Digital Humanities: Is it a New Science or a Set of Models and Practices of the Global Network Project?

Introduction. Digital Humanities (DH), formed in the mid-20th century, represent a dynamic direction of social and humanitarian disciplines that use computer technology in research and education. The actuality of the paper is to determine trends in the development of Social Science and Humanities in the digital age: hybridization of Humanities, transformation of subject and research goals, predominance of instrumental interdisciplinary in the methododogy of research. Despite the active growth of institutions, technologies, models and practices of Digital Humanities, researchers do not have a unity of views on this direction. The objectives of the study are to analyze approaches to the definition of the concept, typology and basic characteristics of DH. Scientific novelty is expressed in the proposed typologiy of paradigms, models and practices of this direction. The paper defines theoretical status of DH. Methodology and sources. The paper uses Philosophical methodology for comparative analysis of the developing models (paradigms), including text analysis, quantitative research, digitization of image collections, Humanities Computer Science, as well as digital socio-humanitarian models and practices, such as Digital Philosophy, Digital History, Digital Social Research, Digital Self-Presentation, “Art and Science”, and others. Taken together, they represent the implementation of DH as the Global Network Project realization. The research is carried out on the material of Russian and foreign textbooks on Digital Humanities, scientific publications, and websites. Results and discussion. The paper presents an analysis of the DH development stages, provides justification for the concept and its main aspects. Analysis of approaches to the definition of DH reveals the main trends: a) DH represent a new interdisciplinary research direction that use information technology in traditional humanitarian fields to achieve meaningful goals; b) DH represent the ways of modeling and producing innovations. Their essential characteristics are: methodological and instrumental interdisciplinary and commercialization of innovations, transformation of the criteria of science (objectivity of knowledge, loss of disciplinary boundaries. The DH research typology criteria are defined according to basic paradigms, subject areas, research goals, and major institutions. An analysis of the main types of digital research is presented. The problem of the ambivalence of digital technologies used in DH is considered as the main risks: a) for the Humanities – “loss of focus” (technologization of language leads to the technologization of the memory of society; b) for a human (as a result of the predominance of the network forms of communication, the highest value for a person - freedom of choice and the meaning of being may be lost); c) for society (transformation of human communications into network forms of sociality). Conclusion. The expansion of digital technologies use in scientific research, education, culture, in general – and in the Humanities, in particular, is due to the global technological trends of the fourth industrial revolution. According to experts, the definition of “digital” in various areas of Digital Humanities does not express their essence, but characterizes the “computing” technologies used in the Social and Humanitarian knowledge. Accordingly, they do not represent independent scientific disciplines, but are models and practices that use information technology as instruments to solve the objectives of the Humanities and exchange knowledge and methods between scientists, engineers, designers, and students. In general, those changes characterize the process of the new science image development in the network society.

Authors: Mamina R.I., Yelkina E.E.

Direction: Philosophy

Keywords: digital humanities, humanities computer science, digital social research, digital history, digital philosophy, digital self-presentation, information technology, methodological interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, convergence, big data, global network project.

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