Introduction: Understanding the Digital Humanities

  • David M. Berry


Across the university the way in which we pursue research is changing, and digital technology is playing a significant part in that change. Indeed, it is becoming more and more evident that research is increasingly being mediated through digital technology. Many argue that this mediation is slowly beginning to change what it means to undertake research, affecting both the epistemologies and ontologies that underlie a research programme (sometimes conceptualised as ‘close’ versus ‘distant’reading, see Moretti 2000???). Of course,this development is variable depending on disciplines and research agendas,with some more reliant on digital technology than others, but it is rare to find an academic today who has had no access to digital technology as part of their research activity. Library catalogues are now probably the minimum way in which an academic can access books and research articles without the use of a computer, but, with card indexes dying a slow and certain death (Baker 1996: 2001), there remain few outputs for the non-digital scholar to undertake research in the modern university. Email, Google searches and bibliographic databases are become increasingly crucial, as more of the world libraries are scanned and placed online.


Digital Technology Cultural Object Sociological Imagination Computational Device Cultural Criticism 
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© David M. Berry 2012

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  • David M. Berry

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