Professor David M. Berry

  • History of the university
  • Computation
  • Digital Humanities

In times of deep economic and political uncertainty I believe there is a pressing need to revisit the constellations of concepts grounding the idea of a university for a digital age. My new research examines the relevance of ideas that historically assembled the university in differing periods beginning in the 19th century until the present. Through a combination of archival, interview, and site-based fieldwork the research will examine how the university was a highly contested space through the creation of networks of relations between devices, bodies, sites, and institutions at different historical periods. By focusing on the university as a site of culture and institutional knowledge, the project examines how the politics of these networks depends upon the precise configuration of the relations and things of which they are composed and how a recomposition through digital technologies is arguably taking place today. This research will be published as a new monograph titled “Reassembling the University: The Idea of a University in a Digital Age”. 

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Digital Humanities: Knowledge and Critique in a Digital Age (Wiley, 2017)

As the twenty-first century unfolds, computers challenge the way in which we think about culture, society and what it is to be human: areas traditionally explored by the humanities.

In a world of automation, Big Data, algorithms, Google searches, digital archives, real-time streams and social networks, our use of culture has been changing dramatically. The digital humanities give us powerful theories, methods and tools for exploring new ways of being in a digital age. Berry and Fagerjord provide a compelling guide, exploring the history, intellectual work, key arguments and ideas of this emerging discipline. They also offer an important critique, suggesting ways in which the humanities can be enriched through computing, but also how cultural critique can transform the digital humanities.

Digital Humanities will be an essential book for students and researchers in this new field but also related areas, such as media and communications, digital media, sociology, informatics, and the humanities more broadly.

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