Redefining Boundaries: What “Digital Humanities” Truly Signifies According to Kathleen Fitzpatrick

Type B

Write a 250 word blog post about Kathleen Fitzpatrick’s “The Humanities, Done Digitally”, presenting an opinion on what Digital Humanities means

Title: Redefining Boundaries: What “Digital Humanities” Truly Signifies According to Kathleen Fitzpatrick

Kathleen Fitzpatrick’s influential work, “The Humanities, Done Digitally,” challenges traditional notions of the humanities and offers a thought-provoking perspective on what Digital Humanities truly means. In Fitzpatrick’s view, Digital Humanities extends beyond the mere integration of technology into scholarly pursuits; it represents a profound shift in how we engage with knowledge and the world around us.

Digital Humanities, as Fitzpatrick envisions it, transcends the boundaries of traditional academia. It is a dynamic space where technology becomes a powerful ally in reimagining how we research, collaborate, and communicate. This expanded definition includes practices like open access publishing, crowdsourced projects, and digital archives that make the humanities more inclusive, accessible, and democratic.

One key aspect of Fitzpatrick’s vision is the concept of “public humanities.” Digital Humanities, she argues, should bridge the gap between academia and the broader public, enabling scholars to share their work with a global audience. This vision transforms the humanities from an ivory tower pursuit into a tool for fostering understanding, empathy, and engagement with diverse communities.

Furthermore, Fitzpatrick underscores the importance of collaboration in Digital Humanities. Through digital platforms, scholars can collaborate across disciplines and institutions, breaking down silos and fostering innovative approaches to research and problem-solving. This collaborative spirit opens new avenues for exploring complex questions and generating fresh insights.

In conclusion, Kathleen Fitzpatrick’s perspective on “The Humanities, Done Digitally” redefines Digital Humanities as a dynamic, inclusive, and collaborative field that transcends the limitations of traditional scholarship. It signifies a transformation in how we create, share, and engage with knowledge, emphasizing openness, accessibility, and public engagement. Embracing this vision offers exciting opportunities for the humanities to remain vibrant and relevant in our increasingly digital world.

My Post:

ChatGPT seems to believe Kathleen Fitzpatrick was making a much more resounding declaration of what Digital Humanities is and should entail then she actually was. She did undoubtedly present her own takes on the matter, but with an openness and recognition to the conversation happening at large and without strong conclusiveness. I wouldn’t say the focus of her writing was to champion “transcend[ing] the boundaries of traditional academia” or the idea of “public humanities”, but she does reference collaboration somewhat, bringing up the value of bridging the divide between theory and practice.  While bringing in some new points I didn’t necessarily get out of the reading, ChatGPT glossed over some of the points I thought most interesting: 1) There is a divide between the ‘makers’ and the ‘interpreters’ in defining Digital Humanities, and 2) Trying too hard to nail down boundaries on the discipline will result in boundaries on the knowledge we’re allowed to explore.

Personally, it feels strange to put the process of analyzing traditional humanities with digital tools and analyzing digital artifacts with traditional tools into exactly the same category. They are both ‘digital’, and they are both ‘humanities’, so maybe they’re both Digital Humanities, but I’m hardpressed to say that they should be grouped together without any labeled subdivision between them. It makes sense that there’s a debate of what fits and what doesn’t when there are just so many ways to marry the digital to the humanities.

I really liked Fitzpatrick’s point that while clear boundaries and labels help when building an infrastructure for research (“allowing for the development of centers, departments, and tenure lines”), making the boundaries too rigid puts limits on the type of research people are able to do. There are multiple methods of approaching ‘digital + humanities’ that can reveal insights, so it doesn’t feel helpful to try too hard to corral it tightly.

Ibrahim Boran,

3 thoughts on “Redefining Boundaries: What “Digital Humanities” Truly Signifies According to Kathleen Fitzpatrick

  1. I think your analysis of ChatGPTs work is spot on. I think it’s important that you noted that ChatGPT recognized her as making a much firmer declaration than it seems she was. This seems to be a consistent theme with ChatGPT- it seems more uncomfortable in the unknown so it exaggerates ideas in favor of surety.

  2. If there’s one thing ChatGPT loves to do, it’s make significance out of anthills, even on more opinionated articles. It’s also kind of interesting that it misinterpreted Fitzpatrick’s point on still having some barriers between academia and public as just the opposite.

  3. I agree with what’s been said three times now: clearly ChatGPT was hallucinating in this particular case. I know that what it’s put into its article is related to questions of digital humanities that appear elsewhere in Fitzpatrick’s (and others’) work, but it seems to have no awareness of where to stop. Perhaps it should be called artificial BS rather than artificial intelligence.

    I like what you’re teasing out, Catherine, about your discomfort between Fitzpatrick’s two definitions of DH. Let’s explore that more in class…

Leave a Reply

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

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Lean Blog by Crimson Themes.