate how digital media affect the disciplines in which they are used. In practice, we are constantly redefining not only the concept of humanities computing but also of computing itself. In this manner, we come to understand how these disciplines when recalibrated for a digital environment contribute to our knowledge of computing; we also come to understand how computing changes the way we acquire knowledge and experience affect. -Theodoros Chiotis, Oxford University/Greek Language Centre, Greece



Digital Humanities is the application of humanities methodologies and theories to modern technology research. -Andy Keenan, University of Alberta, Canada


The use of digital technologies to support humanists in their scholarship activities. Moreover humanists are expected to contribute to the perfection of existing digital tools by providing ideas and functional requirements that those tools need to possess. -Mohamadou Nassourou, University of Würzburg, Germany


The use of technology for supporting long term digital preservation of the human record, and enabling innovative methods for accessing it. The creation of digital infrastructure to support the work of researchers and scholars in the humanities. It also involves the development of computing approaches to humanities disciplines, mutually enriching humanities and computer scientists. In my opinion, Nicholas Negroponte, (MIT Media Lab co-founder), eloquently captures the scope of DH by stating: Computing is not about computers anymore. It is about living.

-Carlos Monroy, Rice University, USA


Interconnectivity: text, image, space-time. -Carolyn Guertin, University of Texas at Arlington, United States


Production of knowledge in forms not limited to traditional (e.g. pre-electronic) media. -Trysh Travis, University of Florida, USA


The Digital Humanities represents an exciting integration of technology and textual culture. There is an increasing need to recognise the culturally productive synthesis represented in the label 'Digital Humanities' and to understand the immense propensity for inclusivity which results from this union. My understanding of the area, though basic and developing, recognises the need for the universal engagement with the positive possibilities for the increased accessibility of information through the Digital Humanities, while also being mindful of the need to preserve the foundations of our humanities. -Bairbre Walsh, UCC, Ireland


An area of study that focuses on the digital in our daily lives--how we study, think, and interact. -Pollyanna Macchiano, , US


Process of modeling, inserting raw information available through books, journals and other resources into a database and visualizing it to the user. -Seyed Mirtaheri, witching.org, Canada


Quickly evolving interdisciplinary activity that not only transfers to digital media but also radically extends the potential uses and impacts of texts, cultural objects and other data. -Paris O'Donnell, University College London, United Kingdom


Digital Humanities is the informed and intentional use of digital objects and practices to create and study in the humanities, broadly defined. In that sense, it is a specialization that cuts across disciplinary boundaries to the work of digital humanists in other disciplines. It is also the insistence that the humanities comes to understand the implications of its assumption that only print technologies exist, and it is the insistence that the humanities learns that no technology is invisible, natural, or inevitable, and that someday all humanists will be digital. A few will specialize in print, chirographic or oral-culture humanities. -Sharon Cogdill, St. Cloud State University, USA



I think digital humanities, like social media, is an idea that will increasingly become invisible as new methods and platforms move from being widely used to being ubiquitous. For now, digital humanities defines the overlap between humanities research and digital tools. But the humanities are the study of cultural life, and our cultural life will soon be inextricably bound up with digital media. -Ed Finn, Stanford University, USA


For me, «DH» is an umbrella term for some recent trends in the humanities: amongst others collaborative working and writing, data driven research and visualization. Very often the current discussions on DH are discussions of delimitations and demarcations. One of the main questions is - imho - if DH should be either an integrated part of the humanities or else be some kind of an auxiliary discipline (in the field of History, in German we have the expression «Historische Hilfswissenschaften»). -Peter Haber, History Department, University of Basel, Switzerland


Digital Humanities involves the effort to consider how our human capabilities and capacities are developing, or being challenged, by and through digital media. Those scholars and practitioners who locate themselves within digital humanities view themselves as interdisciplinary collaborators who want to work together to enhance opportunities for individuals and groups traditionally marginalized from the centers of power. We therefore see our task as a critical and productive one, pressing back against the tides of efficiency and busyness that are leading people to view themselves merely as earners and consumers rather than as human creators and participants. -Lynn Schofield Clark, University of Denver, USA


I don't know that defining digital humanities has any useful purpose, though the act of defining marks digital humanities with the attribute of scholarly inquiry. A humanist with an interest in digital things is, I hope, still a humanist, one who defines the self by interest in varieties of human expression. If one's interest is digital things, then one must achieve some form of digital literacy to do useful scholarly things. If one's interest is humanities, one must think about how digital technology reshapes one's interaction with traditional---and new---objects of humanist studies. -Wesley Raabe, Kent State University, United States


I would define it as the intersection between computing technologies and research and teaching in the humanities. Influnced by web technologies, it also promotes collaborative approaches to scholarship. -Alexandra Guerson, University of Toronto, Canada


using digital means to find out about/publish about stuff that people do. -Quentin Kean, United Kingdom


Creating and applying digital function to humanities research and pedagogy -Diane Jakacki, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA


Digital Humanities for me is a broad area that contains (1) ICT as a tool for research, teaching and studying and (2) ICT as a subject for humanities research. -Tanja Välisalo, University of Jyväskylä, Finland


I let two very different sources define DH for me: A field of study, research, teaching, and invention concerned with the intersection of computing and the disciplines of the humanities. (Wikipedia) and The digital humanities are just the humanities of the present moment. (Alex Reid: http://www.alex-reid.net/) I find those two definitions - one very inclusive and dry, and the other thought-provoking but equally inclusive - to be productive and useful. To work in DH is to be curious about the intersection of digital media and humanities research. -Maria Engberg, Sweden


Digital humanities is the application of digital tools and processes to the study of humanities disciplines resulting in new efficiencies and new discoveries that are not obtainable in the analog world. -Sue Perdue, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities/Documents Compass, USA


A term of tactical convenience. -Matthew Kirschenbaum, University of Maryland, USA


I try not to. -Willard McCarty, King's College London, U.K.


The advent of digital technologies is changing and challenging the ways historians practice their craft. The way we collect, present, and store information has changed rapidly in the last twenty years. Digital history is several things: a methodology meant to aid the traditional art and practice of historians, the use of digital tools to gain insight into information that cannot be done with a legal pad and pen, allows historians to disseminate and present their information in new ways, and a means to reach wide audiences through digital technologies. The goal isn’t cliometrics 2.0 or to augment the theory-driven social sciences, but to abide by the historian’s commitment to complexity and nuance while utilizing digital technologies to aid that task. -Jason Heppler, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA


Humanities is humanities, digital or not -- the study of literature, fine arts, history, language, and philosophy. We don't distinguish digital sociology or digital astronomy, so why digital humanities? Just because computers are involved doesn't mean the basic nature of the subject area is any different than it has been been traditionally. Computers allow for doing things with texts and other cultural artifacts that could not be done feasibly without the computational power and storage modern computers provide. Computers should be considered an extension of the scholar's mind -- very useful tools indeed. -Philip R. Pib Burns, Northwestern University, USA


It is both a methodology and a community. -Jason Farman, University of Maryland, College Park, USA


I define Digital Humanities as the next evolution of the College of Humanities and Social Science. The root word of Humanities is human, and encapsulates all of man in an organic or digital realm serves a purpose for historians and other researchers. -Albert D. Ybarra, CSU - Fullerton, United States


A delimiting hiatus (an anagram of 'digital humanities') -Richard Edwards, IUPUI, USA


A nome de guerre. -Matthew Steven Carlos, Europäische Universität für Interdisziplinäre Studien & Oxford University, Switzerland & United Kingdom


It is the use of digital technologies to assist people working in the Humanities in ways unimaginable to re-discover the meaning of life (!) in this digital age. -Vu Thi Phuong Anh, CETQA, Vietnam National University , Vietnam


When I'm asked, I like to say that digital humanities is just one method for doing humanistic inquiry. -Brian Croxall, Emory University, USA


The digital humanities is whatever we make it to be. -George H. Williams, University of South Carolina Upstate, UDA


The Digital Humanities is both a field with a discernable set of academic lineages, practices, and methodologies, and a vague umbrella term used to describe the application of digital technology to traditional humanistic inquiry. Ultimately, what sets DH apart from many other humanities fields is its methodological commitment to building things as a way of knowing. -Matthew K. Gold, New York City College of Technology and CUNY Graduate Center, US


something borrowed, something new... -Brad Brace, japan


The digital humanities, quite simply, is doing humanities work with digital media. Though much has been made about digital media, like video games, threatening the kind of book learning that humanists do, many of the same critical problems and questions we have been working on for centuries still apply and can be used to read these new media forms. Furthermore, these digital tools can be leveraged to help us do this kind of intellectual labor. So digital humanities includes both doing humanities on digital objects and using digital objects to do humanities. -Timothy Welsh, University of Washington, USA


DH is all about freedom. Humanity is the producing animal (Marx) or the symbol-using animal (Kenneth Burke). The humanities have always studied what people create in the realm of freedom. The whole point of putting things in the digital realm is the freedom it gives us, to turn the physical into symbols that we can manipulate as freely as in a video game. You might not find anyone in the academy more concerned with freedom than digital humanists. -Alan Bilansky, University of Illinois, USA


The use of information technology and software with humanities source materials to pursue research questions. -Elizabeth McAulay , UCLA, USA


Digital humanities work is the activity of joining computation and humanistic thinking to create knowledge--interpretations, motivated collections, reasoned arguments, etc. -Miles Efron, University of Illinois, USA


When I first applied to this grad program, my understanding of what DH was all about was crystalline in its purity. Not so today.

