Critical Decisions for Digital Humanities

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Digital Humanities, Monday, 18th February, 6pm, Geoffrey Manton Building, MMU

Photographs by Storm Rannard
Words by Kathleen Menzies

THE latest event in the Digital Humanities series saw Dr David Berry of Swansea University deliver a lecture to academics, students and the public.

‘Critical Digital Humanities’ was the latest in a series of events brought to MMU by the Institute of Humanities and Social Science Research (IHSSR) and hosted by Dr David Berry, Associate Professor of Digital Media at the University of Swansea (pictured). Open to the public, the audience also included students and academics from MMU.
“If you haven’t heard of Digital Humanities, you’ve done well – it’s created quite a buzz on the internet and at seminars,” Berry told the audience. “It could well be the case that this is the year for Digital Humanities, especially in the UK – there’s been a lot of interest surrounding it.”
Although positive about the future of Digital Humanities, Berry took a critical approach during his lecture, raising a number of issues and problems surrounding the cross-disciplinary subject as both an academic discipline and as a brand.
Berry stated that the nature of code and software can often be overlooked by advocates of Digital Humanities. Lost within computational formalisms, Berry feared academics could lose sight of the true interactive purposes of merging humanities and digital technology.
The take-home message of the evening was that the Digital Humanities must accommodate all aspects of traditional humanities including social science, politics and the economic and cultural. Some humanities researchers have already done this, as Berry made clear, but he urged all scholars to not forget the core concern of the field – the human subject – as they adapted into computational methods.
The next event in the IHSSR series is a talk by Professor Joanna Hodge on the right to philosophy, and the philosophy of right. This takes place on Monday 25th February 2013.

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aAh! Magazine is Manchester Metropolitan University's arts and culture magazine.

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