Many issues could be pointed out, for instance those concerning students’ search on and use of the web, or the “reading strategies” (Blair 2003) against “info-glut” and challenges posed to “deep reading” (Birkerts 1994, Carr 2008), especially for the alleged “ADHD generation”, or the ‘digital scientific divide’ in the accessibility to fee-based web resources. Without any pretence of being exhaustive, four problematic areas of the contemporary debate on the digital turn in history seem to me particularly important. They are defined by crucial transformations which are occurring in the historiographical profession as a consequence of the digital turn and which the present paper describes as follows: 1) from a universe of documents to a universe of discrete data: the problem of de-contextualization and fragmentation of historical (particularly textual) information (example: textual research in textual databases and on the web in general): the need for the re-creation of coherent and pertinent contexts 2) from a universe of documentary mining with a cumulative purpose and static results to a universe of relational combinations that are essentially changeable and subjectively customizable: the need to explore the multiple voices of history, or how many stories data can relay. 3) from a universe of written sequential texts that are narrative, descriptive or analytical, to a universe of modular discursive or iconographic blocks combined within digital architectural structures, and the related mutation in the format of historical language and communication: the need for experimentation in the communication of historical content 4) From a universe focussed on data and texts that collect, read and compare on a relatively small chronological and geographical scale, to a universe of big data involving long-term dynamics, pointing to what is called ‘big history’ and inducing a return to ‘long-term’ perspectives.

Digital Frontiers for Research on Modern History: Resources and Methodology

ABBATTISTA, GUIDO
2015

Abstract

Many issues could be pointed out, for instance those concerning students’ search on and use of the web, or the “reading strategies” (Blair 2003) against “info-glut” and challenges posed to “deep reading” (Birkerts 1994, Carr 2008), especially for the alleged “ADHD generation”, or the ‘digital scientific divide’ in the accessibility to fee-based web resources. Without any pretence of being exhaustive, four problematic areas of the contemporary debate on the digital turn in history seem to me particularly important. They are defined by crucial transformations which are occurring in the historiographical profession as a consequence of the digital turn and which the present paper describes as follows: 1) from a universe of documents to a universe of discrete data: the problem of de-contextualization and fragmentation of historical (particularly textual) information (example: textual research in textual databases and on the web in general): the need for the re-creation of coherent and pertinent contexts 2) from a universe of documentary mining with a cumulative purpose and static results to a universe of relational combinations that are essentially changeable and subjectively customizable: the need to explore the multiple voices of history, or how many stories data can relay. 3) from a universe of written sequential texts that are narrative, descriptive or analytical, to a universe of modular discursive or iconographic blocks combined within digital architectural structures, and the related mutation in the format of historical language and communication: the need for experimentation in the communication of historical content 4) From a universe focussed on data and texts that collect, read and compare on a relatively small chronological and geographical scale, to a universe of big data involving long-term dynamics, pointing to what is called ‘big history’ and inducing a return to ‘long-term’ perspectives.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Abbattista_Problems of the digital turn in historical research_Jinan_MT4.pdf

non disponibili

Descrizione: Full text of the paper given at the MT4 session of the 22nd ICHS
Tipologia: Bozza finale post-referaggio (post-print)
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 51.98 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
51.98 kB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/2845020
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact