“We’re All Amateurs Now”
Brian M. Reed (Professor of English and Comparative Literature) will discuss how digital tools and access to social media outlets have gradually transformed his sense of what constitutes research and scholarship in the humanities. Why continue to write books that sell (if you’re lucky) five hundred copies when a blog post or online open access article can reach many more people? If we abandon print for born-digital projects, though, what are we losing and gaining? Do humanists have to retrain and master computer programming, statistics, and interface design? Do they have to blog, tweet, and otherwise try to draw attention to themselves in an entrepreneurial fashion if they want to have an impact inside and outside of the academy? Will they learn to collaborate more frequently with people in other fields than in the past? What challenges and opportunities face humanists as they try to preserve and curate hundreds of years of cultural artifacts that are analog-based and, in many cases, swiftly deteriorating (celluloid film, videotape, pre-digital photography)? What standards should we use to evaluate new forms of scholarship and research?