In 2009, at the opening session of the Digital Humanities annual conference, Neil Fraistat, the local organizer, made a very bold claim: “This is our time.” He was emphatically correct—more so than any of us could have dared to hope at the time. Until then, few people, even those with long histories in the field, had much reason to believe that such a prediction was well founded. In the preceding decade, digital humanities had suffered such reversals in both status and fortune that it took remarkable confidence for anyone to predict a secure future for the field.
In the early to mid-1990s, a field then known as humanities computing was swept up in the popular embrace of all things “virtual,” “cyber,” or “electronic.” At that time, expansive and frankly unrealistic predictions were widespread, both in the popular press and in academic literature, about the scope and speed of the changes that would be wrought: hypertext fiction would replace printed books; students would take online courses, with no need for classrooms or professors; digitized cultural heritage resources delivered on the web would mean that there would be no more need to visit libraries, museums, archives, and galleries in person (Nunberg; Castells; Besser).
Such changes have taken, and in some cases may still take, far longer to happen than the initial hype suggested. This makes sense, given the wider context in which academia, in general, and digital humanities, in particular, exist. We now realize that humans are social creatures who enjoy meeting and exchanging ideas, which means that pure e-learning is not a realistic prospect, at least in the short term. Our affection for and desire to use physical things have also proven remarkably robust—hence the continued popularity of the printed book, the vinyl record, and visits to museums and galleries. By the same token, it is not surprising that such physical artifacts remain crucial as objects of study in the humanities.
In the early 2000s, as the dot-com boom turned into a bust, digital humanities once again fell sway to larger shifts in popular culture. Attitudes toward the digital became more ambivalent, and the position of digital humanities in academia, never fully secure, faced significant challenges. DH centers, such as those at Toronto, Princeton, and Oxford, were closed; pioneering DH degree programs such as the MA in Digital History as Glasgow were canceled; the funding for the United Kingdom’s world-leading data repository, the Arts and Humanities Data Service, was withdrawn; Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB) funding programs were discontinued; and the academic journal Computers and the Humanities ceased publication. There were some positive developments, especially in North America: the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Office of Digital Humanities was established, the number of sessions at the MLA began to increase, new book series were commissioned, and the Digital Humanities Summer Institute was founded. Nevertheless, in 2009, it seemed far from inevitable that Fraistat’s prediction would prove correct.
Even in 2019, the status of digital humanities within academia is not fully assured. Interest is growing in the United Kingdom and continental Europe, but centers and programs still remain relatively scarce, and new tenured academic posts rare. Growth has been more rapid in North America, but there has been a perceptible backlash against digital humanities, the tensions from which are not yet resolved (Kirsch; Kirschenbaum). This uncertainty raises some important questions: How have we moved from a niche discipline to an international presence in such a short time? Is digital humanities liable to suffer from further vicissitudes, or is its place in the academy now more secure? What are the reasons for the field’s success, and what can we learn in terms of continuing our endeavors and making them sustainable?
To answer these questions, it is important to consider the nature of some of the disciplines with which digital humanities has been associated historically, as well as the institutional context in which we are working today. In doing so, this chapter calls on my own experience in a wide range of contexts within academia in the United Kingdom dating from the mid-1990s onward. These include an alt-ac (alternative-academic) role, based in university computing services; academic posts in two different iSchools, one of which I eventually chaired; another post in English Studies; and a variety of academic administrative posts, including my current position at the executive level. These roles provide a broad base of experience from which to draw conclusions about the future of the field, the challenges it will continue to face, and the best means to address them.
An Expanded or Divided Field?
Since 2011, there has been a great deal of discussion about the digital humanities as a big tent, (Pannapacker, “‘Big Tent Digital Humanities,’” Parts I & 2), but the more we grow, the more we must ask how large such a tent can become. In the first of the UCL Digital Humanities (UCLDH) Susan Hockey lectures, Hockey herself observed that the field of digital humanities is so large that perhaps it has to fragment. Once conferences get too big, there is a limit to what we can all learn, and so at some point it is likely that, like more mature disciplines, digital humanities will develop specialties and conferences that discuss them (Hockey, “Digital Humanities”). Hockey is in a good position to comment on this, having been one of the pioneers of first-wave digital humanities and having written about its early history (Hockey, “The History”). Tellingly, she does not seem to regret this development or feel that it will cause the spirit of the field to be lost. Fragmentation and specialization might, after all, be seen as indicators of health and growth. No chemist, for example, would expect to be able to undertake or even comprehend research on the whole of chemistry with a standard level of expertise, nor would she expect to know all of its subfields and every researcher working in them. Similarly, literary subfields each have a canon, yet no literary scholar would regard himself as equally expert in all of them. With growth and maturity, it may well be inevitable that we will be compelled to develop subdisciplines, while still attempting to make newcomers feel welcome in the broader field.
