Journal article Open Access

The Digital Humanities in Ireland

O'Sullivan, James

If the digital humanities are to thrive they must be allowed to remain culturally dissonant. The ways in which DH is practiced will differ across national contexts, with each region having peculiarities representative of the culture-specific conditions which shaped the field as it first emerged and later developed. While scholars tend to belong and contribute to international communities of praxis, doing DH in one place might look very different to doing DH somewhere else. Disciplinary cultures are often transnational, but where scholars are trained and where they work will usually impact upon their own, individualised perspective of that discipline.

This paper traces the history of the digital humanities in Ireland, providing on account of DH as it exists in a specifically Irish context. It mimics the Busa narrative, uncovering equivalent figures from Irish DH’s origin story, while detailing some of the key initiatives and institutions to have contributed to the national development of the discipline. As a small island with a close-knit academic community, culturally torn between US, British and European influences, Ireland represents an opportunity to examine DH as a national project, and how such a project might be contrasted with international norms, what it achieved, and where it has failed.

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