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This book provides new critical and methodological approaches to digital humanities, intended to guide technical development as well as critical analysis. Informed by the history of technology and culture and new perspectives on modernity, Smithies grounds his claims in the engineered nature of computing devices and their complex entanglement with our communities, our scholarly traditions, and our sense of self. The distorting mentalite of the digital modern informs our attitudes to computers and computationally intensive research, leading scholars to reject articulations of meaning that admit the interdependence of humans and the complex socio-technological systems we are embedded in. By framing digital humanities with the digital modern, researchers can rebuild our relationship to technical development, and seek perspectives that unite practical and critical activity. This requires close attention to the cyber-infrastructures that inform our research, the software-intensive methods that are producing new knowledge, and the ethical issues implicit in the production of digital humanities tools and methods. The book will be of interest to anyone interested in the intersection of technology with humanities research, and the future of digital humanities.
James Smithies is Director of King's Digital Lab at King's College London. He was previously Senior Lecturer in Digital Humanities and Associate Director of the UC CEISMIC Digital Archive at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.