How Do You Define DH?

Every year, we ask new Day of DH participants to offer their own definition of how they define the digital humanities.

Below is a list of responses for 2012. If you’re interesting is seeing how things have changed, the responses for Day of DH 2009, 2010, and 2011 are available.

How do you define digital humanities?

The thoughtful use of computing in humanistic inquiry and the thinking through of computing from the perspective of the traditions of the humanities.
Geoffrey Rockwell

Digital humanities is the use of advanced digital technologies (and the extended social and discursive worlds these technologies make possible) to investigate questions in the humanities.
Micki McGee

Researchers working with digital materials, tools, or methods in the humanities; researchers creating new digital materials, tools, or methods in the humanities; researchers studying computing using humanities methods.
Stan Ruecker

All the ways that the humanities and digital technologies intersect.
Rebecca Davis

Digital Humanities is the use of digital technologies to generate and answer new questions relevant to humanities scholar and to share and transform scholarship and its modes of creation/dissemination.
Michael Widner

"A diverse and still emerging field that includes the practice of humanities research in and through information technology. It also includes the development of digital educational/research/teaching/archival/publishing resources for the specific use and study of the humanities and interconnected disciplines. The digital humanities is also concerned with an exploration of how humanities may evolve through their engagement with technology.
Ernesto Priego

Digital scholarship in the humanities
Kiyonori Nagasaki

Digital Humanities as a whole is something I am extremely reluctant to define, because any definition will inevitably cause controversy. However, I have not heard any dispute over my work being part of digital humanities, and that work involves computationally analyzing data sets from the field of Slavic linguistics, and de-siloing scholarship in that same field through a collaboratively authored academic wiki.
Quinn Dombrowski
Neil Fraistat

The building and use of digital tools for studying the humanities.
David N. Wright

The humanities in and for a digital age
Laurie N. Taylor

Previously, I defined DH as an umbrella term for something like the use of technology to study human cultures and the study of the effects of digital technology on human cultures. Today, I would add that DH has (or should have) a self-conscious reflection on the technical aspects of these endeavours, whether that means acquiring and making use of the programming skills to produce new tools for digital study of human culture, examining the methodological problems of using these tools, or theorising the way their underlying technologies affect human society and the material objects of human culture. That said, I am worried that the theorising of the Digital Humanities, the development of infrastructure to support the Digital Humanities, and the opportunity of exploiting the big data sphere of the internet are collectively having the effect of marginalising the study of traditional objects of study in the Humanities, particularly those of the more distant past.
Scott Kleinman

The digital humanities is about creating people. Creating people who intersect with and apply the tools and methods of computer science using the principles, values, and techniques of the humanities.
Craig Bellamy

Making stuff, and using it to collaborate and connect with the public.
Roger Whitson

A community of practice using and critiquing digital tools to further humanities study.
Amanda French

Digital Humanities (DH) is an umbrella term for a variety of practices, methodologies, and forms of scholarship unified by a mutual interest in the humanities and the digital. The Digital Humanities, ever plural, at once denote a social community, a tactical term, a mode of research, and an object of research.
dana solomon

If you think you are doing it, then you probably are, but the UCLDH definition is: the application of computational methods to humanities research or to cultural heritage; or of humanities research methods to digital phenomena.
Claire Warwick

At its simplest, DH is the utilization of computers and computational tools for the exploration, analysis, and production of humanistic knowledge.
Jennifer Guiliano

You don't.

The intersection between Arts & Humanities disciplines and technology. A space where new tools are used and developed, and where new ways of looking at and preforming researching become possible. Most of all, it is fun. Fun because it is challenging, each day, every day.
David Beavan

As I siad on my blog: Digital Humanities is the discipline born from the intersection between humanities scholarship and computational technologies. It aims at investigating how digital methodologies can be used to enhance research in disciplines such a History, Literature, Languages, Art History, Music, Cultural Studies and many others. Digital Humanities holds a very strong practical component as it includes the concrete creation of digital resources for the study of specific disciplines.
Elena Pierazzo

Digital Humanities mean, to me, more now than it did back in 2009 when I first did the Day of DH. DH offers a set of tools to pose humanistic inquiry, but it doesn't necessarily offer definitive answers to those questions. Instead it celebrates and records a process of intellectual pursuit that is then distributed and disseminated to the Humanities community and abroad. Engaging in Digital Humanities is also an ethos: collaboration, building knowledge, sharing projects, screwing around. I apply this to my scholarship as well as my teaching. If my work is better, more complex, because of Digital Humanities, so too will my students' work benefit from the tools, state of mind, and ethos.
Katherine D. Harris

The practice of combining emerging digital tools and traditional humanistic study to create new, interactive, integrative, and public ways of disseminating research and discovery.
Lee Skallerup Bessette

As the studying and building of digital research tools for humanities scholarship. For me, this entails trying to offer informed guidance to the historians who want to use digital research tools (but can't build them) and the developers who can build these digital research tools (but won't be using them).
James Baker

DH allows, maybe even forces, me to think differently about teaching. It's a community of learners and thinkers who look at tools as ways to make new tools and knowledge.
Ian Thomas

Digital Humanities is the critical study of how the technologies and techniques associated with the digital medium intersect with and alter humanities scholarship and scholarly communication.
Julia Flanders

Oftener and oftener as one's self-identification with a perceived inflection of study and regard for the world that involves humanities scholarship in digital environments.
Tanya Clement

This is my first time participating in the event. I think of digital humanities as the intersection of computing and the arts.
Christian Price

Digital Humanities are the first step towards Future Humanities.

