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What are the digital humanities? How do I get started? What does ‘dh’ mean for me, when I study anthropology/sociology/english/history/philosophy/music/…etc? This primer is meant to be a starting place for undergraduate students new to digital humanities, and for instructors looking for a useful wedge into a fast-paced and developing field of interdisciplinary endeavour.

You won’t find every possible topic covered here. In fact, you’ll find only those topics that the MA students in DIGH5000, Introduction to Digital Humanities at Carleton University explored in their seminar, in the 2017-2018 year. Our program at Carleton straddles twelve disciplines; we spend a lot of time learning how to talk to one another through the shared ground of the digital humanities. It is this sharing that makes our work of broader use and interest.

Our book is an exercise in what Kathleen Fitzpatrick calls ‘Generous Thinking’:

Generous Thinking [begins] by proposing that rooting the humanities in generosity, and in particular in the practices of thinking with rather than reflexively against both the people and the materials with which we work, might invite more productive relationships and conversations not just among scholars but between scholars and the surrounding community.

When you find a topic that could be expanded – and of course, you will –  let us know; when you know a topic that we’ve missed, let us know.  This book is a living volume, a record of exploration and intellectual development. Each year, Dr. Shawn Graham leads us on this adventure; it is his intention that each year this primer should grow, be updated, be improved, and be expanded as new perspectives, new individuals, join our program. Please do use our volume and feel free to annotate it with the Hypothes.is sidebar; students using this volume might also want to consider the ‘annotation tips for students‘ in order to get the most out of this collaborative reading tool.

– The students of DIGH5000 at Carleton University


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