Matt Erlin gave a lecture entitled “Digital Humanities Myths and Legends” at the conference “Mapping, Mining, Redefining: The Digital Turn in the Humanities,” which was held at the University of Pennsylvania on April 23-25, 2015.
A brief description of the talk and a link to the conference program are below.
Myths can be understood not only as forms of collective delusion but also as origin stories, employments that we use to transform mere chronology into a coherent narrative. Redirecting the digital humanities' focus on pattern recognition back toward itself, my presentation will introduce and critique a selection of digital humanities masterplots, that is to say, a selection of basic narrative frameworks that have been used to make sense of the rapid rise of the field. My hope is that attending to how story events and characters have been embedded in particular plots will shed new light the major fault lines of ongoing debates as well as on the normative claims implicitly mobilized by the various parties. The second part of the presentation will consider three existing projects as a springboard for some reflections on the possibility of alternate DH narratives.