I view the Digital Humanities as a constantly changing field, which escapes easy definition - this is has benefits but also presents challenges! Standard definitions talk about the application of information technology to humanities teaching and research - whether that be to develop better ways of doing things or to create new questions and paradigms - but I think that the field also has a key role in articulating how technology is changing scholarship.
Paul Spence

Digital Humanities is the combination of using digital techniques to better understand and present our understanding of the Humanities. It is about the dissemination of our work, the sharing of knowledge and collaborating to give the best possible chance to a project. Digital Humanities is about the Community, about learning, constantly evolving and being open to new ways of thinking about old questions. It is not, as a friend asked, about building digital humans.
Natasha Martin

I would define Digital Humanities as a term used to identify persons, practices, ideologies, etc., that conform to institutional and scholarly values as determined by individual and institutional norms. But I would distinguish the definition of DH from doing digital humanities work (theoretical, practical, critical), which means something much more. Doing digital humanities means challenging the institutionalization of humanistic inquiry; in fact, it means responding to the crippling institutionalization of emotive responses to humanistic practices within the public sphere of all “knowledge workers.” To do this means that we must build tools, technologies, methodologies, and theories that represent this disruptive force, but we must also put what we build into practice. It is not longer enough to present (or represent) an idea, a tool; we must do the work of the community and we must engage the community in developing the ways in which we make our (our as in humanity) work accessible (this means disability studies needs to become a stronger focus of our scholarship and our practices). We must, as Alan Liu argued practice being the service community that we have always wanted to become.
Shawn W. Moore

I think I said last year that I dislike that question, and that remains the case. Its boundaries are continually shifting and elude satisfactory definition. Even something as simple as "Using computers for teaching and research in the Humanities" can have caveats. I recognise why a definition of DH might be desirable, but still: I dislike the question.
Justin Tonra

Qualitative queries, quantified.
Michael Ullyot

The connections made between humans, text, and images that cannot be made in a strictly analog network.
Matthew Butler

The use of digital tools, media and corpora in the humanities, thus changing both the objects and practices in the Humanities.
Lebarbé Thomas

The undertaking of humanities using digital tools and techniques. (But I've read much better answers previous years.)
James Cummings

sudo riverrun past eve
Aurélien Berra

When quantification meets representation.
Ben Miller

The place where technology meets traditional study.
Sharon Taylor

In DH, scholars either try to solve to old problems with new means, in an verifiable way by applying algorithms to given data, or they try to find new questions that couldn't have been asked before with traditional means, e.g. checking a theory against huge amounts of data. DH also implies new presentation of data, methods, and results.
Torsten Schaßan

Digital Humanities captures the passion for the traditional craft and emboldens it to ask new questions of old data in exciting, compelling and innovative ways.
Shawn Day

Researching the Humanities through digital perspectives, researching digital technologies from the perspective of the Humanities
Francesca Benatti

Digital Humanities is to me the use and abuse of technology to potential improve research within the field of humanities. It stretches from a simple blog, to complex corpus tools, to whatever the next person can think of.
Chris Martin

Digital Humanities is a young field within the Humanities and Technologies, yet not clearly defined. The Digital Humanities take advantage of applying mathematical methods for the analysis of cultural phenomena.
Markus Schnoepf

For me, digital humanities is thinking through making, as well as writing. More specifically, it’s currently about thinking critically about the impact of digitality on scholarly practice in addition to applying digital techniques to the concerns of the humanities.
Miran Hladnik

Humanities or liberal arts which cannot be formed without computers. I use "Jimbun Jouhougaku 人文情報学" in Japanese (literal translation: Humanities Informatics) as a Humanities-like discipline based on the methodology of Informatics, which can be formed without computers.
Shigeki Moro

It is simple. Human use digital signal, namely syllables, more precisely logical syllables for communication. This is the only difference between human and non-human animals, who communicate by exchanging analog or physical signals modulated by their emotion.
Kumon Kimiaki TOKUMARU

A community of practice involving anyone who engages with humanities subject areas through critical, reflexive and collaborative development and use of digital technologies.
Kathryn E. Piquette

As a social construct.

Digital Humanities is more than a methodology.
James O'Sullivan

The use of digital methods, tools, resources,and/or models to research, study, and/or mediate what it means to be human. If it must be measured, I prefer to do so by degrees rather than by delineations.
Lisa Rhody

Digital Humanities is a field overseeing the work that needs to be done using digital media in order to preserve and interpret the human record.
Laura Mandell

A broad array of practices that seek to understand if/how digital technologies allow us to ask new questions of or think in new ways about our objects of study.
Jacqueline Wernimont

Digital Humanities, as a discipline, is a subset of the Humanities. It implies that one engages with digital media--whether they are tools or topics of enquiry--while doing Humanities work.
Kirstyn Leuner

"Digital humanities" is a gathering term for scholars who embrace technology as a means to explore humanities material as data.
Robin Davis

What it really comes down to is what are people doing to contribute to an understanding of the digital age or what are they doing to expand the practices and work of humanities fields using current technology. A person is not a Digital Humanist by mistake. They are not a Digital Humanist simply because they use a computer to do their work nor are they a Digital Humanist simply by virtue of working in a humanities field and being able to program. What is the methodological framework for their work? For example, using JuXta for collation on a new edition of a novel for the sake of efficiency does not make that edition a DH project, but writing about how the use of JuXta changes the way that we create scholarly editions of literature would fall into the DH field. Essentially, whether or not a person is trying to engage with DH, whether in theory or in practice, determines whether or not they are a Digital Humanist.