In the last decade, the digital humanities has also grown from a largely Anglo-American to a more global discipline. We can see this expansion when we look at the ever-growing Centernet list of DH centers or the Global Outlook DH (GO:DH) Around DH in 80 Days project. Despite the work of GO:DH and other efforts to foster international collaboration, further growth in this regard may also come at the cost of a rather less cohesive discipline—not only in terms of specialization but also perhaps in terms of scholarly cultures. At its most obvious, this diffusion of the field means greater linguistic diversity, for example, in conference presentations or journal articles. International, multilinguistic research teams must increasingly also take into account differences in intellectual cultures and assumptions about working practices (Siemens and Burr, 2012). Indeed, scholarly norms and expectations, including what is regarded as prestigious, may diverge even if researchers speak the same language. For example, in the United Kingdom, universities are awarded research funding partly on the basis of a national rating exercise, called the Research Excellence Framework (REF). In 2014, 20 percent of the funds were awarded in the category of impact, which means being able to demonstrate change and benefit to the world beyond the university. Elsewhere in the world, despite the tradition of the public intellectual, nonacademic impact may seem less compelling because it is not explicitly evaluated or funded. This will inevitably affect the way that UK digital humanities scholarship develops and is communicated in the future and may cause it to diverge from norms in other parts of the DH scholarly community.
The specter of divergence has prompted several public disagreements about the future direction of DH research, with a stress on the need for greater diversity and a movement away from the technological positivism that might preclude it (Philips). Some of these arguments have become quite bitter, whether they happen live, via social media, or in many cases, both (Verhoeven; Singh). These arguments can be unpleasant, especially if individuals are attacked, but they may also represent the growing pains of a discipline, as I have argued elsewhere (Warwick, “Building Theories”).
Of course, academics are trained to be dialectical, and the more people the field attracts—and, crucially, the more attention it attracts—the more it will be critiqued. Indeed, one of the significant moments that marked the progress that digital humanities has made toward the academic mainstream was when it came to the notice of a notable controversialist of English studies and postmodernism, Stanley Fish (“The Digital Humanities”; “Mind Your P’s and B’s”). Fish was predictably negative about digital humanities and its standards of scholarship, but the fact that he had deigned to notice it at all seemed to be regarded, in some areas of traditional humanities scholarship, as an indication that the field was at last worthy of note. Controversy can, in these ways and others, be a good thing; we may have once been a smaller field with a more uniform outlook, but nobody knew or cared we were there. Even those who have renewed their calls for greater unity in the field might want to reflect on whether they would rather be regarded as excessively controversial or continue to be ignored.
These debates speak to questions about our fit in the intellectual universe, as well as what we might learn from other disciplines about diversity and inclusion, especially as related to gender. Traditionally, DH scholars have tended to come from humanities disciplines, such as history, art history, classics, and increasingly media studies. As the field becomes more diverse, the range of intellectual backgrounds seems set to increase. However, if we look at the institutional context of many DH centers and programs, a few areas predominate: English and History Departments, Library and Information Studies (LIS) Departments, or iSchools, and university computing or learning support services. Thinking about these contexts may help elucidate digital humanities’ past, its current growth, and its future potential, both in terms of issues we might want to address as a field and those we might aim to avoid.
We often think of digital humanities as a new discipline, but it is no younger than computer science; even English studies and LIS are not as old as is often assumed, dating from the late nineteenth century. In fact, LIS and English had very similar origins in the late nineteenth-century drive to produce a better-educated, more highly skilled workforce and to find something that women and non-elite men could work on in the absence of a classical education. They also respond to a need to understand, systematize, and control an ever-increasing volume of information produced by (then) new technologies (Goldie; Baldick). Computer science and digital humanities also grew out of a drive to interrogate information, of course. But English and LIS were notably dominated by female students from their foundation and, in the case of LIS at least initially, by female professors as well (Palmer; Maack). Both English studies and LIS also struggled to establish themselves as legitimate fields, being regarded as second rate to the classical or mathematical subjects predominantly studied by men.