My idea of DH is that it's sort of like a highway oil slick on a sunny day. When you look at the slick, depending on the angle, you might get a psychedelic kaleidoscope of reflected colours; if you're lucky you might spot your reflection in it; then again, all you might see is darkness. And if you feel compelled to step in it, don't be surprised if you slip. Those stains will not come out. -Eric Forcier, University of Alberta, Canada


If someone asks, I refer them to Matthew Kirschenbaum's What is Digital Humanities and What’s it Doing in English Departments? in the ADE Bulletin (2010). That said, I would emphasize the long tradition of humanities computing, going back to Roberto Busa's work at least---although I'm unsure how precisely it relates to the current frenzy of activity. -Allen Riddell, Duke University, USA


Digital humanities is the intersection of work in the humanities (research, teaching, writing) with technology (tools, networks, interactions), when the practitioner is consciously exploring a humanistic subject and a technological method, at the same time. -Elli Mylonas, Brown University, United States


Digital Humanities is the integration of sophisticated, empirical techniques utilizing tools and technologies typically associated with practical sciences into the study of traditional humanities questions. It represents a more exploratory and less quantitative approach than social sciences in the use of such tools but it also represents ambitious attempts to model nuanced human wisdom in ways that, like early flying machines, are beautiful, quite impractical and often fail. -Elijah Meeks, Stanford University, USA


The application of computing technology to the humanities, *and* the critical investigation of the human use of this technology. -John Levin, UK


The digital humanities is a name claimed by a community of those interested in digital methodologies and/or content in the humanities. -Rebecca Davis, National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education, United States


Digital Humanities means taking full advantage of current and emerging technologies to support conceptualizations of learning history that stress developing inquiry skills, perspective taking and meaning making over the transmission textbook-driven model.

Digital humanities, studies and resources, have the capacity to create social networks. Teachers and curators are able to take collections with them to students in remote locations. -Nancy Rubin, Learning Objects, Inc., United States


DH combines established research methodologies in the Humanities with computational methods and new ways to disseminate digitally both data sets and research findings. DH is more a community of practice than a specific set of methods and procedures. Thus, DH encourages ongoing collaboration and its practitioners are committed to making Humanities research extensible (or at least they ought to be). DH is by nature interdisciplinary and so provides a practical means to integrate research data and methodologies from more than just one humanities discipline. -James Ginther, Saint Louis University, US


Digital Humanities is the deliberate, critical application of emerging technology to the study of traditional subjects such as literature, art, philosophy, and language, often (but not always) with a focus on how those traditional fields are now using emerging technology. We are deliberate and critical when we foreground the study of our own digital tools (for example, the forward-thinking digital humanist prefers the open-source tool to the proprietary one). We apply technology because we must participate in digital culture in order to understand it. Full participation in digital culture means contributing to (creating) the cultural economy, not simply observing (consuming). -Dennis Jerz, Seton Hill University, USA


Digital Humanities is the intersection of humanities studies with the digital world. This intersection just keeps getting bigger, as more people do more things digitally, and invent more ways that we can answer questions using computers. -Alice Hickcox, Emory University, US


My lawyer advises me not to answer this question. But I have written a few thoughts on my blog. http://www.stanford.edu/~mjockers/cgi-bin/drupal/node/43 -Matthew Jockers, Stanford, USA


DH is a multi-discipline through which criticism, analysis, and speculation is focused on the past, present, and future of the human condition. -Richard Cunningham, Acadia University, Canada


Digital Humanities is a term that refers to materiality. I am a writer and a digital artist which means that ultimately my material is language. The digital half of digital humanities simply indicates how that language is executed. Digital Humanities is not an obscure field. It describes the art of the present by looking at new and familiar modes of representation. -Erin Costello, University of Colorado, Boulder, United States


Dan Cohen offers a fair definition (http://bit.ly/gVUpV7) with which I wholeheartedly agree. Of course, institutionally, it often makes more sense to describe it as a discipline (when offering a course in DH for example, or in organizing a conference) but I feel that these are rather more like contingent, not essential (if there can be such a thing) characterizations. -Arno Bosse, Göttingen State & University Library, Germany


Fairly broadly: the use of technology in communicating, discussing, thinking about the humanities. -Larry Swain, Bemidji State University, USA


The Digital Humanities is not just technology people and not just traditional humanistic scholars. It should include anyone interested in digital pedagogy and scholarship with a humanistic ethic. They might work under the hood, behind the technological screen or out front on the stage making it possible to collect and analyze the changing relationships of all agents involved in determining the human condition in the 21st century. -Dickie Selfe, Ohio State University, USA


Digital Humanities is the acknowledgement that human creativity is, for the moment, deeply entangled with our technological tools and networks. The media extensions cannot be separated from our reality. -Anastasia Salter, University of Baltimore, USA


The democratization of knowledge through the application of digital technologies to the advancement of discourse in the humanities, broadly defined (and not restricted to the academy!). -Aden Nichols, Unaffiliated Digital Humanist, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA


The use of digital tools and methods in humanities study and dissemination. -Geoffrey Rockwell, U of Alberta, Canada


The use of digital technologies to formulate innovative reseach questions in the humanities and to investigate in new ways the primary materials (text, image, sound. object) with which humanities scholars are concerned. A field of engagement in which technology, textuality and humanities converge. -Andrew Prescott, HATII, University of Glasgow, Scotland


The digital humanities is a blanket term for many different types of activities. For researchers, I believe it is a philosophy that there are answers to questions that cannot be answered without the aid of machines. For exhibitors, it is a belief that computers can be used to enhance the visitor experience. For all, it is an understanding that while our own minds may have limits, that need not limit what we can do or know. -Adam Crymble, King's College London, UK


the application of information, computing, and communication technologies to humanities questions, problems, or data -Ethan Watrall, Michigan State University


Digital Humanities is the application of digital tools to the work of humanists and the creation of humanist works in the digital realm. Its applications encompass research and teaching. -Aaron Gulyas, Mott Community College, USA


For me, it's a number of different things. It might be humanistic research that incorporates digital tools, the act of building a digital archive or scholarly edition, finding new ways of displaying research or involving an audience in the research process, or building new tools for humanistic inquiry. -Miriam Posner, Emory University, USA


DH is the umbrella that shelters critical hackers and theorists of the hack from the vitriol of analog hacks. -Alex Colibri, University of Virginia, USA


The application of computing and web-based tools in Humanities research. -Anne Welsh, University College London, UK


Digital Humanities is, increasingly, just Humanities - as far as I'm concerned. New tools lead to new methodologies, new perspectives, and new questions that all humanists should be aware of and concerned with. -Benjamin Albritton, Stanford University, USA


I understand DH as the iterative design and application of digital research and teaching tools to meet the real-world needs of living, breathing humans. This could include students (I'll be working on a pilot digital writing assessment study that day) or cultural stakeholders (I'll also be working on a long-term project involving the design of a digital archive for cultural stakeholders). -Jim Ridolfo, University of Cincinnati, USAN


To borrow someone else's words, it's an intersection of technology and Humanities and uses the brains of people across disciplines. DH subsets (text mining, data mining, mashups) can allow scholarship to flourish in ways we never thought possible by adding quantitative value and allowing traditional scholars to find new patterns in their work which they may have otherwise missed. -Debbie Maron, Zotero-CHNM, USA


