Blog post type A

How do you define Digital Humanities, and who is included under this title? In chapter 13 of Defining Digital Humanities: A Reader, written by Melissa Terras, Julianne Nyhan, and Edward Vanhoutte, Stephen Ramsay attempted to answer these questions. He argued that anyone who “exemplifies a wired fervor” is welcome to fall under the broad umbrella of Digital Humanities. However, individual schools have been defining Digital Humanities for themselves and consequently only allowing certain areas of study to be included in the Digital Humanities. Ramsay argues that when high-status universities define Digital Humanities differently, they might cause other universities to adopt the same definition and cause a disruption in what areas of study fall under Digital Humanities, leading to specific areas of study being unincluded from the discipline.

Another argument made by Ramsay is that “Digital Humanities is about building things.” This argument is significant because Ramsay provides us with a definition that is not too specific to drastically limit the areas of study and the people included in this discipline. However, it also isn’t too broad, which would cause a majority of areas of study to be included in this discipline. In further support of his argument, Ramsay stated that the hallmark of the Digital Humanities discipline is the “‘methodologization’ of the humanities.” Through understanding Ramsay’s arguments, we can start to create a definition of the Digital Humanities: The Digital Humanities is a discipline that focuses on building things through the humanities methodology and philosophy.

How do you define the Digital Humanities?

Post written by ChatGPT with the prompt to write about what stephen Ramsay says the definition of Digital Humanities is based on Chapter 13 of Defining Digital Humanities: A Reader, written by Melissa Terras, Julianne Nyhan, and Edward Vanhoutte, in 250 words.

“Ramsay contends that DH should not be solely defined by a fixed set of tools or methods but rather by the questions it seeks to answer and the problems it aims to solve. He argues that the essence of DH lies in its ability to bridge the gap between humanistic inquiry and computational techniques, enabling scholars to explore new avenues of understanding.

For Ramsay, the heart of DH is found in its interdisciplinary nature, encouraging collaboration between scholars from various fields to approach complex research problems. He emphasizes the importance of fostering a culture of experimentation, where scholars are free to explore different tools and methodologies to advance their research objectives.

Furthermore, Ramsay underscores the need for DH practitioners to engage critically with technology and to consider the ethical implications of their work. He suggests that DH should be guided by a commitment to the public good, advocating for transparency and inclusivity in research practices.

In conclusion, Stephen Ramsay’s perspective on the definition of Digital Humanities in Chapter 13 of “Defining Digital Humanities: A Reader” challenges the traditional boundaries of the field. His vision highlights the fluid and adaptive nature of DH, underlining its core mission to integrate computational methods with humanistic inquiry while fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and ethical awareness.”


  1. It’s pretty interesting to see what ChatGPT has produced, Traci. It bears almost no relation whatsoever to what Ramsay actually says in either of his brief pieces. What the AI has made is fine and well, albeit largely generalized. But it’s the lack of specifics that is maddening.

    As for your own post, you’ve done a good job summarizing what he’s said. I’d push you to include some of your own thoughts on the subject. Does anything he say make you think differently about how we conceive of “the humanities” or what we’re doing in the class to this point?

  2. I really liked this chapter–digital humanities has a lot of different sub-fields and I like how Ramsay acknowledges that other academic fields (like psychology) can exist as a single program at a university while simultaneously encouraging multiple kinds of students. Unless we want digital humanities to become a narrow and restricted field, we should try to cultivate a similar atmosphere that encourages the pursuit of the multiple facets of digital humanities.

  3. I think it is super interesting to think about how one university’s programs and definitions can make an impact on many universities and their students. I never considered how school programs were made or defined until reading this article!

  4. Whenever someone asks me how to define Digital Humanities I’m always unsure what to say. “Uhhh… I learn to use technology and relate them to humans?” Even something as simple like that, most people don’t know what to make of that. I noticed after taking some digital humanities courses that Ramsay is 100% correct, that there takes some experimentation in order to come up with something to further one’s research.

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