It's the sum of a lot of separate activities involving doing humanities research and using computers at more or less the same time, and with at least an intermittent element of methodological reflection.
John Lavagnino

I think of digital humanities as an umbrella term that covers a wide variety of digital work in the humanities: development of multimedia pedagogies and scholarship, designing & building tools, human computer interaction, designing & building archives, etc. DH is interdisciplinary; by necessity it breaks down boundaries between disciplines at the local (e.g., English and history) and global (e.g., humanities and computer sciences) levels.
Kathie Gossett

Through the things I make
Trevor Muñoz

The study of the effects of enabling computational technologies upon the social organisational of civilisation.
Jonathon Hutchinson

Taking people to bits.
Graeme Earl

Intersectional activities between the humanities and informatics commonly convergent on ever evolving computational technologies
Masahiro Shimoda

Building and/or using advanced digital technologies and methodologies to conduct research in the humanities
Erin Snyder

Digital humanities is a scholarly enterprise which encompasses a field of study, a set of tools, a methodological approach, and a global community, among other things. Digital humanists examine the objects of humanistic study – literature, history, art, language and so forth – using digital tools to carry out the kind of analysis that would be very difficult or impossible to do without the use of technology. Where the value of digital humanities lies, however, is not in the powerful capabilities of the digital tools themselves – as impressive as these may be – but rather in the way that the analyses and visualizations produced by the technology are combined with the skills of critical interpretation, nuanced close analysis, and attentiveness to ambiguity which are born out of a deep grounding in so-called conventional humanities study.
Anouk Lang

I guess I define DH as twofold : Using technology to do Humanities Research and doing Humanities research about Technology. Plus a commitment to the openness of knowledge. Plus a commitment to build new scholarly objects.
Enrico Natale

Making use of the Information Technologies for Humanities research.
Georg Vogeler

The ineffably sublime.
Stéfan Sinclair

DH is multiple. DH is part humanities computing which designs, develops, and/or utilizes computing technologies for research and analysis. DH is also a community interested in collaborative projects and sharing knowledge across disciplines. Still, DH goes beyond the instrumentality of technologies, by critically engaging with questions of knowledge formation, dissemination, and preservation.
Joan Shaffer

By press.
Lasse Jalonen

The development, exploration, and evaluation of computer-based technologies and resources for enabling the pursuit of research questions in the humanities.
Susan Brown

I have come to think about the digital humanities as an umbrella term for a few different things. These include the development of tools and software for research, teaching, and scholarship. In this case every part of the development process and use of these tools is potentially DH scholarship. I would also include the use of any digital tools and software for interpretation and analysis on humanities research questions. Beyond this I would include any work that involves challenging the traditional roles of scholarship and scholarly communication. For example, using blogs to communicate with broader audiences. Lastly, I would suggest that new media studies, that is studies of born digital objects is inherently a subset of work in the digital humanities. In short, any situation in which the idea of the digital touches or engages with work in the humanities.
Trevor Owens

Martin Holmes

I define Digital Humanities as that which lies on the continuum that began in orality, and moved through literate or print-based humanities, resulting in contemporary humanistic endeavors. In other words, I don't see it as a break with all that has come before. That said, however, epistemological shifts characterize the digital humanities, distinguishing them from earlier iterations.
Virginia Kuhn

It's what 'we' do.
Simon Mahony

The process of acknowledging, interpreting and engaging with the digital in relation to humanities sources and approaches.
Claire Lynch

A willingness to engage in new modes of exploring humanities problems using interdisciplinary approaches that may go beyond the comfort level of traditional scholars in your core discipline but that seek truth and understanding with all the rigours of academic research.
Adam Crymble

In the last 10 years I would have said something along these lines: As an experienced manager and ICT consultant my approach towards DH is practical. For me DH is about interconnecting researchers (and their collections), software developers and infrastructure providers. As a researcher my aim is different. Then DH is about bringing central questions about the nature of the humanities to light. But now I believe Digital Humanities is coming of age. And in my opinion Digital Humanities has become an intrinsic part of the Humanities. Therefore Digital Humanities is the same as the Humanities.
Douwe Zeldenrust

To my mind, Digital Humanities is a two-pronged discipline: 1. Digital Humanists study the ways in which new technologies and new media impact on traditional humanities disciplines, on human interaction, society, and communication. 2. Digital Humanists develop tools and resources for humanities students and scholars to further studies in the humanities and the social sciences, but also to allow for new research questions as new data and tools to examine this data become available.
Christine McWebb

A fluid term to describe a variety of practices applying and theorizing the intersection of technology and humanities questions.
Amy Earhart

DHers want to find the parameters of meaning that building (and failing) can disclose.
Kathi Inman Berens

The Digital Humanities is an inclusive, open community, whose participants include students, researchers, teachers, and other people interested in participating in discussions of issues related to the learning, teaching, social, political, technical, economic implications of the Web. DH is building, collaborating, learning, sharing.
Elizabeth Cornell

'Digital Humanities' is a term describing fields of study and endeavor where the innovative use of new technologies are foregrounded to facilitate the evolution and expansion of 'traditional' humanities knowledge and activities.
Michael J. Maguire

I find this question very hard, as I am just now trying to find out what Digital Humanities is -- this is my first time participating in the event --, and as I have the feeling there is not a unique and complete definition for it. But Digital Humanities has definetly something to do with engaging humanities through use of digital techologies.

