Emily Klancher Merchant, University of California, Davis
John Theibault, independent scholar
Benjamin MacDonald Schmidt, Northeastern University
Anelise Hanson Shrout, Bates College
Our goal is to start a broader conversation that we believe has been latent in controversies about “defining” digital humanities and in genealogies of digital practices in the last two decades. Panelists and the audience will consider a cluster of interrelated questions, including:
What do we mean when we say that cliometrics and digital history are both "computer-aided?" How important was the computer to the development of cliometrics?
To what extent did the “cultural turn” mark a turning away from computer aided methods in the 1970s? To what extent does the fact that literature led the way in adapting computer aided methods in the internet age facilitate readoption of those methods in history since the 1990s?
What role did the development of critical online editions play in shaping historians’ and literature scholars’ attitudes towards computer-aided methods? How important is it that some early cutting-edge centers for digital work had a critical mass of both historians and literature scholars while others seem to have been dominated by one or the other?
Has the so-called “spatial turn” led to rapprochement or increasing separation between how historians and other humanities scholars approach digital methods?
What are historians’ obligations for sharing their data as well as their analyses of data?
To what extent is Stephen Robertson right that “digital history” is and ought to be something distinct from “digital humanities”?
Although we are proposing this panel for the AHA meeting and are not simultaneously submitting it for the MLA meeting, we believe this is a panel that will attract participants for the MLA and encourage cross-disciplinary conversations about the relationship between digital history and digital humanities.