The average digital humanist has 2.5 programmers’ and other mismeasures of the field
Trevor Muñoz, Assistant Dean for Digital Humanities Research at the University of Maryland Libraries and Associate Director of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH)
In a recent article in PMLA, Alan Liu argues that we should raise our attention from the too-familiar, vexed question—”What are the digital humanities?—to the larger issue of the meaning of the digital humanities to the humanities. While exploring this larger issue, Liu stops to remark that the question of meaning is coextensive with questions of “collaboration,” but for the sake of pursuing his main argument, he observes that the collaboration problem is “fundamentally convertible to the meaning problem.” This talk will focus on the conversion from the meaning problem to the collaboration problem because the success of this conversion is central to practicing digital humanities. Reflecting on how we convert the genuine intellectual excitement of digital methods into projects, teams, articles, monographs, centers, and conversations helps ensure that our work is both in the humanities and in the world. The experience of building the Digital Humanities Incubator, a program to support digital humanities work by more members of the academic community at the University of Maryland, will serve as a touch point for developing an idea of “community capability” as an important goal for digital humanities initiatives.
Trevor holds an MA in Digital Humanities from the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London and an MS in Library and Information Science from the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He works on developing digital research projects and services at the intersection of digital humanities centers and libraries. The Digital Humanities Incubator (which he directs with Jennifer Guiliano) is a joint initiative of MITH and the University of Maryland Libraries aimed at developing local leadership capacity for digital humanities projects through a program of skill development tailored to librarians, library staff, and library graduate assistants. Trevor’s personal research interests include electronic publishing and the curation of digital humanities research data. He currently serves as the Principal Investigator for the Digital Humanities Data Curation Institute project, supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.