Several weeks before the end of the semester, I gave the students in this class the assignment of collaboratively curating a site that documents what happened in DH since the day before our class began, on January 22, 2013. And so they did: Current Happenings in Digital Humanities. And they immediately grokked my logic:
“Thus, we are defining digital humanities not by what we believe it to be (as we did at the beginning of the course), but by what it actually does and continues to do.”
Yes. That. That really nails it; for me, “digital humanities” as a discipline, hashtag, or “big tent,” may finally only be sustainable as a documentary rubric, that is by the kind of collecting, gathering, organizing, and aligning that they’ve done here. This site strikes
me as a “cabinet of curiosities” in the best tradition of the Web, that is rather than a unified, coherent body of content it is willfully (and necessarily) partial, eclectic, diversified, and subjective. This is manifest in so many ways: the plurality of platforms and voices, the loose connective tissue of the links, and essential but ultimately I think futile attempt to impose an external organizing structure in the form of WordPress’s hierarchy of pages and sub-pages.
Highlights for me include the amazing archives visualization and the already voluminous Zotero Library, whose neatly ordered entries function as the skeletal discursive underpinning for much of the content manifest here. Oh, and the Easter egg that reveals our, ahem, *cheesy* class contribution to the world of @kfitz scholarship. But it’s all wonderful and smart. Go look.
And maybe someone wants to pick up the idea behind the original assignment and continue it in their own class next fall?