Difficult Thinking, Cultural Criticism, and Niceness in DH

Suggested Reading and a Summer Institute

In “Difficult Thinking about the Digital Humanities” from last week’s reading, Mark Sample discusses critical thinking in comparison to facile thinking and how accounts of facile thinking “eliminate complexity by leaving out history, ignoring examples, and – in extreme examples – insisting that any other discourse about the digital humanities is invalid because it fails to take into consideration that particular account’s perspective.”  He references Alan Liu’s call for more cultural criticism in DH as an example of similar initiatives.  Liu’s call for more cultural criticism in DH seems more of a side note in our recent readings, including this week’s “Digital Humanities and the ‘Ugly Stepchildren’ of American Higher Education” by Luke Waltzer.  I would’ve liked to read more on the subject of DH criticism outside of the methodology conversation, as described below in articles by Alan Liu and Adeline Koh:

Rough stuff.

I also have below another Koh article that could be read in conjunction with Tom Scheinfeldt’s “Why Digital Humanities Is ‘Nice’” and Lisa Spiro’s “‘This Is Why We Fight’: Defining the Values of the Digital Humanities.”  Koh focuses her argument on the neutrality of “niceness” and the exclusionary nature of more “hack” than “yack,” articulating my personal anxieties regarding the social and technical requirements of DH.

On additions to the syllabus for today’s DH Pedagogy topic, I suggest taking a look at the Humanities Intensive Learning & Teaching Institute, or HILT2015, an annual summer institute that provided workshops on digital pedagogy and criticism with courses such as “Getting Started with Data, Tools, and Platforms” and “De/Post/Colonial Digital Humanities.”