This week we reflected on the whole semester, and as we covered a lot of ground it offers a good insight into the more generalised questions of digital humanities. What is it for? What does it change? As well as the morals and ethics.
I think Tim highlighted a great point with his Australian Policy piece, that digital humanities is about making difference, about taking what we already are doing with data from history and heritage, and churning it through new perspective. The internet is not set, we can change and play with it, just like history, and it’s our moral duty to change it in a way that can better be accessed and engaged with whilst not silencing anyone’s stories. To me that’s what the unit has been about, using these tools in a way to better an existing data set so that stories can be told and seen and shown.
I particularly liked Miriam Posner’s reading, in particular to the critical tone she set in identifying the limits of digital humanities so far, and in that recognising how much more we can do! In particular things like how maps are set by one person or rule, and how interesting would it be that google maps or the like used Indigenous maps? Questions like this, the what if as identified in class is a huge driver of this study, and to look at the digital tools critically – not just taking them as they are and changing them ourselves – and to realise the potential Thomas Padilla is talking about is to not just use the digital world but to master it.