Analogizing the Sciences

May 21st, 2010 |

One of the recurring themes of digital humanities—its methods, its modes of publication, its standards for tenure and promotion, its position within the academy, its disciplinary development, its future—is analogy to the sciences. I just made one such analogy myself (to 18th century electrical research) in a recent blog post.

I’d like to take a session at this year’s THATCamp to interrogate these analogies a little. Just how appropriate and useful are analogies between digital humanities and the sciences? Which analogies work and which ones don’t? How far can we take them? What practical work can they do for us?

This session will obviously be of interest to campers with academic backgrounds in history of science and technology and science and technology studies. But I would also like to invite anyone with an interest in popular science or science fiction and especially anyone with a working background in science and engineering themselves to join us.

See you all tomorrow!

Comments Feed

3 Responses to “Analogizing the Sciences”

  1. Aditi Muralidharan Says:

    I wish I’d been clever enough to apply to this THATCamp so I might now have the opportunity to attend this session.

    Really important topic. Fun to talk about too, because of the sparring about “how we do things” vs. “how you do things”.

  2. nowviskie Says:

    I’ve been noticing some related conversation happening over the past two days at the MIT humanities visualization conference. Hashtag #hdigital.

  3. Jeffrey McClurken Says:

    I’d like to explore this further as well. I think there are really useful things for DH to learn (how to assess collaborative work, for example), but I also think there are some real limits to these analogies if they suggest that there’s nothing new or transformative about DH.


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