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.
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…