Jing Chen - Associate Professor, School of Arts, Nanjing University; Founder & Editor, 01Lab (零壹 Lab)
Following the recent appearance of Digital Humanities publications, workshops, and social media groups, DH has emerged as a new field in China. But, if DH is understood as a merger between humanities domain knowledge and quantitative tools like Natural Language Processing, GIS, or digital archiving, then how new, exactly, is DH in China? What are the stakes of using “DH” to rename a network of older work? Answering such questions is important for appreciating the current status of DH in the Chinese academy, but also helpful for both situating the DH landscape within a global research dynamic and understanding local knowledge production in an age of digital media. This speech focuses on early DH practitioners, particularly their understanding of the role of digital media, computational tools, and algorithms in humanities research by reflecting on local media practices, shifts in incentives from doing library-based research to more individual work, the new urgency to share resources and improving cyberinfrastructure, and the necessity of advancing digital literacy in the newest generation of scholars.