Critical digital humanities : the search for a methodology /

"Can established humanities methods coexist with computational thinking? It is one of the major questions in humanities research today, as scholars increasingly adopt sophisticated data science for their work. James E. Dobson explores the opportunities and complications faced by humanists in th...

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Dobson, James E., author.
Imprint:Urbana, [Illinois] : University of Illinois Press, [2019]
Description:xiv, 175 pages : illustrations 23 cm.
Language:English
Series:Topics in the digital humanities
Topics in the digital humanities.
Subject:Digital humanities -- Research -- Methodology.
Format: Print Book
URL for this record:http://pi.lib.uchicago.edu/1001/cat/bib/11800321
Hidden Bibliographic Details
ISBN:9780252042270
0252042271
9780252084041
0252084047
Notes:Includes bibliographical references and index.
Summary:"Can established humanities methods coexist with computational thinking? It is one of the major questions in humanities research today, as scholars increasingly adopt sophisticated data science for their work. James E. Dobson explores the opportunities and complications faced by humanists in this new era. Though the study and interpretation of texts alongside sophisticated computational tools can serve scholarship, these methods cannot replace existing frameworks. As Dobson shows, ideas of scientific validity cannot easily nor should be adapted for humanities research because digital humanities, unlike science, lack a leading-edge horizon charting the frontiers of inquiry. Instead, the methods of digital humanities require a constant rereading. At the same time, suspicious and critical readings of digital methodologies make it unwise for scholars to defer to computational methods. Humanists must examine the tools--including the assumptions that went into the codes and algorithms--and questions surrounding their own use of digital technology in research. Insightful and forward thinking, this book lays out a new path of humanistic inquiry that merges critical theory and computational science"--
Review by Choice Review

Where do the digital humanities fit within academia? How should the digital humanist's computational toolbox be positioned in relation to traditional scholarly approaches? These momentous questions reflect the ongoing, often haphazard, marriage of technology and the humanities. In Critical Digital Humanities, Dobson (English and creative writing, Dartmouth) offers his take on these questions, approaching them from the viewpoint of computational text analysis. He argues that computational methods are situated within historical and cultural contexts and that computational results, such as topic models and digital clusters of texts, are subjectively constituted through a series of human choices. Dobson's perspective is strongly theoretical and methodological; he provides ample references and leaves bountiful room for deeper discussion. That said, the book should be read in conjunction with works that counterbalance its literary-scholar point of view. Rife with scholarly language, computing terminology, and Python code, the book assumes familiarity with the subject matter; it is not appropriate for those new to digital humanities. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, faculty. --Charlie Harper, Case Western Reserve University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review