French Perspectives on Digital Humanities: Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité?

Abstract : In studying ‘digital humanities’, what might seem to be mainly technical or academic concerns prove to have real political implications. This paper discusses the infrastructure, methodology, and applications created by a new generation of researchers with the help of digital humanities which can help lend academia a new sense of purpose, rather than a purpose per se, by questioning the notions of literacy, accessibility, autonomy of thinking and learning at the heart of modern universities. Digital humanities may help rekindle academics’ embattled feeling that they belong to a community (of learning, of thought). This paper also argues that new forms of research require new evaluation criteria which value collaboration and open access over competition and market-based point-scoring. Whether this can be achieved in France remains to be seen, but the freedom of expression, openness and responsiveness afforded by digital humanities might prove truly revolutionary, allowing “the people” to educate themselves despite every effort by policymakers to determine who and what should be taught.
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Yan Brailowsky. French Perspectives on Digital Humanities: Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité?. Etats critiques et transitions disciplinaires, Nov 2011, Saint-Denis, France. ⟨hal-01985162⟩

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