As the digital humanities community expands beyond its computing roots, and as humanistic inquiry and interpretation (as opposed to methodological novelty) feature more prominently in its projects, the boundaries between digital and analog humanities grow increasingly blurred and permeable. One fortunate result is that more DH work has been opened up to scholarly critique by a considerably broader humanities audience. However, much of this work—often the most innovative—cannot be fully evaluated through the traditional critical lenses of the humanities.
This talk argues that the DH community neither has established a sufficient rubric for critiquing its work, nor has been critical enough of its own projects. It argues, too, that DH work does require special consideration that is not part of typical humanities criticism, and without it, calls its own value into question. So what constitutes a scholarly DH project? How many critical rubrics might be needed to accommodate the variety of valuable projects? Can the diversifying DH community ever agree on these? This talk grapples with a critical theory for the digital humanities with hopes of fostering a much longer conversation about how humanities scholars can appreciate and fruitfully critique the variety of digital work that is reshaping the humanities.
You can read Gibbs’ blog post follow-up to his Digital Dialogue here.