The Importance of Pedagogy: Towards a Companion to Teaching Digital Humanities

poster / demo / art installation
  1. 1. Brett D. Hirsch

    University of Western Australia

  2. 2. Meagan Timney

    University of Victoria

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The Importance of
Pedagogy: Towards a
Companion to Teaching
Digital Humanities
Hirsch, Brett D.
University of Western Australia
Timney, Meagan
University of Victoria
The need to “encourage digital scholarship”
was one of eight key recommendations in
Our Cultural Commonwealth: The Report of
the American Council of Learned Societies
Commission on Cyberinfrastructure for the
Humanities and Social Sciences
(Unsworth et
al). As the report suggested, “if more than a
few are to pioneer new digital pathways, more
formal venues and opportunities for training
and encouragement are needed” (34). In other
words, human infrastructure is as crucial as
cyberinfrastructure for the future of scholarship
in the humanities and social sciences. While
the Commission’s recommendation pertains
to the training of faculty and early career
researchers, we argue that the need extends
to graduate and undergraduate students.
Despite the importance of pedagogy to the
development and long-term sustainability of
digital humanities, as yet very little critical
literature has been published. Both the
Companion to Digital Humanities
(2004) and
Companion to Digital Literary Studies
(2007), seminal reference works in their own
right, focus primarily on the theories, principles,
and research practices associated with digital
humanities, and not pedagogical issues. There is
much work to be done.
This poster presentation will begin by
contextualizing the need for a critical
discussion of pedagogical issues associated
with digital humanities. This discussion will
be framed by a brief survey of existing
undergraduate and graduate programs and
courses in digital humanities (or with a
digital humanities component), drawing on
the “institutional models” outlined by McCarty
and Kirschenbaum (2003). The growth in
the number of undergraduate and graduate
programs and courses offered reflects both an
increasing desire on the part of students to learn
about sorts of “transferable skills” and “applied
computing” that digital humanities offers
(Jessop 2005), and the desire of practitioners
to consolidate and validate their research and
methods. We propose a volume,
Digital Humanities: Principles, Practices, and
, to capitalize on the growing prominence
of digital humanities within university curricula
and infrastructure, as well as in the broader
professional community.
We plan to structure the volume according
to the four critical questions educators should
consider as emphasized recently by Mary
Bruenig, namely:
What knowledge is of most worth?
By what means shall we determine what we
In what ways shall we teach it?
Toward what purpose?
In addition to these questions, we are mindful of
Henry A. Giroux’s argument that “to invoke the
importance of pedagogy is to raise questions not
simply about how students learn but also about
how educators (in the broad sense of the term)
construct the ideological and political positions
from which they speak” (45). Consequently, we
will encourage submissions to the volume that
address these wider concerns.
Breunig, Mary
(2006). 'Radical Pedagogy as
Praxis'. Radical Pedagogy.
Giroux, Henry A.
(1994). 'Rethinking
the Boundaries of Educational Discourse:
Modernism, Postmodernism, and Feminism'.
Margins in the Classroom: Teaching
Myrsiades, Kostas, Myrsiades,
Linda S. (eds.). Minneapolis: University of
Minnesota Press, pp. 1-51.

Schreibman, Susan, Siemens, Ray,
Unsworth, John (eds.)
Companion to Digital Humanities.
Jessop, Martyn
(2005). 'Teaching, Learning
and Research in Final Year Humanities
Computing Student Projects'.
Literary and
Linguistic Computing.
20.3 (2005)
: 295-311.
McCarty, Willard, Kirschenbaum ,
(2003). 'Institutional Models
for Humanities Computing'.
Literary and
Linguistic Computing.
18.4 (2003)
: 465-89.
Unsworth et al.
Our Cultural
Commonwealth: The Report of the American
Council of Learned Societies Commission on
Cyberinfrastructure for the Humanities and
Social Sciences.
New York: American Council of
Learned Societies.

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Conference Info


ADHO - 2010
"Cultural expression, old and new"

Hosted at King's College London

London, England, United Kingdom

July 7, 2010 - July 10, 2010

142 works by 295 authors indexed

XML available from (still needs to be added)

Conference website:

Series: ADHO (5)

Organizers: ADHO

  • Keywords: None
  • Language: English
  • Topics: None