Birds of a Feather session Digital Humanities Australasia 2018

Teaching Digital Humanities (127)

Craig Bellamy 1
  1. Charles Sturt University, Melbourn, VIC, Australia

This informal BOF Session proposes to stimulate discussion, problematise, and enhance the techniques for those involved in teaching in the digital humanities through drawing upon best-practice examples and the audience’s expertise.  It will first survey the range of tools and methods available to teachers in digital humanities (such as document and data capture, collaboration and communication, data analysis, publishing and dissemination, data structure and enhancement), along with their applicable pedagogies in the classroom. It will draw upon case-examples and provide materials and samples to contextualise the discussion.

It is the contention of the BOF, that teaching in the digital humanities, like in many technical fields, should not principally be concerned with predetermined techniques to achieve predetermined results. The digital humanities is about considered humanities questions to achieve challenging interpretations. Digital resources and tools are made available to students through a series of choices by their educators and making students aware of these choices, along with the tools’ new affordances and limitations, is vital for facilitating active and critical engagement with them.

Accordingly, teaching technical skills to humanities students, so that they are faced with similar technical choices to developers, is one way to emphasise that computing technologies, just like the academic monologue, is a series of applied choices, arguments and interpretations.  Likewise, the critical interpretation of digital objects through the provision of architectures that open-up critical interpretations within assessable tasks is another teaching technique (much of this work is being done through disciplined-based virtual research environments or generalist educational technologies).

As a suggested output of this BOF, a white paper could be produced for publication on the aaDH website to guide educators to the resources, tools, and pedagogies available to them for teaching the digital humanities.

  1. Bellamy, Craig. “The Sound of Many Hands Clapping: Teaching the Digital Humanities through Virtual Research Environment (VREs)” Digital Humanities Quarterly. 6.1 (2012)
  2. Mahony, Simon and Elena Pierazzo. “Teaching Skills or Teaching Methodology?” Digital Humanities Pedagogy: Practices, Principles and Politics. Brett D. Hirsch, ed. Cambridge: UK, OpenBook Publishers, 2012.