Digital Humanities, a professor’s point of view


A very interesting piece just appeared on Fast Company digital edition, by Adam Bluestein.

He had an interview with dr. Stefan Sinclair, associate professor of digital humanities at McGill University’s Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, in Montreal Canada.

The definition of “Digital Humanities” from professor Sinclair is focused on the use of technology for the research:

The core of digital humanities is the critical exploration of how computers and technology can enhance but also influence our modes of research in traditional humanities. My own work has been focused on facilitating the exploration and analysis of digital texts. Part of that is to provide tools to allow people fairly easily to ask questions about things like the frequency of terms or clusters of terms in a document or body of work, how those terms are distributed, and which terms and themes are most distinctive to individual documents in a larger body of work.

Stefan Sinclair

Digital Humanities research features good examples, as Stefan Sinclair says:

A good example of this might be research that “forecast” the Arab Spring revolutions using newspaper analysis, though I’d also have to recognize that the humanistic perspectives are a bit overwhelmed by the scientific methodologies. Other examples that navigate between humanistic and scientific perspectives and methodologies include using text analysis to study the onset of dementia in the works of Agatha Christie.

The professor is also involved in the developing of tools for digital humanities research:

Most of the software I’m involved in developing is open source, but with universities wanting to find opportunities for commercialization and spin-offs, I’m conscious of those possibilities–such as offering a subscription version of Bon Patron for businesses. I think that leads us to value what we’re creating more and encourages a more entrepreneurial spirit in students as they see that knowledge in humanities can be worth something commercially.

Read the full interview on Fast Company:


Leave a Reply

Related Articles

Europeana Research Grants Programme 2017: call for submissions and guidelines for applicants
Europeana Research is delighted to be launching the second Europeana Research Grants Programme. Applicants are encouraged to come up with individual research projects which make use of Europeana Collections content to showcase and explore the theme of intercultural dialogue. Applicants should employ state-of-the-art tools and methods in digital humanities to address a specific research question. it is expected to see applications employing as much of the Europeana platform (e.g., the API, metada...
Workshop on Computer Vision in Digital Humanities @DH2017- Call for Abstracts
*Call for Abstracts* / Computer Vision in Digital Humanities 3rd Workshop on AVinDH, to be held at the Digital Humanities Conference DH2017, Montreal, Canada Date: 7 August 2017 Deadline for Abstracts: 31 May 2017 url:    *Workshop Overview* This full-day workshop will start with a keynote address by Lindsay King & Peter Leonard (Yale University) on “Processing Pixels: Towards Visual Culture Comp...
The purpose of the Conference, that will close the research: “Management methodologies and innovative mapping tools for Cultural Heritage. Digital Heritage FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) Tools,  OpenWebGIS, Open-Data”, is to provide an occasion for re-discuss the methodological and practical approaches to the digitization of cultural heritage when connected to the place-based knowledge-making,  transformation  and re-use of cultural landscapes and built environment, in particular concernin...
EAGLE MediaWiki - vote now!
EAGLE project and network aims to build a multi-lingual online collection inscriptions from the Greek and Roman World. The aim of the network is to make available the vast majority of the surviving inscriptions of the Greco-Roman world, complete with the essential information about them and with a series of peer-reviewed translations in several European languages. These are notoriously unavailable for inscriptions, as photos. The EAGLE Mediawiki is designed to give a tool to anyone interested i...