Nov 12

Digital Humanities for the Masses

I am an educator above all else. So my vantage point is as someone who is primarily interested in an end-user as opposed to the technology (mean) or even the historical materials (content). I want to know how I can share information with people in compelling ways.

My work in the digital humanities thus far, though always firmly grounded in sound scholarly practice, has been all about harnessing technology to create access to historical material and to present those materials in intriguing ways that inspire inquiry and (hopefully) learning.

While I understand and value the need for scholars and academics to connect with one another and materials, I’m hoping we can talk about a place outside the realm of this specific group, to explore how to use the practices/experiences of digital humanists to reach a much broader public with our work. We are all so deeply involved in doing the real work of historians, humanists, etc.–we are experts. How can we channel this energy into more public offerings that will invite novices, teachers, high school students, etc. into our world so they to can become deeply involved and invested in this work as well?

I have been working on one specific project (www.oldnorth.org/tories), but would love to hear more about other initiatives that are geared toward connecting with non-academic audiences and that are about more than just ACCESS to materials, but using technology to model and encourage the use of these digital materials.

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