Between Humanities and the Digital: An Intersectional Look at Digital Humanities


Svenson, Patrik, and David Theo Goldberg, eds. Between Humanities and the Digital.        Cambridge: MIT P, 2015. Print.

This compilation of current essays in the digital humanities (DH) sphere deals with the crossover between DH and the traditional humanities disciplines. The volume is a useful resource especially for those academics or interested practitioners who wish to know the status quo of both fields and their interrelations. Many prominent scholars of the DH field have contributed to the volume, including: Alan Liu, Henry Jenkins, Johanna Drucker, Ian Bogost, and N. Katherine Hayles to name a few. This ensures public audiences will have a comprehensive swatch of current events in the DH field from experts of the discipline. The volume’s major strength, however, is that it deals with neither the digital nor traditional in isolation. All the essays are concerned with the problematic aspects of approaching DH strictly as a traditional humanist and vice-versa. A key issue of many practitioners of both fields is that of DH does not often take into account how its connections to the corporations that produce the platforms necessary for the creation and dissemination of its core content. Seeing as DH strives often to use technology to expand and diversify the experience of literary and media studies and their capacity as both a pedagogical and transformative methodology, this issue of becoming too entrenched in corporate culture and capitalism is quite significant. At the same time, Svenson and Goldberg were careful to select not only essays that dealt with the conundrums of these fields, but also ones which explain the need for both fields to be open to enhancing each other through a mix of both traditional and new media methodologies. The complementary three-part structure of this volume makes it easy to distinguish what material would be appropriate for the public, the practitioners, and the scholars of the SIPI project.

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