DH is inquiry enabled by digital methodologies or modes of research, dissemination, design, preservation, and communication that rely on algorithms, software, and or the internet network for processing data. -Tanya Clement, University of Maryland, USA


Digital Humanities is what humanities will be in the future. It is public, dialogical, collaborative and made of collectives. It allows for remixing and re-imagining how we think and analyze traditional forms of knowledge creation, knowledge sharing and knowledge storage. -Jade E. Davis, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA


Using digital technologies and tools to ask questions, do research, hypothesize, and analyse, and present human cultural heritage. -Meagan Timney, University of Victoria, Canada


The study and practice of using technology for humanities-based research, teaching and collaboration. -Jana Remy, Chapman University & UC Irvine, USA


At its core, the Digital Humanities is the use of digital tools to gather, organize, analyze, and present scholarly research in the humanities. Humanists seek to understand the world and cultures in which people live and have lived through a variety of disciplines including literature, English and other modern languages, philosophy, art, art history, and history. While many of the questions humanists seek to answer have not changed, new technology, like text mining, dynamic visualizations, and spatial analysis, provide humanists ways to ask new questions and view old questions differently. -Brian Sarnacki, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA


The Digital Humanities are awesome! We're seeing increased cross-pollination between fields like writing and science, literature and computers, history and engineering. Plus, there are so many new interactive tools that allow us to (re)discover ideas in a new way! -Kim Lacey, Wayne State University, USA


It's about bringing a humanities perspective to all things digital; and in my area, Roman archaeology, building something new to answer old and never-before-possible questions.

Which is to say, I don't know what it is, but I know it when I see it... -Shawn Graham, Carleton, Canada


All disciplines that are used to study human knowledge and culture are known as Humanities. Digital Humanities are all those same subjects conducted by using digital tools to expand human knowledge and culture. To understand how we expand our knowledge and culture though digital tools. As an example, Sociology that is classified within Humanities, if it studies social behavior, relationships and communications between different users on a network, we could talk about Digital Sociology. -Paz Tornero, Complutense de Madrid, Spain


For me Digital Humanities explores how and whether we can apply technology to our experience of history, heritage and culture. DH questions how technology changes the environment around us, physical and digital, and discusses whether those changes are for the better. I believe the concept of digital humanities is much more then just humanities computing; as society becomes increasingly digital, it become a way of life and it is important to understand how and why that is happening. -Claire Ross, University College London, UK


The scholarly study and use of computers and computer culture to illuminate the human record. (BUSA remix) -Ernesto Priego, University College London, United Kingdom


As mentioned above, to me the key aspects of Digital Humanities are the digitisation of materials, and their dissemination to the general public. Work in this field needs to be outward focussed, as much as it is focussed on the furthering of research. The nature of the digital age is that information can be readily shared, that research can take on a far more collaborative nature, and this approach is of importance to all areas of academic study, including the humanities. Presentation, functionality, and ease of use are, in my opinion, as important as the content of digital archives in all disciplines. -Daniel Burt, University of Oxford, UK


Innovative uses of digital tools to do the work of the humanities. -Doug Reside, NYPL, United States


I was a computer programmer long before I was a 'professional' humanist; I think in terms of efficient processes and scalable systems. This has interesting results sometimes when I think about historical research. To me, digital humanities is most usefully defined as the thing humanities can become when we aren't limited by the ability of a lone mind, or even the ability of a group of human minds alone, to detect patterns and analyze evidence. -Tara L Andrews, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Switzerland


For me, but this is very specific, Digital Humanities is to interconnect humanities researchers, software developers and infrastructure providers in order to contribute to the research and the research possibilties in this discipline. -Douwe Zeldenrust, Meertens Institute (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences), The Netherlands


Digital Humanities is a term used to define the technical evolutionary aspect of modern humanities scholarship. Digital Humanities seeks to take advantage of new modes of technologically enabled scholarship to ensure the contemporaneous relevance and future preservation of classical, traditional and historical modes and approaches of scholarship native to the humanities. -Michael J Maguire, University College Dublin, Ireland


Humanities by digital means. -Franz Fischer, Royal Irish Academy, Ireland


With extreme reluctance. -Lou Burnard, UK


Digital libraries are a great example of an outcome of Digital Humanities. The interaction and combination of the new digital era with history, librarianship, literature, etc. gives a wider frame for researchers of all different branches to work in. Now the full texts of important writers are just a click away! -Ines Jerele, National and University Library, Slovenia, Slovenia


I think that increasingly there is a little of the digital in almost all research in the humanities. This makes Digital Humanities much harder to define but it makes it more relevant than ever. Digital Humanities is technical and it is also highly theoretical. For this reason, as digital technologies help to enhance research in the humanities, the humanities are also helping us to better understand the implications of the digital.

Digital Humanities is, as far as I am concerned, an opportunity for the Humanities to participate in and help help develop understandings of the spead of digital technologies. -Gareth Beale, University of Southampton, UK


The digital humanities study how digital media (formats and tools) and the cultural forms associated with them affect the work of the humanities -- and vice versa. -Lewis Ulman, The Ohio State University, USA


Digital Humanities is the application of computer technology to make intellectual inquiries in the humanities that either could not be made using traditional methods or are made significantly faster and easier with computer technology. It can include both using digital tools to make these inquiries or developing these tools for others to use. -Matthew Zimmerman, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, United States


DH is anything that combines imagining, planning, building, and creating, using a digital medium, with language, literature, history, philosophy, art, music, etc. Anyone comfortable with a computer and interested in the humanities probably participates in Digital Humanities, whether formally (with support from a fellowship or institution, with a planned and mediated project) or informally (through compiling notes and information in multimedia form). We have as much to learn from the informal processes as the formal. -Jasmine Mulliken, University of Texas, USA


I work in digital literary studies and archives primarily, so I think about digital humanities in terms of the interactions between texts of various sorts and a wide array of digital environments. While my work is focused in this way, I generally conceive of DH as a field interested in the intersections between humanities-based research and teaching and computing technologies and literacies. This would include the humanities which take artistic production as their subject, but also the fine arts and performative practices. -Jacqueline Wernimont, Scripps College, USA


Digital Humanities is a critical investigation and practice of the methods of humanities research in the digital medium. -Julia Flanders, Brown University, USA


Digital humanities is a meta-field, a set of co-evolving new knowledge and best practices expanding from traditional humanities disciplines into born-digital research and teaching methods. Digital humanists study all objects and practices of concern to analog humanities, plus those made possible by the digital age. Digital humanists also build tools that make it possible for themselves, their students and the world at large to engage critically with our cultural heritage. -Vika Zafrin, Boston University, USA


I don't define Digital Humanities any more. All humanities seems to be digital in one way or another. -Martin Holmes, University of Victoria, Canada


I don't: I'm sick of trying to define it. When forced to, I'll make the referent the people instead of the ideas or methods -- Digital Humanities is the thing practiced by people who self-identify as Digital Humanists. It's helpful to have a name for the field chiefly for institutional authority. Though granted I think it does involve coding / making / building / doing things with computers, things related to, you know, the humanities. -Amanda French, Center for History and New Media, USA


I like to define Digital Humanities as a set of new activities for humanists instead of a field of study, because Digital Humanities involve something more than a methodology or an interest on a topic. Implies a complete different attitude towards humanities, the understanding, use and creation of new tools, and a alternative way to communicate the findings. This is something that involves you completely. -Ernesto Priani, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Méxco, Mexico


Digital Humanities is a way to ask, redefine, and answer questions with a more intelligent set of tools. -Lik Hang Tsui, University of Oxford, United Kingdom


Digital humanities integrates the acquisition of knowledge through research methods, as well as the expression of intellectual material through emergent technologies and media. This is achieved through technologies (i.e. mobile devices, wireless access, and digitalization), and online platforms (i.e. social media, Web 2.0 applications, and other emergent media). Together these invite a new epistemological way to know and investigate our world. -Claire Menck, Antioch University, United States


The utilization of technologies to help increase the level/types of research, The dissemination of said systems to communities involved in the use of humanities resources, and the study of systems design theories as applied within the realm of humanities. -Alberto Martinez, El Colegio de Mexico, Mexico