The Digital now threads through every aspect of the Humanities.
James G.R. Cronin

As a PhD student working in Archaeological Computing, researching the impact of technology on the Cultural Heritage sector, but based within the Electronics and Computer Science department of my university, I see the Digital Humanities as a useful definition of the place of my research within an academic context. I see the Digital Humanities also as a support network for academics and professionals with a digital component to their work.
Nicole Beale

Digital Humanities is a pedagogical and scholarly approach that is both complemented by—and can exist separately from—appropriate technological tools. Tools can help scholars and practitioners consider both broad swaths of creative endeavor—whether textual, visual, acoustic, or otherwise immersive—and layers of nested and interconnected meanings to develop new ways to engage with an emerging ecology of knowledge.
Pavel Cenkl

The application of digital technology to humanities research and teaching.
Dot Porter

Each year that I've been asked this question, it's become harder and harder to answer. My current answer, I think, is that Digital Humanities IS the humanities as it is practiced, modeled, and theorized today.
Lauren Klein

What sits at the intersection of computational method and the traditional pursuits of the humanities.
Ray Siemens

Cross-disciplinary projects coined by a new generation of humanists as model users, who are asking and creating novel applications and solutions from and with more geeky and technical disciplines, with excellent innovative outcomes, connecting contemporary and fashionable technology with scientific research.
Mona Hess

The phrase seems to say it for itself—something related to the humanities going digital. That means anything within the realm of the humanities—language, history, philosophy, literature, and the arts—is fair game. In its most basic form, it is still transferring such topics into a digital medium, but more so for the purpose of uncovering or gaining some new information or perspective on the subject being presented. It could come in the form of visually condensing text in order to both give a general idea of the contents and to provide a quicker delivery of knowledge, or by laying out information in some other visual manner so that patterns can be used to quickly pick up on details that provide certain insight into the subject matter.

DH is what critical theory is or was--an opportunity to ask new questions, try new methods, engage in new conversations.

The practice of undertaking digitally informed research and teaching in fields covered by the traditional humanities disciplines.
Kerry Kilner

The convergence between Humanities (human and social sciences) and Digital Technologies, either as new methodological and epistemological approaches or as the object of investigations of social, cultural and political concerns.
Henrique Parra

With some reluctance, as many have said! Well, it's both a field and a suite of methods.
Michael Cade-Stewart

A five ring circus consisting of tech in the classroom, digital preservation, scholarly communications, new media and computational methods.
Alex Gil

The pursuit of knowledge and inquiry in a cluster of subject areas (literatures, languages, linguistics, history, classics, anthropology, archaeology) with the use of some digital method.
Elizabeth (Lisa) McAulay

Application of digital tools to humanities research and pedagogy
Diane Jakacki

DH is the application and the use of computing tecnologies for the research, teaching and investigation in the disciplines of the humanities.
Alí Albarrán

Practice of digital creation (design, editorial practice, architecture), and/or digital analysis (e.g. text analysis or distant reading) and/or analysis and critique of digital texts (e.g, games or social media or theorizing structures such as databases or semantic markup)
Allison Muri

Any use of digital technologies that significantly informs research, presentation, or process of humanities based fields and the study thereof.
John Simpson

Not sure!
Lorna Richardson

The use of information technology in the conduct and presentation of humanities teaching and research.
Paul A. Youngman

A group of computer-related strategies and tactics that humanists use to accomplish their goals (from research and reading to writing and teaching, etc.).
Harvey Quamen

The wide and diverse process in which the study of humanities will remain relevant.
Kurt Hochenauer

The Digital Humanities is humanities in the twenty-first century.
Edmond Chang

I have a vague recollection of a few discussions on this matter.
Alejandro Giacometti

Combination of the inquiring spirit of the humanities, the field of critical pedagogy (Freire et al.), and the practices of new media culture.
Pete Rorabaugh

Application of computational technology and approaches to traditional and novel problems in the social sciences and humanities.
Daniel Paul O'Donnell

Digital humanities are a new engaging way to to preserve and communicate the past.
Letizia Ceccarelli

The use of digital tools to digitize, manage, analyze and disseminate information and research related to the humanities, or in my specific case, history.
Léon Robichaud

For me, a Digital Humanist is one who uses digital tools as a way of investigating the issues that make up the studies in the humanities. Many Digital Humanists, myself included, are especially interested in digital texts, and the unique interactions readers have with these texts.
Matt Schneider

A multifaceted disciplinary field where humanities interests and research questions are addressed through computing and/or find an expression in the digital medium.
Raffaele Viglianti

Using digital technologies, not only ICT, to communicate and research within the humanities

What sets Digital Humanities apart, for me, is its genuine interdisciplinarity, its permanent emergence, and its open communication.
Christof Schöch

Innovative ways of seeing the humanities and communicating with others
William Allen

The use of computational techniques in the humanities that would allow research that is otherwise impossible.
Melissa Terras

A range of definitions (or rather, ways of understanding): humanities explored using a range of digital technologies for explanation, expression, reflection and knowledge production/creation.
Nehal El-Hadi