But English and LIS have since had very different trajectories. English is now one of the most dominant arts and humanities subjects, with highly competitive entry standards. When people ask me what I do, they understand immediately if I say I am a professor of English. I was previously a professor of LIS, and almost nobody, except librarians or archivists, knew what that was. The lack of awareness of LIS is due to the fact that it has remained rather a niche discipline, taught predominantly at the graduate level in a relatively small number of universities. In the United Kingdom, at least, student numbers are falling or barely holding level, and departments may struggle to recruit new students. Recent years have also seen closures or mergers of LIS departments with other larger units (Day). Unlike English—again, at least in the United Kingdom—LIS is misunderstood and undervalued, a fate that no DH scholar, even an internal critic, would wish for the field.
So what can we learn from both fields that will help the digital humanities flourish in the future? Although LIS and English had similar beginnings, their intellectual underpinnings have always been different. LIS, more like the digital humanities than like English, stresses the importance of a single progenitor, Melvil Dewey, who set up the first library school at Columbia University in 1887 (Miksa). The difference between the two origin stories is vital, however. Roberto Busa was working on a project that used new technology, but had its origins in intellectual curiosity and endeavor and a long traditional of unimpeachable biblical scholarship. By contrast, Dewey was setting up what was essentially a training school for a para-academic profession. It is arguable, and indeed has been argued, that the reason that librarianship (although not running the library) was regarded as suitable for women was because it was seen as a service discipline from the start (Maack). In this regard, it is significant that Dewey seldom visited his school once it had been founded: he left the teaching to a very able female assistant director, Mary Fairchild (Maack). He may have preferred to exist in the predominantly masculine world of library management and bibliographical scholarship, avoiding the taint of teaching and support.
LIS has indeed produced a great deal of very important research, not least the work of Vannevar Bush, whose paper, “As We May Think,” is one of the intellectual foundations of digital humanities and web science. But for decades after its establishment as a field, LIS faced a struggle to be considered intellectually rigorous; such criticisms frequently made reference to the gender of LIS professors. Scholars, often male and often in other fields, were very quick to decry the poor quality of work in LIS, with barely concealed critical views of plodding diligence (female) in contrast to intellectual ambition (male); their implication was that library schools privileged technical instruction over research and abstract knowledge (Miksa). For example, the Williamson report of 1921 argued that “consideration should be given to the need of checking the feminization of library work as a profession.” In 1923, the same author objected that “library school instructors are seldom forceful or convincing. Most of them are women” (107). Even after World War II, there were numerous calls for more depth, rigor, and theoretical sophistication (Harris): the way to achieve this, it was argued, was to employ more college graduates, who were more likely to be male than female (Maack). This may explain the change of name to Information Science, with its connotations of masculine rigor, rather than feminized service.
The name change may also have been associated with the postwar need to organize, interrogate, and make sense of the large quantities of documents produced by the military and to mine those captured from the Axis powers for essential secrets of atoms and rocketry (Rayward, “Library and Information Science”). Some of this information was, of course, digital, but despite the excellent work of female code breakers at Bletchley Park, most postwar information scientists were male (Maack). The research they were encouraged to do remained instrumental, however, and in certain ways service oriented; the military needed help making sense of all this material (Rayward, “The History and Historiography”). Once again, therefore, the image of LIS’s role as a service, rather than a pure discipline, persisted. This is perhaps unfair and was a result of the necessary secrecy that surrounds military work, but whether we agree with it or not, it remains a commonplace that the way to be respected by the intellectual establishment is to do complex, pure, fundamental research, not work that can in any way be seen as applied or instrumental or that provides a service to others.
English scholars have always been very good at communicating the nature of their work to others, although in the early days and perhaps even now in some quarters, there were questions about whether “a lot of chatter about Shelley” could really constitute a respectable academic endeavor (Palmer, 95). In the United Kingdom, literary scholars such as T. S. Eliot, C. S. Lewis, and F. R. Leavis became prominent public intellectuals, often featured in the press or broadcast media—a tradition continued by Robert MacFarland and John Mullan, among other contemporary scholars. Over the years the field has also engaged in some very public controversies; for example, over the legitimacy of critical methods such as structuralism, postmodernism, new historicism, and, most recently, the digital humanities. These public debates had the secondary effect of making critics such as Colin McCabe, Terry Eagleton, Steven Greenblatt, and, as per the previous section, Stanley Fish, well known far beyond their disciplines. But the cost of this publicity was significant: English became viewed as a field of fractious controversialists. In other words, literary scholars may be noticed more than those in LIS, but sometimes for less than positive reasons.
