The technological and intellectual impact of the digital humanities on the university is undeniable. Even as some observers hail the digital humanities as a savior of humanistic disciplines in crisis, critical questions about its nature and potential remain unanswered. The contributors to this special issue explicitly critique and engage the digital humanities, rather than simply celebrating the still-emerging field. This collection brings together scholars from the center of digital humanities initiatives and from the closely related fields of new media and software studies, among others, to interrogate some of the assumptions and elisions at play in previous discussions of the digital humanities and assess their impact on the humanities and the university at large. Topics include the national security state; games and “gamification”; the funding crisis in higher education and MOOCs; and issues of race, gender, and class marginalization in digital humanities research.
Elizabeth Weed and Ellen Rooney are Professors in the Department of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University.