I'm a committed DH Big Tenter, and believe (at least at this point in our history) that we can find room in the field for almost anyone who self-identifies as a DHer. That said, for me personally, DH is either 1) any digital approach to humanistic objects, or, 2) any humanistic approach to digital objects.
Glen Worthey

Digital Humanities is a community of people who use and develop digital tools and methods to ask and answer new and old questions about the source base for humanistic inquiry.
Jean Bauer

I don't.
Paul Caton

The great opportunity to burn down academic walls
Enrica Salvatori

Disciplines of humanities developed through digital computing.
Dale Kim

Any application of digital technology to enable or enhance humanistic inquiry and any humanistic inquiry into aspects of digital technology.
Hugh Cayless

It is what I do on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Camelia Nunez

The digital humanities seek to harmonize the social and technological revolution of the Internet with the traditional preoccupation of the humanities for human and cultural problems as they happen at the scale of the human being
Juan Luis Suarez

I would describe digital humanities as the incorporation of new tools and technologies that allow us to ask various kinds of humanities questions as well as to use humanistic inquiry to reflect on the tools themselves and the changing practices of communication.
Jen Rajchel

Digital humanities is whatever we make it to be. (With apologies to D. Boon )
George H. Williams

The conscious use of digital methods and tools to do humanities teaching or research. Also, the study of these methodologies and tools.
Elli Mylonas

Digital Humanity is a way of organizing data and visualize it in a more coherent pattern, it presents textural content in many different ways in various digital forms. The purpose of Digital Humanities to me is to find more potential and profound meanings from these new tools.

I define DH thanks to the DH Manifesto : ". Society’s digital turn changes and calls into question the conditions of knowledge production and distribution. 2. For us, the digital humanities concern the totality of the social sciences and humanities. The digital humanities are not tabula rasa. On the contrary, they rely on all the paradigms, savoir-faire and knowledge specific to these disciplines, while mobilizing the tools and unique perspectives enabled by digital technology. 3. The digital humanities designate a “transdiscipline”, embodying all the methods, systems and heuristic perspectives linked to the digital within the fields of humanities and the social sciences."
Marin Dacos

As little as possible.
Andrew Prescott

The best way to describe ‘digital humanities’ is the intersection between human cognition and computing. ‘Human cognition’ can seem like a vague term but it encompasses topics such as art, literature, history, music, theatre, religion, philosophy, etc… Digital humanities could be considered an interdisciplinary topic as any of the aforementioned humanities can be synthesized into a digital form.
Brendan Cecere

DH represent the point (or an area of research) where traditional humanities disciplines connect and merge with digital technologies.
Eleonora Gandolfi

The Digital Humanities is 1) the use of digital technology to facilitate and enhance all stages of humanities scholarship and 2) the humanities-grounded study digital technology.
Jason Boyd

A strange question. The only winning move is not to answer.
Jeremy Boggs

I try not to
Boone Gorges

1. n. a field of study, research and teaching focused on the intersection of computing and disciplines in the humanities. It involves the investigation, analysis, synthesis and presentation of information in electronic form. 2. v. thinking in multimodal ways. not necessarily involving digital or electronic technologies. 3. adj. increasing access changes representation; a description of an intensity of reading as in "a DH reading"
Craig Saper

Digital Humanities is an academic and social engagement with electronic formats of human cultural processes and forms such as literature, art, history, and music.
Valerie M. Fazel

I don't! I just do it
Nick Mirzoeff

Digital Humanities is a perspective combining the understanding of a Humanities subject and the understanding of the potential of applying a digital approach to its study.
Matteo Romanello

Digital Humanitis is a developing subdiscipline within the traditional humanities disciplines as well as a developing discipline based in a focus on the materiality of the methods, documents, and the information of the humanities. Beyond that, I haveno idea.
Sharon Cogdill

Using digital tools to discover something new to further knowledge of humanity
Melody Dworak

The application of computational methods to research and teaching in the humanities.
John Unsworth

The use of digital technology to study the field of humanities by combining the computational power of modern computer with the cognitive function of the human brain.
Jack Tang

Do we really need a definition? Something like jazz? you know it's jazz when you hear it (Louis Armstrong).
Patrizia Rebulla

a very rewarding activity which still scares people who don't understand that computers can generate meaning

At the digital age the aim of digital humanities is how we use digital technology to create new knowledge. Digital humanities become more interdisciplinary based on digital technology among literature, philosophy, history, aesthetics, ethics and so on.
Akira Baba

Digital humanities are tools, methods and understanding of how digital technologies enable and change research and research infrastructures and practices in humanities.
Louise Kennedy

The study of the Humanities through methods and with perspectives arising from the application of digital procedures.
Paolo Monella

Digital Humanities is a field that aims at developing and using the digital resources and tools for solving the research questions in the Humanities.
Takafumi Suzuki

The use of digital tools, technologies, and techniques to explore, analyze, and understand the humanities.
Simon Appleford

The Digital Humanities is a capacious enterprise that includes, among other things, research using computational and algorithmic methods to study culture and history as well as efforts to use digital media to share humanities content beyond the academy and encourage active engagement with that content by a broad public.
Rob Nelson

That which makes us conscious of our methodology of inquiry. Since digital things are not necessarily electric, maybe we can do digital humanities without computers?
Yoichi Iwasaki

Humanists creating, using, researching digital materials to do their work.
Alice Hickcox

It be what it is because it do.
Luke Waltzer

The intersection of technology and liberal arts, using emerging technology to digitize material for humanists to promote cross disciplinary studies of traditional subjects.
Tracy Jentzsch