Digital Humanities are the application and the use of computing tecnologies for the research, teaching and investigation in the disciplines of the humanities. -Ali Albarran, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico


for me Digital Humanities is the filed where the information is delivered in an electronic form to an audience in the humanities field. today the delivery of the information in an electronic form almost has no boundaries. One could easily send a message to one or multiple recipients just from his email account, posting on a blog or simply from his Facebook account (posting a Wall status update). The users around the world are all interconnected together and regardless if one chose to send a message from his yahoo account to an AOL one that is totally possible as now all the separated networks (e.g. AOL, Yahoo) are connected under one umbrella: The Internet. Before, one AOL user was able to send a message just to the members from his network (AOL). Today, the technical developments made possible that everybody could be connected in real time, to anyone else. The information in electronic form can be transmitted not just to those proficient in computing science but also to those interested in modem languages, law, or arts. The capability and easiness of how the digital information can be transmitted/shared/used, not just between and to computing science related individuals but also to humanities related ones, is the core of the digital humanities field. -Dan Manolescu, Belgium


Digital Humanities is to me the use and abuse of technology to potential improve study within the field of humanities. It stretches from a simple blog to complex corpus tools to whatever the next person can think of. -Chris, Cambridge University, UK


Digital humanities uses computers, software and the web to enable and publish the ever new work of humanities scholars. -Orla Murphy, University College Cork, Ireland


Digital Humanities is the interaction, interrelation, and intersection of technology, culture, language, and literature. -Edmond Chang, University of Washington, US


I think it's a convenient label, but fundamentally, I don't believe in it. There are people who haven't yet attempted to come to grips with how digital tools and methods can change research, teaching, and outreach in the Humanities, and these are those who have. The latter are Digital Humanities types. But it's all Wissenschaft. -Hugh Cayless, NYU, USA


Development and application of specialist digital resources for research in the humanities -David Robey, Oxford University, UK


DH fosters the evolution of scholarship, engenders collaboration and dialogue, and widens access and participation across the arts and humanities (and the MLA sector) via the application of digital methods and techniques. -Paul Vetch, King's College London, UK


Digital Humanities is an interdisciplinary area that may include the application of methodologies and research agendas from computer science and other informatics-heavy and quantitative sciences to the subject area of traditional humanities disciplines, such as literature, history and languages. -Gabriel Bodard, King's College London, UK


My definition is an expansive/ecumenical one. I see Digital Humanities as an umbrella concept bringing together all of the different ways in which the computer, and especially the internet, have transformed humanities work. It includes using computer methods to mark and analyze analog humanities products, adapting the distinctive features of the World Wide Web for the production and presentation of humanities research, and bringing humanities methods to the evaluation of the entirely new genres of expression made possible by computers. -John Theibault, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, USA


I am currently using a short definition, which is that Digital Humanities is a combination of using computer technologies to study human cultures and studying the effect of computer technologies on human cultures. -Scott Kleinman, California State University, Northridge, USA


Digital Humanities involves the mining of sources, using new media tools, so we can interrogate the past with new questions. -James G.R. Cronin, University College Cork, Ireland


A creative ongoing fest where everybody is invited, but in which only a small bunch of techno people participates! -Paule Mackrous, CIAC's e-magazine, Canada


I hate this question, and I don't have an answer for it. Neither, it seems, does a large portion of the people who might be called Digital Humanists. I'll leave it at that. -Justin Tonra, University of Virginia, USA


For this project we are going for the broadest definition of Digital Humanities- the interdisciplinary field that seeks to understand the impact and relationship of computing and the Humanities. By DH projects we are seeking to document websites, databases, tools, digitilization projects, CDs and so forth that have been created to aid and support humanities research. We are aware that some DH projects can ovelap with digital libraries or teaching aids and digital learning objects. -Isabel Galina, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, México


DH mixes computing technologies and new media literacy with traditional fields in humanities, making use of accumulated information. It is a multidisciplinary field, and so very hard to contain within traditional boundaries. Both DH and design are complex playgrounds, maybe that's why designers love to be part of DH projects. -Carlos Fiorentino, University of Alberta, Canada


The theorizing, developing and application of/on computational techniques to humanities subjects. -Edward Vanhoutte, Centre for Scholarly Editing and Document Studies / Royal Academy of Dutch Language and Literature, Belgium


Broadly construed, digital humanities is the use of digital media and technology to advance the full range of thought and practice in the humanities, from the creation of scholarly resources, to research on those resources, to the communication of results to colleagues and students. -Dan Cohen, George Mason University, USA


I define digital humanities, loosely, as the use of computers and the Internet to advance research, teaching, and scholarly communication in the humanities, as well the study of computing's significance for the humanities. Many activities would fall under this definition, including building tools and collections, using tools and collections to discern patterns in humanities data, communicating the results of humanities research through multimodal and/or interactive publications, linking together classes using social networking technologies, and analyzing the significance of networked culture. I also define digital humanities by its community and its ethos, which I view as being committed to openness, experimentation, collegiality, transdisciplinarity, public knowledge, and innovation. -Lisa Spiro, Rice University, USA


The Digital Humanities are – or should be – a movement in the Humanities that aims to design, develop, promote, and use digital tools to support work – academic or not – in the various disciplines of the Humanities. It strongly encourages, benefits from, and contributes to interdisciplinary practices, including beyond the Humanities. I hope that these practices will soon be so natural to the Humanities that they won’t need to be qualified Digital anymore. -Segolene Tarte, University of Oxford, UK


I define Digital Humanities as a praxis and also as a field, and in this way it reminds me of Romanticism, also a praxis and a field in my opinion. As a practice, DH involves making and/or thinking about digital objects or entities that participate in or contribute to Humanities disciplines. As a field, it perhaps includes the growing body of electronic literary texts (either e-born or book-born) and archival projects as well as theory and criticism related to digital technologies. I'm sure I'm leaving something out, but this is a start. -Kirstyn Leuner, University of Colorado, Boulder, United States


Studying what makes us tick using digital resources -Elton Barker, The Open University, UK


The digital humanities is what digital humanists do. What digital humanists do depends largely on academic discipline but also on level of technical expertise. Each discipline, with varying degrees of intensity, has over the years developed a set of favored methods, tools, and interests that, although shared with other disciplines, remains connected to the discipline. The task of the digital humanities, as a trans-curricular practice, is to bring these practitioners into communication with each other, and to cultivate a discourse that captures the shared praxis of bringing technologies of representation, computation, and communication to bear on the work of interpretation that defines the humanities. -Rafael Alvarado, University of Virginia, USA


Humanity (and not just the humanities) mediated through the largest extant body politic. A global vehicle (and personal prosthetic) for containing what it is to be human and humanist--within and without the academy. -Robert Long, University of Oregon, USA


Somewhere between a toolset and a mindset, to do DH is to confront the assumptions and implications of the long analog history of the word. -Matthew Fisher, UCLA, USA


The intersection of humanities and computer technologies -Lorna Richardson, UCL, UK


Digital Humanities: A riddle the humanist has to tackle now if he wants to be a contemporary of his own time. — See also: Computer; Conundrum; Humanités numériques. -Aurélien Berra, Université Paris-Ouest, France


The practice of the humanities using digital media. -Mike O'Malley, George Mason University, USA


«The digital era is being born from the change of the support itself in the Human Sciences thought, with the transformation of our relationship to textuality. This digital turn happens in the context of a crisis in the Human sciences, first a financial crises, but also an institutional and politic one, even if it is softer in Switzerland. In this context, the «Humanités digitales» – a label diversely interpreted – offer the opportunity to think again our ways of building and transmitting knowledge. The DH are at the same time a practice and a problematic. They include not only the sum total of the digital technologies applied to the Human sciences, but eminently the questioning on the modifications provoked by these technologies, from the point of view of the training et of the knowledge transmission in the Human sciences». http://www3.unil.ch/wpmu/digitalera2011/humanites-digitalesunil-meetings/?lang=en -Claire Clivaz, University of LaUSAnne, Switzerland


The development of new digital methodologies that, combined with traditional humanities methodologies, expands the kinds of research that humanists can do in their own field and in interdisciplinary projects. -Kalani Craig, Indiana University, USA


For me, the digital humanities encompasses teaching and scholarship based around a commitment to building. Building doesn't necessarily mean coding. For me, building means understanding and critically analyzing how artifacts (writing, music, film, even houses, arguments, and groups of people) are put together, with the intention of being able to produce something out of the mass of objects and relations that make up our world. -Roger Whitson, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA


I think digital humanities is an unfortunate neologism, largely because the humanities itself is a problematic term. The biggest problem is that the tent isn't big enough! I have participated in a number of DH events and they are strikingly similar to things like Science Online.

