Stephanie Schlitz’s Day of DH

Working on TEI-EJ (and finding blogging challenging – the public/private space divide is a difficult one for me to breech…)

TEI Extramural Journal

Teaching DH…

creates an entirely new rhetorical demand. I’m teaching a new DH course this fall, and — in a tight budget year — there are enrollment benchmarks to meet. The class is an optional elective, and students haven’t a clue what DH is or why they should take the course. So I’ve been challenged to write a course description that students will a) understand and b) be intrigued by. Perhaps I shouldn’t find it so demanding. I do nonetheless.

Writing a course description: de rigueur. Writing a DH course description: difficile, mjög erfitt. Because DH is so vague, so decidedly amorphous (decidedly or accidentally, I wonder?), designing and describing an Introduction to DH course prescribes reflection, re-consideration, and, I think, ‘extension’. The def. I provided for Day of DH is unabashedly vague, unequivocally unsuitable for students.

Recent discussions on Humanist point out what I suspect many of us, just this once, dare prophesy: that ultimately DH as a distinct discipline will fade. As technology is integrated more seamlessly across disciplines, the fine disciplinary line of DH will become diffuse and DH will become distinguishable only as one facet within a larger interdisciplinary whole. I can hardly wait – but in the meantime, what should I include in my syllabus? What matters most in this putative transitory field? I can’t find it by definition, and I’m struggling to distill – in precise terms no less – the essence of DH.