I have wanted to write about the digital humanities for some time now, and I hope this blog will be the place. I chose a blog because many things I’d like to say are too informal or too opinion-based as to be part of a scientific publication. Also, I am interested in hearing comments from other people and seeing how much my views are shared.
As the blog title implies, I will be writing about the digital humanities but in an unconventional way. This is so because my understanding of what the digital humanities are, what they should be, and how to practise them, is quite different to that of most of my colleagues, as far as I understand. My background is in software engineering and science (biology, in particular), although I’ve been working in the digital humanities for over 25 years, before the “digital humanities” term was mainstream. This means that I have come to this place from a direction that is very different to that of most other people. According to my experience, most people in the digital humanities are humanists (archaeologists, linguists, anthropologists or whatever) that have been attracted towards the digital and, very often, learnt about it. On the contrary, I am a software engineer who has been attracted towards the humanities, and (hopefully) have learnt about them. This difference will be very patent in my posts.
I am planning to write about what the digital humanities are and what they should be, as well as on whether they make sense at all, to start with. I am also planning to write about specific trends and technologies within the digital humanities, such as TEI, linked open data, thesauri, repositories, databases, metadata, etc. And I am also planning to write about topics that are rarely discussed in the digital humanities community, but which I believe should be, such as conceptual modelling, abstraction, systems design or research management.
Usually, I will write in a quite informal tone, like this. I will try to provide scholarly references when needed, and sometimes I’ll get into the nitty-gritty of things. However, I hope my posts stay accessible to a wide audience, even outside the digital humanities community. Please read on and leave your comments.