Departmental Papers (Religious Studies)

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Conference Paper

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Online Humanities Scholarship: The Shape of Thing to Come

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I would like to begin by thanking Jerry McGann for inviting me to engage in this vital discussion. As someone who works with Native American communities, which are rarely represented in forums like this one, it means a great deal to have these indigenous voices recognized and authorized. I would also like to thank Ken Price for his very thoughtful essay. This response seeks to pursue in greater depth an issue raised by Ken’s comparison between the Walt Whitman Archive, a “single author-based” project begun in 1995, and Civil War Washington, a “theme-based” archive currently in development. More specifically, this brief analysis will take up the challenge that Ken puts forward—how can digital humanities transition from earlier, editorial projects, which tended to focus on “canonical” authors or historical moments (e.g., Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Rome or the Civil War), to engage more fully with the emphasis in the humanities-at-large on cultural studies. In other words, how can we negotiate the “cultural turn” without the divisiveness that fractured the humanities in the late twentieth century? In doing so, the paper will lay out a new model for a digital humanities center focused on Native American culture that reaches beyond the academy’s walls to build digital infrastructure in Native American communities.

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This paper was first published by Rice University Press. Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)

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Date Posted: 18 September 2017