With that said, DH is at its best when it embraces the digital not simply as a means to the traditional ends of scholarship, but when it transforms the nature of what humanists do. The digital allows for scholars, librarians, archivists and curators to engage much more directly with each other and the public. Further, it allows them not simply to write for each other, but to build things for everyone. -Trevor Owens, Library of Congress, USA


Digital Humanities to me is any activity that engages computational media to develop and explore ideas relevant to our understanding of literature and culture. -Sigi Jottkandt, Open Humanities Press, Australia


The performance of humanities related activities in, through and with digital media. -Christopher Long, Penn State University, USA


A methodological approach that uses digital tools to pursue research in the humanities, and also study of the field of the digital environment. -Michael Cade-Stewart, Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, UK


An obscure association famously made up of isolated people jointly concerned about the materiality of digital surrogates, the virtual qualities of physical relationships between avatars, and the creation of their own simulated utopia. -Alejandro Giacometti, University College London, United Kingdom


Digital Humanities, at least for me, is an extension of the root Arts and Humanities disciplines. My experience tells me that computing and technology has led to many new resources and even more answers to research questions. Crucially, it's allowed the researchers I've worked closely with to ask new, previously unimaginable questions. Digital Humanities is a culture, a way of thinking, a new set of methods, and a new set of collaborations. -David Beavan, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom


How do you define Digital Humanities? (2010)

Good question, to which there is no good answer, but rather just more questions. My own interpretation is quite broad, but there are two ways of seeing DH which interest me - one is generous and encompasses all work combining humanities research and digital tools and methodology etc, and the other would be rather narrower in definition, reflecting on the specific contribution which 'the digital' can make to humanities scholarship and on the 'new scholarship' which develops as a result. -Paul Spence, Kings College London, United Kingdom


A field of study that looks at the application of digital technology to the research areas of the humanities. It is not necessarily undertaking that humanities research, but examining the methodology and provision of possibilities for enabling that research or new conceptions of related research. The majority of work in this area, however, gets characterised by those outside the field as IT professionals just doing a bit of programming work for them while uselessly banging on about long-term preservation formats, open data, and not really doing real research. -James Cummings, University of Oxford, United Kingdom


In a world dominated by digital technology, DH is an attempt to let humanists catch up with the latest computing advances, understand them, criticize them, and eventually be able to determine their evolution 'from the inside'. In terms of a research program, though, DH is still largely undefined. We are still in the 'understanding and criticizing' phase, with only few people moving towards a truly 'creative' phase. We're pulled by the latest technologies developed within the other computing fields, hardly pushing back into these fields our own research results, for they are often perceived as too simplistic, or not generic enough. -Michele Pasin, King's College, London, United Kingdom


I define the digital humanities as a methodology and as a field. I don't see it as the logical telos of the humanities computing tradjectory, but rather as a parallel or sucessive movement. The digital humanities is a beautiful convergence of individuals interested in humanities scholarship, design, born-digital objects, technology and its impact on society, as well as contemporary history and culture. -Dana Solomon, University of California, Santa Barbara, United States


Digital humanities is the synthesis of technical competencies in computing with critical thinking in fields such as history, literary criticism, cultural studies, textual studies, and information management. -Jentery Sayers, University of Washington, USA


A decade ago the humanities comprised academic disciplines that were most easily named by reference to the rules governing the American National Endowment for the Humanities. Digital tools have and are breaking down the distinctions among those disciplines as well as between the traditional "humanities" and other fields--the arts, for example. Digital tools are encouraging collaborative and open research. Digital tools are forcing us to rethink our definition of academic. Digital tools are re-defining "scholar." Digital tools may be pointing the way toward new ways of contemplation and contribution. The digital humanities is both a force for and a record of the ongoing changes. William Allen, Arkansas State University, Department of Art History. USA


The interaction between two world that cannot anymore be considered separately. -Enrica Salvatori, University of Pisa, Italy


One upon a time, a Humanist found a computer and looked around to figure out what s/he could do with it... -Jean-Philippe Magué, France


Humanities research that examines or implements methods made possible by computers. -Amanda Gailey, University of Nebraska, USA


Develop web and 2.0 activities for research. -Stéphane Pouyllau, CNRS, France


Digital Humanities, to me, is the practice of engaging in issues and discussions pertaining to Computing, and applying Humanities-based approaches for examining these issues. Conversely, the same could apply for looking at computing-based issues through a Humanities lens. -Sophia Hoosein, University of Alberta, Canada


A new collaborative and social way to analyse, investigate, study and show new research themes related to the Humanities, using not only computer and digital technologies but also the web and all the internet applications available. -anna caprarelli, Università degli studi della Tuscia, Italy


The digital humanities are a diverse area of potential research and inquiry ranging from applying humanities scholarship to computing problems (and vice versa, computing scholarship to humanities problems) to the more cultural and philosophical ideas surrounding our technology influenced world. -Ali Grotkowski, University of Alberta, Canada


Digital humanities is the utilization of digital technologies and methods that influence how I practice my craft in the humanities. It is directed by the theories about how we engage in various technologies to learn in the humanities. As a historian, I seek to understand how museums and archives engage with digital tools and to understand how individuals utilize such tools to learn about the past. -Brenda M. Trofanenko, Acadia University, Canada


Digital Humanities is a difficult concept to define; for me DH explores how and whether we can apply technology to our experience of history, heritage and culture. DH questions how technology changes the environment around us, physical and digital, and discusses whether those changes are for the better. I believe the concept of digital humanities is much more then just humanities computing; as society becomes increasingly digital, it become a way of life and it is important to understand how and why that is happening. -Claire Ross, University College London, UK


The convergence of computing and humanities scholarship and practices for the purpose of finding new approaches to the study of a given topic. -Craig Harkema, University of Saskatchewan, Canada


Its a rather 'protean' discipline at the moment, I think. -Charles Travis, Trinity Long Room Hub, Ireland


humanities by digital means. -franz fischer, royal irish academy, ireland


Humanism and its universe, digitally. -Guyda Armstrong, University of Manchester, UK


Work that engages with the development of digital tools or uses these same tools within the traditional scope of Humanities. -Henriette Roued-Cunliffe, University of Oxford, United Kingdom


Digital Humanities involves the use of computers, the internet and related technologies to enable the creation and sharing of humanities scholarship in ways not possible in traditional humanities practice. Digital Humanities challenges traditional understandings of the Humanities by fostering interdisciplinary collaborations and providing new perspectives on the objects of humanistic inquiry. -Jason Boyd, University of Toronto, Canada


Digital Humanities is the deliberate, critical application of emerging technology to the study of traditional subjects such as literature, art, philosophy, and language, often (but not always) with a focus on how those traditional fields are now using emerging technology. We are deliberate and critical when we foreground the study of our own digital tools (for example, the forward-thinking digital humanist prefers the open-source tool to the proprietary one). We apply technology because we must participate in digital culture in order to understand it. Full participation in digital culture means contributing to (creating) the cultural economy, not simply observing (consuming). -Dennis Jerz, Seton Hill University, USA


There's no way to divide humanities from its digital basis just as there was no way of separating the humanities from their previous (still alive) analog medium, the paper. We live, write, read, learn, work, digitally, and we create, deliver and use every content digitally as well. -Joaquin Rodriguez, EOI (School of Industrial Organization), Spain


Anything that involves production, sharing and co-creation of experience with digital tools. May also be called local knowledge management. -Joel C. Yuvienco, Asian University Digital Resource Network, Philippines


Using computers to advance scholarship in the humanities. -John Lavagnino, King's College London, United Kingdom


The most concise way that I've defined humanities computing is: a digital component for disciplines in the humanities. Humanities Computing works towards answering "yes" to questions in the nature of - is this possible? The definition of Digital Humanities can change every day and is something that we're constantly redefining. -Joyce Yu, University of Alberta, Canada


Bringing digital computing technologies to bear in humanities-based modes of inquiry, and/or bringing humanities-based modes of inquiry to bear in digital computing technologies. -Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Pomona College, USA


