Matthew K. Gold – Debates in the Digital Humanities

Matthew K. Gold - Debates in the Digital Humanities

Univ Of Minnesota Press, ISBN: 9780816677955, 504 pages, 2012, English
Does the fact that even Google started to pay (widely announced) grants to digital humanities scholars legitimize the “digital humanist” title and definition? This comprehensive collection of essays begins the process of questioning what constitutes this phenomenon. It’s worth noting that effort has been made here to stay away from the usual process of coining another definition. Originating from conferences and academic debates, this book looks at both the content and form of digital humanities, including views about the technical skills required for research, accessibility/openness of source materials, the legitimacy of different methods of digital publication and how the subject area could be taught. The book has been published within a period of one year (start to end), much faster than the usual academic publishing pace. And, although coherently structured, it includes blog posts aside from regular papers, all discussed through a “semi-public peer review system”, which generated a much more “collective work” than many anthologies have produced before. Trusting the editor, in only two weeks the thirty essays “received 568 comments — an average of nearly twenty comments per essay.” And that fits well with the plan to transform the book into an open-access website, interpreting the printed version as a stable starting point from which to build new dialogues and knowledge – something very appropriate for the field of “digital humanities”.