During the recent years, there are many new projects on digital books and reference database. Groups like the alliance of Digital humanities organization (ADHO) and the society for Digital Humanities was formed for the communication of digital humanities. (The mission of ADHO is to promote and supports digital research and teaching in all disciplinary within art and humanities. There are 6 members of ADHO across the nation) As the raise of Digital humanities in traditional humanity sense, there are many positive and negative views of the use of technology.
It is not recently that people have start researching about humanity. In fact, the research within digital humanity has a long history since 1940 after the invention of computers. It’s a trend in scientific research that more and more scholars use digital technology to make things dynamical as for the convenience of the audiences. There is a project from the University of Virginia which is called the Visual Eyes. They used digital tools to transfer data into maps, graphs and pictures, and therefore in a different perspective to describe a historical event.
There is also a text data mining technology, similar to text analytics, which was commonly used in analyzing the relationships between characters within novels, which is apart from the traditional sense of research approach. One example of this is the result from Franco Moretti, the founder of Stanford Digital humanities lab. From his research, he concluded that within the period of 1740 to 1850, published books with long titles from England has been dramatically decreased. Therefore, although the result is coming from the analysis of books, it also is able to observe the change in the preferences within England at that period of time.
While all these benefits are happening with Digital Humanities, Stephen Marche, a Canadian writer who were known to be able to read 1000 pages within an hour, had imposed a different voice in his famous article: “Literature is not Data: Against Digital Humanities”. In his article, he criticized that many things around us has been polluted by algorithmic culture, and at last literature has been also affected by it. He also claimed that when we use literature as data, we lose a lot of in-depth meaning, thus literature should be aparted from data. As we can see, we cannot rely on technology to solve all the issues in humanities.
We also learned some negative impact of DH from our 391H class. In class we learned that there are a lot of issues with the use of internet platform. One of the most common issues is the copy right issue. When we discussed of the GIS project, we learned that it’s hardly for users to make a living out of it, and one of the only pleasure we got from it is the self-satisfaction coming out of the view counts. Similar issues with the copy rights of the material when the platform are going online. Indeed these negative aspects cannot be neglected.