The Year’s Work in Critical and Cultural Theory: new Digital Humanities section

Beginning in the 2016 volume, The Year’s Work in Critical and Cultural Theory has a new section on the digital humanities. Written by Anthony Mandal:

"The digital humanities continue to grow within the academy, moving from earlier concentrations on tools development towards more sustained conceptual encounters with our increasingly digital culture. A number of recent publications have introduced the key terms of reference for digital humanistic practice to those unacquainted or uninitiated with current developments in the field. Nevertheless, the longstanding paucity of engagement with theory in the digital humanities has been critiqued as constructing a field that is fundamentally instrumental and un-self-reflexive. This chapter considers seven publications from 2015 that go some way to addressing this lacuna in their demonstration of digital humanities scholarship as not only open to, but capable of, persuasive and nuanced explorations of theory. This manifests itself in various ways: presenting the digital humanities as an inter- or transdisciplinary practice that reconfigures and replenishes the broader traditions of studia humanitatis; in the form of a new ‘digital rhetoric’ that brings production and usage ever closer; or as part of an emergent ecology of ‘knowledge machines’ that draw on the ‘mathematization’ of information. The chapter also considers works that analyse the role of digital media in wider culture, particularly through the affordances and constraints of the social media platforms of Web 2.0."