The different experiences in the development and success of LIS and English studies demonstrate why communication and, in particular, the ability to make clear to nonspecialists why a subject is interesting and important are likely to be crucial to the success of digital humanities (Clement and Reside). Social media have been very useful in helping us to do this. DHers are often excellent bloggers, and as a field we are ubiquitous on Twitter, having been relatively early adopters. This means that the reputation and the visibility of the work of individuals, such as Melissa Terras, Bethany Nowviskie, or Dan Cohen, extend far beyond the DH community, as do the reputation and visibility of the organizations that they lead. Indeed, as Terras herself argues, the rise of social media and other digital technologies, such as tablet computers, may have served to make more comprehensible, and bring closer to the mainstream, the activities and concerns that DH scholars have been involved in for many years (“A Decade in Digital Humanities”).
The success of the pioneering Transcribe Bentham project, for instance, has shown how many people are interested in engaging with material that academics and information professionals might previously have assumed would only be of interest to academic researchers. It is necessary only to search for the phase “digital humanities” in the database of Impact Case Studies submitted for REF 2014 to see how much activity digital humanities has already given rise to that results in an impact outside academia. This is a very positive development for those of us working in the United Kingdom in terms of being able to demonstrate financial benefit to our universities, make a contribution to economic prosperity, and enrich people’s lives. Digital humanities is well placed to have an additional impact in these areas, especially when working with cultural heritage organizations and the GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives, and museums) sector (Maron and Pickle, 9).
But even if there were no funding available or no acknowledgment of public impact, it would still be vital for us to do such work. Just as English scholars have advocated for the benefits of literature and culture to enrich lives, so we should continue to demonstrate how digital methods can be transformative in the way that people interact with cultural heritage and how they make sense of the world around them. In doing so, we might be seen as performing a service to the wider community, just as those in LIS have done for decades. But we also must bear in mind the lessons—and the pitfalls—of its disciplinary analog. English Departments have done much to advance humanistic inquiry and to promote it. But they have also retained the association with controversy. As digital humanities continues to diversify, we must consider how we might hear the concerns of our critics, both within and outside of the field, without allowing criticism itself to define it.
Education as Service
It is not only on the basis of research and its impact that peers in other disciplines and the wider public will evaluate our field. Teaching and the ability to attract and develop students are also crucial factors in the way that a developing discipline acquires cultural value, and again we might learn from digital humanities’ disciplinary analogs. From its first days, English was taught to undergraduates and indeed to people with very little prior formal education (Baldick). Students were not required to have a first degree or work experience before embarking on such a course of study. By contrast, LIS has always been a discipline that is taught predominantly only at the graduate level and that often requires a period of work experience before students can enroll in a degree program. This has had the almost certainly unintended consequence of LIS appearing to be something of an inaccessible field. It remains ill understood by the majority of university students and the academics who teach them, simply because there are far more undergraduate than graduate students. Especially in an elective system, many students will take courses in English and thus perhaps decide to major in it, but fewer will come across LIS unless they are already highly motivated or the iSchool has a very high profile on campus.
The divergent trajectories of English studies and of LIS shows that education is a powerful vector for the growth and wider acceptance of a developing discipline. Therefore, if we wish the digital humanities to continue to grow and flourish, we must continue to promote the importance of teaching as much as research. However much academics love their research and might complain about their course loads, most of them agree that excellent teaching is the mark of a great university and is the basis of all we do as scholars. We know that it is often by teaching that we come to better understand our own subjects of study, but teaching can also help us clarify our students’ interests and, therefore, the interests that will define the next generation of DH scholarship. Education is therefore a service to our students, who will take their knowledge into the world beyond the university, and to the future of the field, because those who remain in academia will take the discipline forward, perhaps in unexpected, original ways.