Application of computer-based methods for the Humanities. Though, on some occasions, I prefer "Humanities Computing" to make clearer that these applications often have to be developed and that a lot of basic research is required. What I do not like about the term "DH" is that it implies that there is digital humanities as opposed to non-digital humanities. But there is not. In the future, computer-based methods will be naturally used by any scholar. It is not like experimental vs. theoretical physics. -Malte Rehbein, University of Wuerzburg, Germany


Digital Humanities is to me really an umbrella term for 1) "Code Studies" -- the name proposed by Mark Marino; 2) textual encoding and archival curation; 3) public humanities; 4) data mining and visualization; 5) software engineering. -Laura Mandell, Miami University, USA


I define Digital Humanities as the natural evolution or extension of traditional academic humanities pursuits specifically through the use of digital technologies. -Michael J. Maguire, University College Dublin, Ireland


Digital humanities is an interdisciplinary, often collaborative meeting place where computing addresses the interests and concerns founded in the humanities (and vice versa). At times, digital humanities is highly applied and, at other times, theoretical and reflective, but always diverse and complex. -milena radzikowska, university of alberta, Canada


I think of "Digital Humanities" is a vague and ambiguous term; in fact, I think it causes a fair amount of confusion both inside and outside of the academy. DH is an umbrella term that, depending on who you are talking to, covers a huge territory: everything from applied text analysis and corpus stylistics to the more esoteric and theoretical realms of video game criticism. -Matthew Jockers, Stanford Unv., USA


From using computer in another way than a typewriter to large infrastructures for research : I do prefer a large definition to grab all uses of IT linked to literary studies (which is my field). Ideally, it covers literary studies as well as electronic/hypermediatic literature. -René Audet, Université Laval, Canada


It is the intersection between the humanities and computing science and information technology. It means using computing technologies in humanities work, or making modern information technology the subject of humanities research, or creating humanities-focused technology. Note that its rarer to find the second definition actually being done, which is really too bad. -Silvia Russell, University of Alberta, Canada


The Digital Humanities community continues and extends the traditions initiated within and long held by the conventional humanities teaching and research community; but Digital Humanists adopt computational approaches and technologically-driven methodologies to address traditional humanities problems and to research, respond to, and define new types of humanities problems and inquiry. -Stephanie Schlitz, Bloomsburg, USA


DH is a research discipline that bridges the gap between engineering and humanities. DH is not simply about engineering software for humanities scholars. Instead, DH is where disciplines from engineering and humanities combine their expertise in dealing with information per se. (And obviously, one potential outcome of such a joint research may be tools that can be used in the humanities.)

-Tim Weyrich, University College London, United Kingdom


Area studies focused on the integration of information and communication technologies (ICT) to research and education in the fields of the Arts and Humanities, and on the development of computing tools to further that research. -Stéphane Thibault, UQAM, Canada


Just as man is, according to Nietzsche, "the animal whose type is not yet determined" ("das noch nicht festgestellte Tier"), digital humanities are those kind of humanities who are as yet undefined. We cannot yet gauge the full impact of digital corpora on the future of scholarly research. We can only speculate what the effects will be of the increasingly digital nature of scholarly publishing. We do not yet grasp the consequences of applying computational methods to 'traditional' disciplines such as History, Literature, and Theatre Studies. My digital humanities are fundamentally a playground for experimentation. -Thomas Crombez, University of Antwerp, Belgium


For me, 'digital humanities' is 'humanities amid the digital capabilities we have'. Most of my programming and scripting is less about consciously defining new digital paradigms for humanities research and much more about 'eradicating the boring and repetitive research tasks, making my life easier thereby'. -Tara L Andrews, University of Oxford, United Kingdom


Using digital tools to pursue the traditional concerns of the humanities while simultaneously reflecting on and responding to ways that digital tools, media, and culture are transforming those concerns. -Lewis Ulman, The Ohio State University, USA


Digital humanities, for me, is heavily weighted toward the improvement of resources for researching and understanding literature and history. I see the digital humanities as not only offering tools to offload or streamline traditional research tasks, but as a way to gain new knowledge that was not previously possible by helping learners see new connections and resonances. Paul Conway speaks of digital archives as able to “transcend originals”, and I think of the digital humanities as taking a set of knowledge sources already available and creating something new through them. -Amanda Visconti, University of Michigan, USA


Para mí la Informática Humanística es la disciplina científica que permite acercar los estudios humanísticos a la época actual, utilizando las herramientas, metodologías y medios de difusión nuevo que ha puesto en nuestras manos la informática. -José Manuel Lucía Megías, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, España


The use of digital technology, including such tools as computers, video cameras and tape recorders at a minimum, to forward the traditional work of the humanities: the creation, storage and dissemination of critical and creative knowledge. -Keith Dorwick, The University of Louisiana at Lafayette, USA


To me, the digital humanities are about harnessing digital technologies and tools in the quest for understanding and sharing human expression and experience. At their most fruitful, digital technologies offer both scholars and a public audience new ways of seeing and understanding our cultural heritage and new ways of discerning patterns that were not possible (or were prohibitively difficult) with human analysis alone. -Justine Richardson, Michigan State University, USA


It's the coherent and necessary evolution in Humanities research and disclosure. I frankly believe that Digital media is a new tool that can help us expand our possibilities, but it can't and must not replace the traditional methods of gathering and exposing information -Carlos Ariel Páez Martínez, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico


I think that DH is a way to approach computer tools and languages from a critical point of view, to study and (try to) provide more structured and semantic digital contents. In a web of data, where contents are produced, shared and redistributed seamlessly trough different supports and devices (and space and time), this is a crucial issue. -Paolo Sordi, Università di Roma Tor Vergata, Italia


I like to define it as injecting a little humanity into the machine. Bad metaphor? How about: applying the lens of the social sciences to computing science, and using computing methods in humanities research.

But really, "Digital Humanities" just makes me think its practitioners are the first scholars to accept their cyborg-selves. -Eric Forcier, University of Alberta, Canada


I think Digital Humanities is a kind of "fast-acting glue" that allows scholars with different academic backgrounds to collaborate instantly. -Mitsuyuki Inaba, Ritsumeikan University, Japan


Learning and sharing about who we are as human beings, past and present, through digital media and tools; Helping to develop digital techniques, tools, and methodologies that benefit the study of the humanities. -Jeremy Boggs, Center for History and New Media, George Mason University, United States


I am a non-believer, in this and most things. Some humanists (very few now) only read and write printed books; some (more and more) read and write only on a computer screen; most of us do both. Should we have codicological humanists, then? -Peter Robinson, University of Birmingham, UK


Rather broadly: humanities teaching and research that makes use of computers and even more importantly internet applications as an integral component of either the teaching or the research. -Larry Swain, , USA


Digital Humanities is the use of digital technologies for the pursuit of a greater understanding of the humanities. An example of this would be the use of SQL, which is a database language, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to better understand ecclesiastical sites of Medieval Iceland. -John Wall, College of Charleston, United States of America


Digital humanities involves the application of the digital to work in the humanities, practiced self consciously. DH encourages the humanist to engage with the technology and not just to consume it. DH is best experienced as both theory and practice. -Elli Mylonas, Brown University, USA


Studying the impact of digital technologies on the humanities. Using emerging ICTs to create as well as study digital cultures and the impact of digital technologies on cultures and literacy practices. -Carl Whithaus, University of California, Davis, USA


Using computers to see and model what happens when people express themselves and communicate. -Neven Jovanovic, University of Zagreb, Croatia


Digital Humanities is a new term that describes what is probably an old activity (or collection of activities) but which gives us a fresh image or metaphor for that work, so that it can be seen with new eyes. It allows for new connections to be made across what were previously very separate fields of interest, which is the essence of imagination and the creation of new knowledge. -Susan Greenberg, University College London, United Kingdom


Humanist Computing is the application of computational methods and associated tools to address specific humanities research problems. Distinct from general computing approaches, Humanities Computing is embedded within the research concerns of the disciplines and sub-fields that make up the humanities. The methods employed in the field may be used to uncover new knowledge about corpora or to visualise research data in such a way as to uncover additional insights and meaning. Succinctly Humanities Computing is about structuring, analysing and communicating humanistic knowledge in a critical and authorial way using computing technology. -Craig Bellamy, The University of Melbourne, Australia