Digital Humanities is a mode of inquiry and scholarship. It seeks to engage traditional questions using computational tools. It seeks to disseminate information in digital formats. And it engages questions of how reliance on computational tools shapes the questions asked and interpretations offered in the humanities.
Jeri Wieringa

Field in which scholars use digital tools to investigate/explore humanities topics.
Julia Turner

DH is a way of rethinking how work and interact in the digital age.
Dean Rehberger

Though I think "Digital Humanities" can mean a wide range of things depending on who's defining it, I define it (usually in lowercase) as an area of study that focuses on the intersection of technology and humanistic research. That's the bare bones of it. But really, in practice (or in Praxis, in my case, as in the Praxis Program at UVa - get it?), DH is a wild, carefree romp through the worlds of coding, design, project management, data analysis, and much more, in order to rethink and reappropriate traditional methodologies of humanities scholarship and research.
Brooke Lockwood Lestock

While I endorse all the work done under the rubric of Digital Humanities, I am actually not a fan of the term. I feel that the term is used to define a political move within academia that is focused on the privileging of certain technologies and technological approaches over the greater epistemological questions that define the humanities and its constituent disciplines. As someone who has to work with people who may be wary of digital technology in their teaching, research, and publishing practice, I find that insinuating that "digital humanities" is in some way essentially different from general humanities alienates the unfamiliar and more deeply entrenches the already conservative. I believe that an approach that considers the incorporation of these technologies as part of a continuum in the ongoing impact of technology on academic work that predates the digital and not as a political paradigmatic shift better reminds us that scholarship is centrally focused on the answering of questions about the unknown with whatever tools are at our disposal. The digital shouldn't really matter in the name and we should think about incorporating this approach to scholarship across all work and not a subset of research. The work is good and important, the term I find more problematic and rarely if ever use to define my work or the work we do at my institution.
Kimon Keramidas

To reconsider the methodology of humanities using digital technology. Thereby, to reconfirm the significance of the humanities.
Makoto Goto

As a rule, I find definitions rather limiting, However, if pressed (as is the case now), I would say that DH is both about the application of digital technologies to research and teaching in the Humanities, and the self-reflexive critical study of those applications.
Mark McDayter

Digital humanities is just one method for conducting humanistic inquiry. Doing research in the humanities often boils down to finding a pattern--in a single text or across several texts--and then providing an interpretation of that pattern. In digital humanities, computation is used to assist in pattern recognition, pulling out patterns that would be difficult for humans to find unassisted. Interpretation of that pattern, however, remains the most important part of the process.
Brian Croxall

Using computers to analyse humanities materials and subjects, or the critical contemplation of using digital technologies for such purposes. Broadly, then, that also means that a good portion of humanities digital publishing activities can fall within its remit in some form.
Brad Scott

A democratizing force - "in order to fight the powers (or towers) that be."
Will Tchakirides

An interdisciplinary field with porous borders that is generally concerned with the impact of digital technology on traditional academic practices of teaching, research, and service.
Matthew K. Gold

Digital Humanities is the study of various humanities through the use of computational techniques. The idea is to gather new information that traditional study methods would not easily pinpoint. This new approach can also speed up the process of information retrieval, acting as a supplement to traditional studies and enhancing our overall understanding of the humanities.
Ryan E Simmons

The “digital humanities” is an umbrella term that describes how humanities scholars are using digital tools to inform, approach and present their research and teaching.
Adeline Koh

Very broadly--any application of the humanities that involves digital tools and/or approaches.
Eric Johnson

Bringing digital tools, objects and techniques to bear on traditional humanities scholarship.
Elijah Meeks

In a recent article on Inside Higher Ed., Steve Kolowich defines “digital humanities” as “a branch of scholarship that takes the computational rigor that has long undergirded the sciences and applies it to the study of history, language, art and culture.” To this (and other definitions of digital humanities), I would add that the digital humanities must also consider the interface between digital and analog culture, between the pixels of our computer screens and the printed text of bound books. What we do online has little meaning if it isn’t linked (literally or figuratively) to embodied practice. What we are online only exists insofar as it is connected to what we are in the flesh.
Jesse Stommel

Digital Humanities, as I have understood it this semester, is the idea or goal in the process of creating something new. I would define Digital Humanities as the idea of integrating and analyzing technical/computational material and create activities with humanistic studies. Basically, it's understanding the material deeper. One activity we did for example this semester was reading the stories of Sherlock Holmes. To understand the story better, with DH we used a tool called the Voyant website. On there, we were able to explore more of the stories depth such as discovering which words are used more than others, also creating charts and graphs and etc.. We were also fortunate to watch the TV series "Sherlock" to understand the story and actual characters a bit more. Another activity was when reading the novel "Ms. Dalloway," which consists of text on paper, with D; we did a mapping project of each of the character's main movements and sightseeing. It made it seem as if we could actually see where they went every day in real life using Google earth. Basically, I would say digital humanities is the process of going further within the research to find that hidden quality that you couldn't see on the surface and create something new with it.

