How does the digital mediates social research? Reflections on the (technical) possibilities of the digital for (post) humanities

Introduction by OpenMethods Editor (Delphine Montoliu): Here is the presentation of a project in anthropology on digital humanities methods and researches.

The way humanists use digital media is a topic in which we are very much interested in the project “Being Digital”. Apparently, academics in humanities use the digital “to do their same things”, that is, they tend to use the digital for the purpose of digitization of content – this is an aspect that we could observe from the comparison between two groups of researchers doing the Digital Scholarship Workshop that we recently organized, where we had an heterogeneous group in Lisbon with people coming from different areas whereas in Coimbra we had a group mostly composed of people in humanities. The way these groups reacted to the exercises done in the workshop suggests differences in use of the digital that seem to point out to the ‘digitization of content’ kind of approach by the humanists. I suppose that’s because humanists live in a (human-centric) world where society is one thing and technical things are another one, and so they use the digital as just another media – as if a neutral vehicle of their work. A few days ago we had a session in CES where interns in several projects presented their work. Ana Rui Fonseca was one of these interns who have been working with us in the project “Being Digital”.

 

Original publication date: 17/07/2014.

Source: How does the digital mediates social research? Reflections on the (technical) possibilities of the digital for (post) humanities | The importance of being digital