It is also worth bearing in mind that the digital humanities developed as part of service departments as well as academic ones, especially in libraries and computing services. In the past as in the present, the profession simply could not manage without these information professionals. But that does not mean they are always held in high regard by those they serve (Nowviskie). There remains a significant danger that the humanities scholar is seen as “the talent” and the alt-ac researcher as “the support” (Bradley). This false assumption not only devalues the contributions of those in service roles but is also damaging to scholarship itself. The most successful DH research is produced when faculty members respect and are willing to work on an equal basis with alt-ac and information professionals (Siemens et al.; McCarty, 2008). But to do so requires that we understand “service” as a scholarly pursuit. In moral terms, we might agree that it is perfectly acceptable for a field to be known for hard work, unacknowledged support, and professional dedication. Yet these features are seldom associated with the kind of serious scholarship for which other humanities disciplines have become known. As the history of LIS demonstrates, practitioners who provide a service to others may sometimes be undervalued by academics, but the best scholarship results from fruitful partnerships between them. This is a lesson that the digital humanities must learn if the field is to progress
Such questions about the role of service are linked to the larger, long-running debate about whether the creation of a digital resource is “just” a service task or whether it has an essential intellectual component (Warwick, “Archive 360”; Edmond). This shows how vital it is to remain properly critical in all that we do. But it also reveals how we must remain attentive to the lessons of other fields, in terms of both how they define their own scholarship and how they promote that scholarship to a wider audience. There remains, at times, a risk that we in the digital humanities can still be too uncritical and positivist, and this is one we should be rightly wary of (Drucker). Indeed, we might argue that an insistence that the digital humanities is about the use not only of digital resources and methods to study the humanities and cultural heritage but also of humanities methods to study and critique digital phenomena and culture is what stops it from becoming overly positivist. But it is only when this argument is accompanied by attention to the forms of service that underlie it, and to the valid points that the field’s critics raise, that digital humanities will be able properly to consider itself a mature field, confident both in its origins and possible futures.
Institutional Structures and Support
In the United Kingdom, an important question for those planning the forthcoming REF in 2021 was about the way that interdisciplinary research might best be evaluated and supported. This reflects wider international debates about the structure and significance of interdisciplinary work. As one of the leading exemplars of interdisciplinary research, digital humanities is well placed to lead in this inquiry, not least in terms of discussions about what kind of institutional structures and infrastructures are most appropriate for supporting such work.
In the United Kingdom, at least, there is only one distinct department of digital humanities; it is at Kings College London. For many years we have disagreed among ourselves as to whether we are a discipline, whether we want to become one, or whether the best thing would be to abolish the field when all of the humanities becomes digital (Terras, “Disciplined”). I have argued elsewhere that we are a discipline, but one that does not agree on what organizational shape it ought to or will take (Warwick, “Building Theories”). If we learn anything from those doubtful days of the early web, it is that predictions of radical change driven by digital methods fail to happen as quickly as anyone expects. And if we learn anything from the fates of earlier disciplines, like English and LIS, it is that debates about how different elements within them are valued, and how they relate to other forms and methods of scholarship, are vital as fields grow and develop.
It is clear that there are already a number of different models for digital humanities, broadly divided into what we might call centers and networks. Centers might be based in a library, in computing services, or in an academic department or faculty and may or may not have a physical existence and/or a lab. In my view, these setups often date to first-phase digital humanities, when computing professionals provided services to humanities academics, who came to the center perhaps with a time buyout or other resources to make a project possible. Whether intentionally or not, this model incorporates a view of service where one party (the alt-ac practitioner) may appear to be subordinate to another (the academic researcher). The network model tends in some ways to be more organizationally conservative: members stay in their department or professional service unit and meet for events or form groups around research projects. This model tends to characterize later adopters of digital humanities, who understand service as an equal partnership between individuals or groups who bring complementary skills to a collaboration. Either model can work, and the choice should be dictated by the circumstances of individual institutions.
But the best future programs will be those that fit with the academic expertise and express the values of the university in which they are situated. They will also be programs that pay careful attention to the balance of esteem between academic research and alt-ac practitioners, ensuring that those who provide excellent service should never be assumed to be subordinate to those who teach and conduct scholarly research.
Whether or not we can still fit into the same tent or will in the future, there is no definitive model for doing digital humanities: the kind that we do must fit with the characteristics and culture of our own institutions, or it will fail to convince or to attract students to us. This may be a characteristic of all disciplines as they mature: there are very different ways of doing, for example, history or English studies, as I have argued elsewhere, and some of these movements or schools are particularly characteristic of single institutions or nations, even if they later influence work internationally (Warwick, “Building Theories”). In such circumstances, it is tempting for senior administrators to buy talent from the outside and rely on such an individual to catalyze activity. Although leadership in any field is important, such an approach is risky in digital humanities, which is, by nature a collaborative exercise. As is the case with most great research, really innovative DH scholarship occurs if ideas and structures emerge as a result of the initiative of people who are deeply invested in them, and in the institutions where such work is fostered and carried out. It is then possible to identify areas of strength and build on them.