I define it as the use of dataprocessing technology and techniques applied to the development, research, reporting, and teaching of humanities research questions. -Daniel Paul O'Donnell, University of Lethbridge, AB


The digital humanities is the use of digital methods and technologies in humanities teaching and research. Humanities computing, by contrast, can be reserved for the study and development of those methods and technologies. -Geoffrey Rockwell, University of Alberta, Canada


I'll give the same definition from last year: I broadly define Humanities Computing/Digital Humanities as a field in which scholars within the humanities use or study computers or a digital environment (e.g. the WWW, video games, digital fiction, etc.) in their research. I consider myself to be a digital humanities researcher because I am studying digital short fiction and its communities in my thesis, but also because I sometimes use social science methods and computing tools (online questionnaires, quantitative/qualitative analysis, etc.), which reflects the interdisciplinary nature of humanities computing. -Susan Hesemeier, Grant MacEwan University, Canada


Digital humanities is a field of study characterized by critical analysis of the relationship between the produced surfaces of digital media and the information structures and cultural structures that produce them; alternatively (or additionally) it is characterized by a critical interest in how humanities scholarship is produced, consumed, and transformed in and through digital media. -Julia Flanders, Brown University, USA


Digital Humanities is any attempt to incorporate digital understandings or culture into scholarship, pedagogy and service. For my particular reasons, I define Digital Humanities as an attempt to use computing methods to understand 19th Century British literature from a book historians point of view. As a teacher, I use Digital Humanities to create a bridge among myself, my students and our contemporary culture. We use all kinds of tools to get into 19th Century print culture, and not just tools to assess the 19th Century moment but to also create content that can serve as a critique of our own use of tools, such as Twitter, Moodle, ClassSpot, tech-enhanced teaching facilities. For instance, we explore gaming as a way to discuss the technological upheaval of the printing press in the early 1900s. That's just a tidbit of my world as a Digital Humanist. -Katherine D. Harris, San Jose State University, USA


for me, its the use of computing technologies to allow humanities research that would otherwise prove impossible. -Melissa Terras, University College London, UK


Digital Humanities refers to efforts to link the humanities disciplines with the ever-increasing role of technology in the academy, the scholarly community, and the life of the mind as it is made manifest throughout our evermore global intellectual community. It ranges from undergraduate blogs on energy-savings (sponsored by sustainability initiatives at numerous institutions) to rarified reflections on rhetorical analysis, via word-count searches, of Lord Byron's journals. Digital knowledge-work will define the activity of humanities researchers, scholars, and teachers in the coming decades. (See also my 2009 definition) -Ashton Nichols, Dickinson College, USA


My definition has changed a bit from last year. I continue to regard the digital humanities as a method, or set of methods, as opposed to a full-blown discipline. I subscribe to Unsworth's claim in "Knowledge Representation" that digital methods are interpretive frameworks to place alongside others, such as new historicism or deconstruction. But I am more sensitive now to the effects that method has on discipline in the first place, and how the distinction is not entirely stable. I also believe that some curricular space should be devoted to media fluency, just as we devote time to writing. -Rafael Alvarado, University of Virginia, USA


I prefer the term Humanities Computing as I think "Digital" is reductive to the Computing Science portion of the term. My definition for that term is: Any project which combines computing problems with humanities methods, humanities problems with computing methods, or the creation of new objects of study that are somewhere on that continuum. -Matthew Bouchard, , Canada


DH is the use of computing technologies to enhance humanities research and the use of humanities methodologies to enhance computing technologies. It's hallmark is interdisciplinarity. DH is about recognizing digital technologies as yet another tool to assist in humanities research - not the only tool - and also about recognizing that the humanities must play a strong role in shaping digital technologies in the future. -Paul Youngman, University of North Carolina-Charlotte, USA


the development, study and use of digital tools in the arts and humanities -Stephen Woodruff, HATII University of Glasgow, UK


Using digital media to explore, create, analyse and decode meanings in cultural products, current affairs and social life. -Alex Sevigny, McMaster University, Canada


I think the beginning of my course description for Humanities Computing may be a start: In 1924, I. A. Richards began Principles of Literary Criticism by declaring, “a book is a machine to think with.” As the technology of texts has shifted over the ensuing 85 years, our understanding of the book-machine and how we think about/with it has also evolved. In this course, we will explore non-traditional modes of literature (aka “New Media”) along with computational methods for analyzing texts. We will be working with some of the more advanced aspects of XML, XSLT, XHTML and CSS. Additionally, we will be considering many theoretical works that have an established place in the Digital Humanities canon . . . -Sara Steger, University of Georgia, USA


Modelling and recording traditional humanities data sets in such a way that they can be read by both humans and machines. -Steven Hayes, University of Sydney, Australia


DH is that which happens digitally in each of the disciplines of the humanities. It is to be distinguished from humanities computing, which is what these separate digital activities have in common and which takes place at some kind of institutional centre, be it physical or notional. -Willard McCarty, King's College London, U.K.


Digital Humanies is using digital accesories / equipment / as a modern technical support for studing / researching in Humanities,, e. g. literary science. -Milena Mileva BLAZIC, University of Ljubljana, faculty of Education, Slovenia


How do you define Humanities Computing / Digital Humanities? (2009)


An ongoing, active, open action to take or develop tools and content that give all scholars access to materials that they need and to encourage sharing of materials. These materials fall mostly into the areas traditionally associated with the humanities. The very activity of aggressively growing research in an open environment will doubtless change the definitions and limitations that former labels gave to us and our disciplines. -William Allen, Arkansas Stat University


Digital Humanities is the marriage of two areas of study heretofore considered incompatible - IT and the humanities. DH primarily involves the use of IT to gain new insights into the humanities. The keywords are scale, navigation, and exchange. These tools afford the humanist the ability to analyze large bodies of work on a previously unimagined scale. They also allow for ease of research/data navigation and provide an efficient means of research/data exchange. Secondarily, DH involves an analysis of the humanistic implications of information technology. - Paul Youngman, University of North Carolina-Charlotte


Digital humanities attempts to bring humanistic inquiry and the artifacts of human experience into useful dialogue with digital technology. It is, at once, a practical and a philosophical endeavor: a matter of building and of theorizing the built. Practitioners are as likely to be adept at Java as they are post-structuralism; as drawn to the iPhone as they are to Moby Dick; as committed to a kind of optimistic futurism as they are deeply skeptical of a posthuman condition. Digital humanities is also one of most exciting fields in the humanities today, with a burgeoning community of enthusiasts ranging from undergraduate students to senior scholars. - Stephen Ramsay, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


The development, study and application of new technology techniques and methods to traditional modes of scholarship. - Stephen Woodruff, HATII, University of Glasgow


Digital Humanities is any attempt to incorporate digital understandings or culture into scholarship, pedagogy and service. For my particular reasons, I define Digital Humanities as an attempt to use computing methods to understand 19th Century British literature from a book historians point of view. As a teacher, I use Digital Humanities to create a bridge among myself, my students and our contemporary culture. We use all kinds of tools to get into 19th Century print culture, and not just tools to assess the 19th Century moment but to also create content that can serve as a critique of our own use of tools, such as Twitter, Moodle, ClassSpot, tech-enhanced teaching facilities. For instance, we explore gaming as a way to discuss the technological upheaval of the printing press in the early 1900s. That's just a tidbit of my world as a Digital Humanist. - Katherine D. Harris, San Jose State University


I define humanities computing as the field of study that helps to provide insight into the human condition through digital technologies. The methods and techniques used in the digital humanities can be varied: algorithms for emergent art, the application of procedural rhetorics to explore sociocultural issues, or the design and analysis of procedures to make computing technologies more human-friendly. Research methods related to the digital humanities can be hermeneutic (e.g., what are the hidden cultural and social layers within technological practice, and what do they tell us about particular discourse communities?), ontological (e.g., how do I project my own beliefs, desires, and values onto a personal avatar?), or purely practical (e.g., how can I digitize this text to make it available and searchable to those audiences who do not have the means or ability to access a physical copy?) Humanities computing and the digital humanities are of vital importance as they keep technological systems human-centered, leaving room for creativity, exploration, and playfulness. The famous interdisciplinary German thinker G. W. Leibniz pursued the dream of the Universal Computer as a means for freeing up the human mind for more creative and enjoyable pursuits; although information overload and the increased workload of distributed industries have made this goal quite challenging, I feel that the field of digital humanities does more to advance this philosophy of creative playfulness and exploration perhaps more than any other area of scholarly study. - Rudy McDaniel, University of Central Florida


