Digitale Geisteswissenschaften: Offene Fragen - schöne Aussichten

Author(s): Jannidis, Fotis


During the last ten years, the so-called digital humanities have developed from a footnote to being a major player in the academic field of cultural studies and humanities alike. However, success goes hand in hand with increasing criticism, and Fotis Jannidis identifies three topoi of critique digital humanities repeatedly have to face. 1. ›We already knew that‹ 2. ›The topics of digital humanities are outdated‹ 3. Digital humanities are said to be a new form of positivism not adequately describing humanities related issues. Jannides takes up these accusations against digital humanities by scrutinizing and questioning their argumentative and scientific- political substance. The article closes with a speech promoting of a phase of trial and error, of tinkering and of curiosity for the subject at hand while analyzing newly originated data collections from libraries or archives. In Markus Krajewski’s opinion, however, the expectations placed in the potential of innovation of digital humanities are exaggerated which subsequently leads him to label them an ancillary discipline. The usefulness of digital humanities is entirely limited to providing the link between humanities-related research questions and computer-based methods in the same way diplomatics relies on the analysis of records, numismatics on the process of categorizing coins or paleography on the analysis of historical manuscripts. Krajewski sees the real task of digital humanities in bringing the cultural technology of coding into the spotlight. He describes the ability to write and read source code as a key competence every modern humanities scholar needs in order to be able to critically comment and interpret the script of the future: algorithms designed by software developers, computer engineers, and auto-didactic machines.

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Preferred Citation
Jannidis, Fotis: Digitale Geisteswissenschaften: Offene Fragen - schöne Aussichten. In: ZMK Zeitschrift für Medien- und Kulturforschung, Jg. 10 (2019), Nr. 1, S. 63-70. DOI:
 author = {Jannidis, Fotis},
 title = {Digitale Geisteswissenschaften: Offene Fragen - schöne Aussichten},
 year = 2019,
 doi = "\url{}",
 volume = 10,
 address = {Hamburg},
 journal = {ZMK Zeitschrift für Medien- und Kulturforschung},
 number = 1,
 pages = {63--70},
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