This is another area in which we can usefully learn from more mature disciplines: how to build structures for the digital humanities that are focused on the work they are doing and wish to do in the future, while also planning for its longevity and sustainably. In this regard, we must continue to create exciting projects whose field-changing results we can celebrate. This is what will impress colleagues, whether they are fellow DHers, scholars, students in more established humanities disciplines who might be considering adopting digital methods, or even senior managers who do not have time to understand the detail of what we do. DH scholars must, of course, treat as their first priority the production of excellent scholarship for its own sake, because this is something they are passionate about. As a field we should also be wary of unthinking boosterism. Nevertheless, when a discipline is still in a relatively early stage of development, it is necessary to demonstrate the value of what it does to those who lack detailed knowledge of it, especially if they can influence the strategic direction of their university.
Digital Humanities and the Future of Service
Learning from the successes of English studies, which grew from a subdiscipline whose value was questioned into a globally recognizable field, digital humanities must similarly be able to communicate the exciting scholarship that it produces, both within and beyond universities, and teach and inspire students. It can learn from LIS how to be a field that is cooperative, collaborative, respectful, and willing to value the quiet, selfless service of others. But that also means being willing to value—equally—the vital contributions that alt-ac and information professionals make to digital humanities, and indeed to so many other academic disciplines. In effect, therefore, we should aim to combine the virtues of all the settings in which digital humanities has traditionally been found: in libraries, in computer services, and in departments. And we must value service and support as essential components of scholarly achievement and of the future success of the field.
There is an ongoing tension between the values of service and the countervailing need to demonstrate the nature and value of scholarship, whether in the benign form of advocacy for cultural benefits or regarding less benign questions of faction, controversy, and notoriety. Service has become an obvious component of digital humanities, thanks to the roles that librarians and alt-ac practitioners have played in the field’s development. But it is also inherent in many other activities that form part of the field, which we would be well advised to recognize fully. We serve our students through teaching and supporting the next generation of scholars. We serve our colleagues and institutions when we establish and lead new DH structures or programs. Even the communication of our research and its impact is a form of field-level service. We serve our scholarly community if research contributes to advances in the discipline, and we serve the wider world if we are able to demonstrate the potential of digital technologies to change and enrich the lives of those outside academia. Service must be regarded not as an ancillary task, but as an essential contribution to the future success of digital humanities as a field. This chapter’s title begins with a quotation from Milton’s poem “When I Consider How My Light Is Spent.” In Milton’s most famous poem, Paradise Lost, Satan, though highly intelligent and ambitious, refuses to serve, falls from grace, and is perpetually damned. Perhaps that is the most powerful lesson for anyone or any discipline to learn.
1. Gold and Klein suggest that the idea of an “expanded field” may now be more appropriate.
5. In this chapter I concentrate on English studies, having discussed analogies from the field of history elsewhere (Warwick, “Building Theories”).
6. The digital humanities has, until recently, traced its origins to the work of Father Roberto Busa, SJ. However, this is increasingly being challenged, for example by Hockey (“Digital Humanities”) and Terras and Nyhan.
7. As Radford and Radford (“Power, Knowledge, and Fear”) show, once librarianship began to be associated with a predominantly female workforce, it lost status in comparison with traditionally male occupations. The profession has also been dogged by negative, gendered, stereotypes that have been damaging to the reputation of information work and scholarship (White; Pagowsky and Rigby; Radford and Radford, “Librarians and Party Girls”; Hillenbrand).
8. For instance, the Cambridge English Faculty became “notorious” for the bitter schisms of the 1980s (Clark, 183): despite a long tradition of notable literary scholarship, its arguments about structuralism remain a negative point of reference in the history of literary criticism (Smith, 115).
11. This is also true in terms of education. There is no agreed structure for DH programs, whether at the undergraduate or postgraduate level (Alexander and Frost Davis).
12. Thus, practical criticism, as opposed to philology, has always been the mark of Cambridge English; the Annales school of history is originally French, and the University of Chicago had a huge influence of methods in global economics and indeed LIS. As digital humanities grows, it is surely inevitable that this kind of methodological and organizational diversity will become more common.
13. For example, as a senior manager in my own institution, I understand the nature of the excellent humanities scholarship that we produce, but cosmology and particle physics are a long way from my area of expertise, as are the clinical psychology and history of voice hearing: I will never have enough time to understand disciplines that are remote from my expertise in anything but the most superficial way. But I know that they are all subjects in which my university excels, because my colleagues can show me examples of their achievements and point to the excitement and respect they generate in their research communities and in the wider world. They also attract excellent students who go on to exciting and fulfilling employment.
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