The Importance of Reflection: A Call for Slow Digital Humanities




Berger, Claudia

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Most of the discourse around slow digital humanities has been focused on the process of building projects, or on the methods of the practitioner. While this attention to deliberate choices and values is an important part of our work as scholars, it does not take into account the readers relationship to a project. Reflection is a key aspect of humanistic thought and learning, so why has it been ignored in digital humanities? In order to reflect, the readers needs time - as well as space - to slow down. Through examining different methods of designing ways for digital humanities projects to be slower, such as uses of time, physical space, and interaction, we will look at how we can encourage reflection from readers. A slower experience allows time to play a role in knowledge production. Readers will have a different relationship with a project they spent 6 hours with than one they only spend 5 minutes with. By slowing down the interaction we allow layers of thought to be built up and for meaning making to happen “at a human pace” (Fullerton, 2019). How we think about and build our projects affects how our readers interact with them. When we are thinking about how to convey ideas to a reader we must consider how we are using time to our advantage to convey our themes. We should know from the start how we are designing our projects to best make use of reflection and immerse our readers in our ideas.


Digital Frontiers Session: Interpretation and Immersion


digital humanities, reflection


Berger, C. (2019). The importance of reflection: A call for slow digital humanities. [Conference presentation]. Digital Frontiers Annual Conference, Austin, TX, United States.


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