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Digital Humanities

Burrows, Simon and Falk, Michael (2021) Digital Humanities. In: Frow, John, ed. Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory. Oxford University Press. (doi:10.1093/acrefore/9780190201098.013.971) (KAR id:82711)


This article considers offers a definition, overview and assessment of the current state of Digital Humanities particularly with regard to its actual and potential contribution to literary studies. It outlines the history of Humanities Computing and Digital Humanities, its evolution as a discipline including its institutional development and outstanding challenges it faces, and considers some of the most cogent critiques it has faced, particularly from North American based literary scholars, some of whom have suggested it represents a threat to centuries old traditions of humanistic inquiry and particularly to literary scholarship based on the tradition of close reading. The article shows instead that Digital Humanities approaches gainfully employed offer powerful new means of illuminating both context and content of texts, to assist with both close and distant readings, offering a supplement rather than a replacement for traditional means of literary inquiry. The digital techniques it discusses include stylometry, topic modelling, literary mapping, historical bibliometrics, corpus linguistic techniques, and sequence alignment, as well as some of the contributions that they have made. Further, the article explains how many key aspirations of Digital Humanities scholarship, including interoperability and linked open data, have yet to be realised, and considers some of the projects that are currently making this possible and challenges that they face. The article concludes on a slightly cautionary note: what are the implications of the Digital Humanities for literary study? It is too early to tell.

Item Type: Book section
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190201098.013.971
Uncontrolled keywords: Digital Humanities; Close Reading; Distant Reading; Historical Bibliometrics; Stylometry; Corpus analysis; Eighteenth-Century Studies; Literary History; Literary Mapping
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of English
Depositing User: Michael Falk
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2020 20:25 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 01:12 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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