Introduction to Digital Humanities and its methodological challenges

„Digital Humanities“ has been marketed as a rather young field of research for the past few years. Interdisciplinary collaboration between humanities and information and communication sciences have a long tradition though. This lecture is going to trace that tradition back to its source and provide insight into the long and often quite volatile history of the relation between the arts and technology.

In the course of this endeavor a fundamental dichotomy of modernity itself will unfold and lead the way in exploring the epistemological foundation of the forenamed relation to modern aesthetics, the power of judgement and even civil liberty. This historical and epistemological journey to the provenance of Digital Humanities will provide the setting for discussing the methodological challenges we encounter in this broad field every day. Those challenges will be approached from three different perspectives: 1. infrastructure, archives and data, 2. language, code and information and finally 3. converging media, communication and knowledge. All three views will be presented with regard to both, the epistemological foundation of Digital Humanities and empirical know-how derived from nearly twenty years of practical experience. To put it in a nutshell, this lecture will basically provide insight into the problem of how to live with the pointed ears of logic in a human society full of emotional wisdom.