Cultural Change in the Digital Humanities: Balancing Access, Participation & Security

Tues, Feb.  19  ~  Noon – 1:30 PM
203 Butler Library
SPONSORS:  Columbia Libraries Digital Humanities Center and Digital Program Division

Free and open to the public. No RSVP required.

Arienne M. Dwyer
Visiting Professor of Digital Humanities, CUNY Graduate Center
Professor of Linguistic Anthropology, University of Kansas
Co-Director, Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities, University of Kansas

The digital humanities idealize openness, by promoting open access to scholarly resources, open source software, and the free sharing of information and knowledge. We digital humanists are making use of the democratic and collaborative potential of Internet to allow greater access to resources, as well as about gaining wider and more diverse audiences for our own scholarship. The interdisciplinary collaboration that this work necessarily entails creates a microsocial organization that contrasts with the lone-scholar approach of the traditional humanities.

With extreme openness comes security risks: material may be lost, borrowed without attribution, or insufficiently recognized as valid scholarship. Some security issues are amenable to technical fixes. Yet what motivates many humanists to decline to participate more collaboratively or openly is as much a social issue as a technical one; despite extensive reform efforts, scholarly recognition is still heavily tied to traditional modes of publication and recognition. Further, social networks entail a culture change. This talk focuses on taking the security and cultural concerns of humanists seriously, in order to encourage the broader participation of humanists in these emerging forms of scholarship.

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