Uneasy Dreams: the Becoming of Digital Scholarship
The creation of the discipline - if that's what it is - of the digital humanities has gone hand in hand with the ever more pervasive pertinence for humanities academics of a 'digital scholarship' conceived more generally. Scholarship, in Ernest Boyer's influential terms, consists of the different intellectual activities of discovery, integration, application and teaching; each of these activities has been, and is still, undergoing change as a result of the wider intellectual transformations wrought by digital technologies. But scholarly understanding of the nature of such change rests on a variety of differing assumptions - is this, for example, augmentation, development, or metamorphosis? The difference between such assumptions can readily shape the way in which we react to the challenge posed by the attraction, and encroachment, of digital approaches. Some have been moved to ask: can we ignore or resist them? What will become of our disciplines if we can't, or don't? This lecture will explore some possible responses to these concerns through a series of examples drawn, largely, from my own experience as an originally analogue scholar who has been a long time in the process of becoming digital.