For me, the digital humanities is not a discipline per se, but a set of beliefs, theories, practices, methods, and artifacts associated with the use of digital technologies to support, extend, and transform traditional humanistic fields. It cross-cuts the traditional humanities. I follow Erwin Panofsky's definition of the humanities as those disciplines concerned with interpreting the "records left by man." (Sexism not intended.) Among the specific items in the assemblage of artifacts and ideas that currently characterize the field are (1) the use XML in a variety of forms, including TEI and serial RDF, to encode texts and data, and (2) the use of mathematical graph theory as a unifying language for describing texts, minds, and societies, and other organis(m|ation)s. - Rafael Alvarado, Dickinson College


Humanist Computing is the application of computational methods and associated tools to address specific humanities research problems. Distinct from general computing approaches, Humanities Computing is embedded within the research concerns of the disciplines and sub-fields that make up the humanities. The methods employed in the field may be used to uncover new knowledge about corpora or to visualise research data in such a way as to uncover additional insights and meaning. Succinctly Humanities Computing is about structuring, analysing and communicating humanistic knowledge in a critical and authorial way using computing technology. - Craig Bellamy, King's College London


Digital Humanities, from my perspective as an educator, has to do with helping students use the skills they have (and are learning) as writers and critical thinkers to compose and critique multi-media works in both academia and their daily lives. - Amanda Cash, College of Lake County


Creating, documenting, deploying and supporting software used in Humanities teaching and research; digitization, archiving and publication of Humanities texts through electronic means; using digital tools to generate and answer research questions related to Humanities texts; collaborating on Humanities projects through digital means; etc. etc... - Martin Holmes, University of Victoria


'Digital' Humanities is a misnomer: there nothing to essentially distinguish it from the disciplines of Arts and Letters as practised for centuries. Just as scientists who utilise grid-computing are not 'digital scientists' but still 'scientists', and fiction authors who publish in hypertext are not 'digital novelists', those working in Arts and Letters who use and generate digital materials and digital tools remain 'humanists'. - Matthew Steven Carlos, Europäische Universität für Interdisziplinäre Studien


Applying spatial information technologies in the field of archaeology is my main subject. But as archaeological data are 'weak', i.e. might have multiple meanings in different contexts, I'm trying to follow up developments in Digital Humanities as a whole. Especially as it is not an established field in German scholarship. - Kai-Christian Bruhn, University of Applied Sciences Mainz, KCB


For those us invested in literary studies and bibliophilism, digital humanities may seem like a contradictory and terrifying set of terms. Yet, the divide between the humanities and digital technologies seems to be increasingly blurred, thus rendering “digital humanities” a complementary set of terms rather than a contradiction. Computing within the humanities is to utilize current computer technologies in the pursuit of literary studies. Digital humanities is the conjoining of different areas of disciplines in order to achieve a richer and more collaborative workspace; digital humanities signals the move towards interdisciplinary approaches within academia and the larger culture around us. E-pedagogy, social media classrooms, digital storytelling, blogs, etc. -- these are merely some examples in the current trend towards more interactive, collaborative, and interdisciplinary ways of learning that allows for a blurring of boundaries. Paving the way for dialogues to occur across different disciplines, digital humanities enables a kind of social utopia in which communication happens beyond the classroom, and even on a global scale. If the humanities concerns itself with the human condition and our place within this world (to put it broadly), it is imperative that humanists address the impact of digital technology on their subjects of inquiries. As English professor Cathy Davidson claimed in a 2009 Modern Language Association panel, this is not the age of digital technology: this is the age of humanists, and it is our tasks to forge and claim our positions as important thinkers and players within today’s “digital age.” - Viola Lasmana, San Francisco State University


Digital Humanities: the creation and preservation of extensible digital archives to document, and tools to interact with, material culture.- Robert Whalen, Northern Michigan University


If you ask to an Italian, a Finnish or an American what HC is, would you get the same kind of answer? So my first answer is to start questioning the nature of your question. I think we need to start to apply the principles of ethnographic research to our field. Considering, for example, the existence of strong cultural differences. The universal language of the digital machine gave us the wrong impression that we all share the same values, methodologies, and approaches to the study of cultural objects. It is not so, and in fact I think there is a huge potential cultural danger in our current obsession with standardization. So my second answer would be that humanities computing is a semiotic oxymoron (pessimistic answer), but also a cultural challenge (optimistic option). Sometimes I ask myself: why HC did not do to humanities what cultural studies did to sociology, anthropology, or philosophy? Think of the profound impact that CS had on their intellectual agendas. My answer is that HC lacked an effective and self-confident cultural vision. This happened, in my opinion, beacause HC until now has been mainly focused on the document culture, and consequently has adopted an approach largely dependent on conservative (or if you prefer 'conservation') practices. The 'paradigm of conservation' is largely dominant in the international scenario, led by historically monolingual and monocultural institutions like TEI, which basically tells the community not just how to encode a text, but what a text is. It has been said by other colleagues that HC is the application of computational methods to humanities research and teaching. This definition is correct, but I think that future of HC would be not just to use and apply formal methods, but to challenge existing discourses, cultures and disciplines. So perhaps the issue would be not how much computing we need for getting the answers, but how much the computer science needs us to ask the right questions.- Domenico Fiormonte, Università Roma Tre


For me, Humanities Computing means the transformation of creative and informative communication (for all individuals, not just academics, students and other experts) via an ever- and expanding array of information and communication technologies, an amplification of the individual's power to research, to write, to communicate, to publish and to participate in, and create new spaces in, the public sphere. Just as I feel that the Humanities enrich everyone's life, humanities transformed by ICTs enrich everyone's life. - Lesley Mary Smith, George Mason University


The best way I've found to describe what Digital Humanities is, in first place to myself, is using a quote from Thomas Pynchon's Crying of Lot 49: "You know what a miracle is ... another world's intrusion into this one" - Federico Meschini, De Montfort University


I broadly define Humanities Computing/Digital Humanities as a field in which scholars within the humanities use or study computers or a digital environment (e.g. the WWW, video games, etc.) in their research. I consider myself to be a digital humanities researcher because I am studying digital short fiction and its communities in my thesis, but also because I sometimes use social science methods and computing tools (online questionnaires, quantitative/qualitative analysis, etc.), which reflects the interdisciplinary nature of humanities computing. Although I am currently completing a Ph.D. in English, my M.A. in Humanities Computing and Comparative Literature from the University of Alberta has helped me to approach my research from a more interdisciplinary perspective-- something that I see as being an integral part of humanities computing/digital humanities. - Susan Hesemeier, University of Toronto


Digital humanities studies the intersection and mutual influence of humanities ideas and digital methods, with the goal of understanding how the use of digital technologies and approaches alters the practice and theory of humanities scholarship. In this sense it is concerned with studying the emergence of scholarly disciplines and communicative practices at a time when those are in flux, under the influence of rapid technological, institutional and cultural change. As a way of identifying digital interests and efforts within traditional humanities fields, the term “digital humanities” also identifies, in a general way, any kind of critical engagement with digital tools and methods in a humanities context. This includes the creation of digital editions and digital text or image collections, and the creation and use of digital tools for the investigation and analysis of humanities research materials. - Julia Flanders, Brown University


I often say that humanities computing involves three distinct research areas. First, some researchers apply computing to research questions in the humanities. These might be questions they've always pursued but can now pursue faster or at a larger scale, or they may be questions that could not be addressed satisfactorily at all without computers. Second, some researchers take computing as an object of study using humanities methods. Examples include cyberculture and posthumanism. Third, some researchers take a generative approach, creating new online materials or tools for subsequent study and use. Most of my own work is in this third area. - Stan Ruecker, University of Alberta


Digital Humanities to me encompasses any of a multitude of approaches to the arts and humanities that address and embrace the empowering societal shifts afforded by technology. Digital Humanities is about open communication, collaboration and expression. It mirrors my own artistic process of A/R/Tograpy, in that DH incorporates art, research and technology. It is about discovery and sharing as much as it is about archival and data visualization. Above all, Digital Humanities is about shedding light on the human experience and ultimately our own interconnectedness. - Jolanda-Pieta van Arnhem, College of Charleston