The Future Past of Humanities Research : Musing Methodology in the Digital Convergence Era




Over the last half-century, computer science has revolutionarily changed the landscape of humanities research. This digital shift in research methodology has reached from the brainstorming process to preserving, constructing, collecting, visualizing, and even analyzing materials. Such transformation has brought about the birth of the new field of study: Digital Humanities (DH). DH undeniably has saved much of the physical chores and provided a new angle to interpret the text, thereby making its meteoric rise as a promising future of the humanities. Based on such innovation, electronic circuitry can seem to replace the imagination that detects relationships and significances of research data with ever-improving interfaces. However, despite hitherto technological development, the thousands-year-old essence of traditional liberal arts—human creativity—remains the heart of humanities research and always will. This paper starts by proving this proposition in the way of comparing the old and new liberal arts research methods, focusing on literary studies. Meanwhile, it thoroughly investigates how digitalized bibliographies, search engines, databases, and digital projects provide the most useful data preservation and virtual experience of browsing in the library, along with their limitations due to the intrinsic quality of humanities research data. Also, it probes the differences between traditional and digital data analysis in current methods of literary studies, ultimately presenting the ideal direction for humanities development in the era of digital convergence.


1. Introduction
2. Discussion
2.1 Collecting Materials
2.2 Analyzing the Data
2.3 The Final Stage
3. Conclusion


  • Kim, Jiyun Master(M.A.), Department of English Language and Literature, Yonsei University, Korea


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