[P5857] The Difference of Digital Humanities
Created by Thomas Carlson
Wednesday, 10/14/20 11:00 am
SUMMARY:This panel aims to showcase some of the the ways that digital scholarship is transforming our understanding of the social and cultural history of the Middle East (from the pre-modern to contemporary period) by changing both the sources we use and the ways that we use those sources. The panelists will present four different research projects, each of which benefits from the combination of mass digitization efforts in the Middle East--some of which date back twenty years--and increasing collaborations between historians and computer scientists. These projects demonstrate not only how the scale of the data has increased, but also how the methods used by historians have diversified and artificial intelligence approaches such as machine learning are opening new ways to do our research. Debates in digital humanities that begin with the value of digital methods often return to the nature of knowledge itself. Do digital methods, in fact, tell us what we intuitively already know? If so, how can we be so sure that we actually know it? Or, if in fact we don’t know it, do digital methods only point us in the direction of what could really be discovered through more traditional humanistic modes of analysis? The presenters explore a range of views through their case studies to clarify the difference in digital humanities. Digital methods allow us to say different things with different sources, and they are both revelatory and limited in ways that we will discuss.