Cultural Diversity and the Digital Humanities

Digital humanities has grown and changed over the years; we have moved away from expecting technology to be a tool to make humanities research easier and faster into one where we are now equal partners. Our collaborative projects drive forward the research agendas of both humanists and technologists. There have been other changes too. The focus of our scholarly interest has moved away from its historical origins in text-based scholarship, although that now has many more possibilities, and we are seeing an interest in exploring culture and heritage more widely. Where the progress is slower is in our moves towards openness and inclusivity, and this is to some extent hampered by a lack of linguistic diversity. This is being addressed with specialist groups within the major DH organizations on a national and a global level. DH has grown rapidly in China, and the anglophone world could do more to engage with practitioners and potential colleagues in this new vibrant and emerging area. There are certainly Western centres that specialize, particularly in Chinese texts and historical documents, but this needs to be extended further if we are not to impose limits on the conversations, synergies and collaborations that can result.

About the Author: DH