Humanities + Digital = some new methods, ways of making, ways of seeing, and research questions
Jim Ridolfo

Digital Humanities are conceived as a modern approach to explore and develop innovative information technologies to facilitate new research findings in the humanities. It also implies the invention of new methodologies and a progessive way of "digital thinking".
Trier Center for Digital Humanities

Jason Rhody

A community of practice working at the intersection of technology and the humanities, including hackers, yackers, academia and the public.
Dave Lester

I like the definition from UCL's Centre for DH: "Digital humanities research takes place at the intersection of digital technologies and humanities. It aims to produce applications and models that make possible new kinds of research, both in the humanities disciplines and in computer science and its allied technologies. It also studies the impact of these techniques on cultural heritage, memory institutions, libraries, archives and digital culture." (
isabel Galina

Inquiry and interpretation of cultural expressions and objects, performed with computational technologies.
Natalie M. Houston

Representing humanities datasets as digital objects that can be manipulated or rendered programmatically or serialized data so it can be transformed by other services or applications.
Scott Turnbull

Technology, media and openness incorporated in researching, presenting and teaching the humanities.
Fien Danniau

Digital humanities is the synergy of the humanities and digital technologies, resulting in potentially powerful new ways of researching, analysing, synthesising and presenting humanities scholarship.
Rachel Murphy

Digital humanities is an area of education and creation based on the junction of computing and the disciplines of the humanities.

Humanities scholarship appropriate to the 21st century, building reusable and interlinkable resources.
Nick Thieberger

Digital Humanities allow people a new possibility to access knowledge and in turn generates new knowledge
Michelle Moore

I define digital humanities as the engagement and practice of the humanities with and through digital technologies. This is far from simple, however. Digital technologies change the way we do work. They change the way we compose and revise even when we are writing for print publication. They also afford us new ways to distribute and publish our work and how we can analyze and manipulate information. More radically, however, digital technologies change the way we organize and perceive the world which leads us to ask new questions and adopt new ideologies. For instance, the rise of open access scholarship, Creative Commons licenses, and remix culture are all breaks from the ideologies of print culture.

Digital humanities for me is the application of emerging digital technologies to the study of humanities in an attempt to refine and further develop our understanding of humanities subjects.
Luke Kirwan

Using or making digital tools, and methods do humanities scholarship.
Sharon M. Leon

Utilizing computers and new media tools to ask and answer questions in a multiplicity of ways that traditional methodologies are unable to.
Dan Ludington

Using any aspect of the digital to investigate humanities-oriented questions or complete humanities projects.
Tassie Gniady

A study field of Humanities using information/communication technology. A study of a method for recording/storing/providing of information resources related to the humanities.
taizo yamada

Digital Humanities describes the incorporation of digital media into the production, distribution, and archiving of Humanities research. Digital Humanities encompasses both the use and creation of digital tools and the interrogation of these tools--that is, to think about how digital media not only remake scholarship/academia, but society at large.
Melanie Kohnen

If I were to define the Digital Humanities, I would say the Digital Humanities are the collaboration of work and compiling of research into technology that can be easily accessible and beneficial to communities, institutions, and research. It also includes all humanities-literature, art, and research that is being put online in order for people, no matter the level, to be able to use these tools to their ability.
Amelia Newton

Using dig tech to solve humanist problem - in my case, anything concerning the visual.

A field of study that focuses on the digitization and analysis of materials related to humanities. It allows for modern tools to effectively help in the analysis and research of humanities disciplines.
George Peagler

Digital Humanities sits on the crossing vertices of genuine interdisciplinarity, continual emergence of new practices, seeking of fresh research questions and open communication.
Simon Tanner

DH brings together ICT-based methods, tools, and digital data with traditional Humanities’ methods and research objects to support the exploration of old Humanities’ quests as well as to discover new access paths to the yet unknown and unthinkable. DH brings up young scholars in the Humanities thinking and acting collaboratively on a global level.

Um ... anything in the humanities that has a digital aspect
Alastair Dunning

Digital Humanities are Humanities enhanced by information technology on all possible levels.
Ulrike Henny

As a designer attached to a department of academics I wouldn't even start.
David Little

I'm looking on DH from a Humanities view. I think the DH should be part of the "traditional" Humanities not part from it. We are using new methods and perhaps aks new questions in a new way but at least we are Humanists.

Creative, critical, and technical work engaging with present-day and emerging technologies, and inspired by or extending traditional liberal-arts studies.
Tim McCormick

Combination of the humanities with IT and all the latest technologies in a museum, archival and research context.
Annette Strauch

Using digital tools to create a deeper understanding of the humanities.
kevin gunn

Researching, teaching, creating and interacting at the nexus of the digital and the humanities.
Donna Maria Alexander

Translocal, transmedia, transgender global convergence between innovation, sustainability and human rights.
Gilson Schwartz

I don't—I use and develop computational tools for humanities research.
Travis Brown

The stuff humanities people do when they get a computer.
Daniel Hooper

Activities in humanities-related disciplines which involve a significant amount of research computing ( in e.g. resource creation, annotation, analysis, data visualization, etc.)

