The Digital Humanities Stack


The definition of the digital humanities is being continually formulated by scholars and practitioners. Since the field is constantly growing and changing, specific definitions can quickly become outdated or unnecessarily limit future potential.[4] The second volume of Debates in the Digital Humanities (2016) acknowledges the difficulty in defining the field: ”Along with the digital archives, quantitative analyses, and tool-building projects that once characterized the field, DH now encompasses a wide range of methods and practices: visualizations of large image sets, 3D modeling of historical artifacts, ’born digital’ dissertations, hashtag activism and the analysis thereof, alternate reality games, mobile makerspaces, and more. In what has been called ’big tent’ DH, it can at times be difficult to determine with any specificity what, precisely, digital humanities work entails.”[5]

Berry, David M.; Fagerjord (2017). Digital Humanities: Knowledge and Critique in a Digital Age. UK: Polity. p. 19. 

Berry and Fagerjord have suggested that a way to reconceptualise digital humanities could be through a ”digital humanities stack”. They argue that ”this type of diagram is common in computation and computer science to show how technologies are ’stacked’ on top of each other in increasing levels of abstraction. Here, [they] use the method in a more illustrative and creative sense of showing the range of activities, practices, skills, technologies and structures that could be said to make up the digital humanities, with the aim of providing a high-level map.”[8] Indeed, the ”diagram can be read as the bottom levels indicating some of the fundamental elements of the digital humanities stack, such as computational thinking and knowledge representation, and then other elements that later build on these. ”



This page is created and updated 28.2.2023 by Lars Miikki