The Dark Side of DH

Wednesday, January 23, 12:30-1:30 pm
Williams Building “Skybox” (4th floor conference room)

The “Dark Side” of DH?

In recent years, the annual convention of the Modern Language Association (MLA) has put a spotlight on the digital humanities. While the convention draws lots of attention to digital projects and the impact of DH on the discipline, it can also draw loud criticism. Last year, Stanley Fish created a stir with a three-part critique of his understanding of DH. This year, that critique erupted from within a developing faction of digital humanities called #transformDH. One discussion in particular – about “The Dark Side of Digital Humanities” – quickly became a touchstone for this year’s annual debates. Staged by several media studies scholars as a set of provocations at MLA, the panel caused a stir and continues to generate conversations about whether or not its ranging critiques of DH are valid.

For the first meeting of the Digital Scholars group, we will peruse the set of short position papers from “The Dark Side” and explore the debates for ourselves. How do these critiques see DH as complicit? What are the trenchant arguments and what might be mischaracterization? What would a “transformed DH” look like and how should DH accommodate these perspectives going forward?


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