Culture Magazine

Nowviskie on Why DH is Not a Neoliberal Con Job

By Bbenzon @bbenzon
Melissa Dinsman interviews Beverly Nowviskie in LARB. Here's one bit:
So how can we reconcile the digital humanities benefit outside the academy with critiques of the field that connect the emergence of DH to the increased “neoliberalization and corporatization of higher education”? (I am quoting media scholar Richard Grusin here from his C21 post “The Dark Side of the Digital Humanities.”) Do you think such a comparison has merit? Is there something about the digital humanities’s desire to produce that creates an alignment with neoliberal thinking?
Well, sure, DH is complicit in the modern university in the same way that every other practice and part of the humanities that succumbs to certain logics and economies of production and consumption is complicit. So, part of that struggle to enter the mainstream academy I was telling you about succeeded insofar as we, too, in DH now participate in screwed-up metrics and systems of scholarly communication along with everybody else. I’m talking here about how almost everyone in the academic humanities is caught up in the provision of free labor and content to monopolistic, private journal and database providers that then sell us our own content back to us at exorbitant prices. And I’m also thinking of humanities scholars’ general complicity with mismatched demands between what we know might really benefit scholarship and open inquiry and the public good versus what our disciplines ask early-career scholars to produce — and of how parochially we measure their output and impact. In many ways, I think you could turn around and look to the digital humanities not as a sign of the apocalypse but for paths out of this mess. Here’s a field that has been working for years on open access research and publication platforms, on ways to articulate and valorize work done outside of narrow, elite channels, and on how to value scholarship that’s collaborative and interdisciplinary — instead of done solo, individualistically, and only made legible and accessible to fellow academics in little subdisciplines, which is still the M. O. of the broader field. And on a conceptual level, the data- and text-analysis and visualization strand of digital humanities is pretty much all about finding ways to nuance mechanistic quantification and turn it on its head — to better value and appreciate and elevate the ineffable, not in spite of numbers and measures but through them. I mean, that’s our research field.
On that last point I would note purely discursive thinking tends toward binary factoring into black and white while appropriate quantification allows for nuance by supporting shades of gray, lots of them. 

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Big Food Giants Manipulate Public Health Policy in China

    Food Giants Manipulate Public Health Policy China

    Coca-Cola is at it again. As soda sales decline in the United States and Europe, beverage companies look to emerging economies like China for growth. And, it... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE
  • Jewellery for a Precious You

    Jewellery Precious

    Jewellery is always close to a woman’s heart. It completes her look and boost confidence. Considering the changing trends in jewellery fashion, it becomes... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Dr.jenifer Sayyed
    LIFESTYLE
  • Rajshri Productions’ Next Is A Film On Friendship | Hum Chaar | Trailer

    Abhishek Dixit’s debut feature film Hum Chaar is a Bollywood film made under the banner of Rajshri’s film. Hum Chaar is written and directed by Abhishek Dixit. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Themoviean
    ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES
  • Saint Paul the First Hermit

    Saint Paul First Hermit

    Today is the feast day of Saint Paul the hermit. This is a sweet and delicate Oatmeal Bread topped with rolled oats and naturally sweetened with agave. Saint... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Veronica46
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES
  • Irupathiyonnaam Noottaandu | Teaser | Pranav Mohanlal | Arun Gopy

    Arun Gopy’s Irupathiyonnaam Noottaandu is an upcoming Malayalam action-drama feature film starring Pranav Mohanlal and Zaya David in the lead roles. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Themoviean
    ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES
  • A Year Of Body Positivity

    Year Body Positivity

    Last January, as I sat there on New Years eve all set to make the same old resolutions I've made year after year for as long as I can remember, I realised how... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Sparklesandstretchmarks
    DIARIES, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – Jan 2019

    Garden Bloggers Bloom 2019

    Euphorbia rigidaWhen I went out to take the photos for this blog post I was surprised at how much was in flower dotted around the garden. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Patientgardener
    GARDENING, HOME