Thick description beyond the digital spaceThick description beyond the digital space
Faculty of Arts. History
Power in History - Centre for Political History
2016MDPI Publishing, 2016
Humanities. - 2012, currens
5(2016):1, p. 2-
University of Antwerp
The arrival and rapid spread of digital media can help the humanities better discern general patterns in human societies and cultures, and single out instances or moments which need an in-depth analysis. However, the process of digitization also poses certain threats to the humanities: it introduces new and possibly distorting filters between ourselves and our object of research, it can make us blind to the social, political and cultural situatedness of the sources, and it can cause us to forget that certain aspects of human life are simply too complex to be digitally understood. Briefly elaborating on the case of parliamentary irony in Belgian history, I try to demonstrate the need to combine flat digital searches with multilayered hermeneutic approaches based on traditional philological research.