I define the Digital Humanities very narrowly, so that _I_ belong, but _you_ don't.
Ben Brumfield

I don't.
Dave Jones

The use of digital media and tools to answer traditional humanities questions, and the study of new questions that are formed by the intersection of modern methods/tools/models and humanitistic sources.
Laurie Allen

The creation and critical application of digital technologies to develop scholarly communities and further humanistic knowledge.
Jason M Kelly

Transformation of humanities research, teaching, and representation through the use of digital tools and methods. Also, transdisciplinary modes of inquiry facilitated by the digitally-assisted breakdown of disciplinary boundaries often dependent upon physical and formal constraints as manifested in analog experience.
Victoria Szabo

I don't. I prefer to splash around.
Joanna O'Connell

I don't have a definition yet--that's why I'm here. I'm interested in exploring new ways digital/social media can intersect with our work in the Humanities.
Anne Jamison

Digital humanities is a field that uses contemporary technology - and imagines and creates new technologies - to learn and teach about culture.
Joan Fragaszy Troyano

Technology and computing are used to reexamine traditional humanities research and explore new modes of scholarship.
Timothy Lepczyk

Digital Humanities is a broad, creative, interdisciplinary field that brings together quantitative analysis and the humanities. This incorporates not just text analysis, but visual imaging and design (what I'm interested in), community collaboration, and scholarship across the continents.
Emma Millon

DH scholarship is not merely the content of traditional humanistic scholarship translated into new media nor the methods of traditional humanistic scholarship transferred to new content. It is the synthesis of traditional humanistic inquiry and computing technologies by which such inquiry is expanded and deepened in ways it could not have been without that technology. (
Karen Davis

Making technology humane.

the essentially collaborative application of engineering-type solutions to human-type problems
Jennifer Edmond

Scholars and students of Digital Humanities explore the benefits computing tools, applications, and softwares offer the field of Humanities. Whether philosophical or pragmatic or both, Digital Humanists are the future of Liberal Arts programs everywhere.
Jasmine Mulliken

I define digital humanities as being an open field that encompasses both studying texts that are created and read in digital spaces; and the use of digital tools to study non-digital texts, i.e., 18th century lit.
Paige Morgan

The intersection of new computational approaches to traditional humanistic scholarship.
Glenn Roe

what they said ... because really, it is. i don't have a new spin on the definition. and yet can do better despite Melissa Terras' plea in her keynote for DH 2010 to move away from "the intersection of." to me it is not an elusive thing, this digital humanities. it is part of my job as a librarian. the happy part i might add. and i strive to welcome folks who want to get their feet wet and challenge myself to learn more when partnering with the wizards.
Michelle Dalmau

I study digital culture, practice information architecture, and teach both. My definition comes at this intersection between academic research and industry practice.
Liza Potts

I conceive digital humanities in two levels, one as a powerful tool to performed complex analysis, in my particular case, of literary and cultural phenomena. There are a lot tools that can help to unveil relations hidden in huge corpus of information. In the other hand, having the ability to develop those tools and even create digital objects as such is the other level. Digital humanities are a new paradigm that allows us to embedded different views and possibilities.
Manuel Sánchez

The use of (innovative) digital technologies in the humanities to allow for research and education otherwise not possible
Saskia Scheltjens

The emergence of traditional humanities into the future of technology.
Kelly Martinette

The study of digital culture; a collaborative praxis; the intersection of computing with the questions of the humanities; challenging; exciting; fluid.
Katherine McSharry

It's beyond interdisciplinary--it's a new ecosystem that includes scholars, librarians, archivists, computer scientists, graphic designers, administrators, students, teachers, granting agencies (public and private), and anyone else interested in promoting humanistic ways of experiencing digital media (or digital ways of experiencing the humanities).
Edward Whitley

DH allows theoretical and practical disciplines come together and create something new...

Is just plain Humanities using Digital tools.
Javier de la Rosa

Give me a break. I'm still working on defining humanities but have been using digital tools in that quest since before DH had a name. Ask me again later.
Vanessa Vaile

Using digital resources, methods and tools to do good transformative humanities research
lorna hughes

To me digital humanities is not adding computing to traditional humanities subjects; it is rethinking our subjects and core activities (teaching, scholarship) as the new communications media take us to new questions, new modes of creativity, and new connections among people and ideas.
Gideon Burton

Digital Humanities can be defined as the contemporary phase of the humanities that tackles to fathom, apply--and make sense of--the emerging digital globalization of society.
Xavier Gamboa

A skin of modernization on the traditional humanities.
Johan Soriao

A community of practice for humanists who are (1) inventing a new medium of scholarly and educational discourse by exploiting the powerful affordances of the digital medium and (2) critically reflecting upon the process of media innovation.
Janet H. Murray

Computer aided social science.
Benjamin Vis

With great difficulty. Under duress, the intersection between the humanities and computation with exciting results.
Sinéad Moloney

I define Digital Humanities as the re-figuring of computing, a historically positivist field, in order to pose and answer the more speculative questions typical of the humanities. Of late I have been considering the difference between Digital Humanities (which seems to centre on humanities inquiry) and humanities computing (which focuses on the intersection of humanities with computer as a material object).
Constance Crompton

The Digital Humanities are a community of scholars who support, facilitate, and engage in using technology to augment the practice of traditional humanities research.
Kristin Cornelius

DH are part of the Humanities. Humanists ask research questions. From time to time it makes sense to answer them by using digital means and methods. It's not a decision between digital or analog. Digital Humanities has to match with scope and focus of the research project

3 responses to How Do You Define DH?

  1. Any computational method that presents us with absolute certainty regarding the true authorship of the Pauline Epistles, the plays of Shakespeare, and the Homeric Iliad and Odyssey. When we’ve done that, the rest will follow.

  2. Let’s not all drop close reading too quickly… There are at least two spam comments in this list that should be excised and should have been noticed if anyone was actually reading the list of definitions.

    • Elijah, when did you look at the list? I read over this page regularly as a way to identify spam sign-ups – the only two we had today had signed up in the past half-day.

      My favorite answer by a spammer (long deleted) was ‘Google.’

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>