When Digital Humanities Meets the Masses

Tik Tok and the Kardashians can be labelled as important to the progression of Digital Humanities. No really.

HOW: Both are seismic shifts in cultural impact and digital culture. In an age where the printed word is no longer the main medium for knowledge, production and distribution (Digital Humanities, Wikipedia) these influencers thrive by how the Calabasas sisters create new techniques in marketing and self-promotion emulated by millions of Instafanatics and the soon-to-be-banned-or-will-it app has changed how media presents the message. Just one request please…no more moms drunk on Pinot Grigio dancing to WAP.

Kim Kardashian-West in Yeezy Season 6 fashion.

WHAT: Digitial Humanities furthermore focus on working with texts and images, as most work in digital history does. (Wiley.com) While the topics selected above seem inconsequential, the online communities and cultures surrounding these digital leaders will require documentation by digital archivists and face future challenges of how to back up and file their rise when the platforms evolve and disappear.

WHY: The reach for digital humanities can go beyond just academia but to the masses since the enthusiasm for this can be embodied in pop culture and more high-minded goals to advance civilization. (But hey tips to a good contour for cheekbones while mimicking a HBCU high kick with your girlfriends helps ease the bleakness you know what I’m saying.) A point made in New Republic’s Digital Humanities is Taking Over the English Department, basic emphasis on teamwork and building, as opposed to solitary intellection, is common to all stripes of digital humanists. Digital_Humanities leaves no doubt that the future of the field belongs to democratic groups, not elitist individuals.

TIME IS NOW: The disappearance of traditional, scholarly functions appears exaggerated since the ivory towers will always have a place for this but elevate it with the embrace of digital possibilities and carry people who previously experienced exclusion. The hard sell employed by Kris Jenner’s brood or the legion of Tik Tok stans to academics may not alleviate anxiety for academics and historians but they are already in the digital wading pool due to the pressures of COVID-19 to reach their students. The revolution has already begun…

Enjoy Mr. Sandman Cat a viral sensation on Tik-Tok.

6 Replies to “When Digital Humanities Meets the Masses”

  1. Hi Brooke! Excellent structure idea! And excellent writing, too. I enjoy the strong voice and the broader cultural language/factors you introduce with TikTok, Kardashians, stans, etc. Reminding readers that the world outside the academy is always changing does a great service towards contextualizing our readings and the overall angst about digitizing the humanities. This state of transition seems imperative so long as humanity itself is digital. Also props for calling out elitism when you see it.

    1. Hello Peter,

      Appreciate the comment and my apologies for the delay since I failed to search for my comment section. Elitism only serves those who hold onto it dearly. Not that I’m knocking academia in any way….no no no no

      Have a good day,

      Brooke

  2. The digital time capsule of the early 2000s must include references to those who influenced pop culture. My question is, will we look back in horror?

  3. I really enjoy how you brought pop culture into your post. It is a fun and unexpected way to talk about digital humanities. People don’t normally think of pop culture being of academic value, but as you said, they are going to be documented in the future because they are such a large part of our lives. Is there any particular reason you chose Tik Tok and the Kardashians? Is it because they are a fairly universal topic?

    1. Hello Haley,

      I chose Tik Tok and Kardashians since these topics are relatable across all generations by the mere domination they have on our society (bad or good) and everyone has an opinion on these topics (again – good or bad). The accessibility of pop culture is what I love because it offers insight into our nation’s frame of mind (bad or good). We all need some goofy relief to get us through the day.

      Have a good one,

      Brooke

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