Moving Into the Center: Can Digital Humanities Find Credence in Other Disciplines?

It was late 2004 and I was sitting in The Tam, a dive bar on Tremont Street in Boston, talking with a group of literary friends. There may or may not have been trivia involved. The subject of our conversation was the state of publishing and what it meant for new authors; for authors of color, for authors who focused on women’s issues, for those who were women, for authors writing about the LGBTQ community. We were authors ourselves, regularly sending out manuscripts to literary journals all over the country and, just as regularly, receiving the two-sentence rejections (if we received anything at all). It seemed that print journals were publishing less, were closing down, were opting to print those authors who would draw a crowd. They weren’t interested in taking a chance on a newbie. And it seemed the same was true for the book industry, as well.

What was to befall authors like us? Continue reading

Focusing on a Key Project in Digital Humanities: Book Traces

booktracesSometimes what makes a project interesting isn’t what it is, but what it has the potential to be. This is what drove me toward exploring the (I think it’s fair to say “fledgling”) Book Traces project. Book Traces is the brain child of Andrew Stauffer, an Associate Professor in English at the University of Virginia and the Director of NINES – Nineteenth Century Scholarship Online – a DH project interesting in its own right. Continue reading

Citizen Science Meets Humanities

Before science became Science, before systematic principles of how one conducts research and the scientific method became part of the ideology of being a scientist, there were common people with curiosities about the natural world and how it works. Often, those curiosities were a direct result of what these average folk were observing in the world. These are the people who, without any formal scientific training, helped build the discipline as we know it today: Francis Bacon, Antony van Leeuwenhoek, Ada Lovelace… Continue reading