Digital Humanities on Richter’s Map

October 13th, 2011

Digital Humanities Map

Richter’s has identified literary theory into four major techniques which he defines as mimetic, rhetorical, expressive, or formal. Being that digital humanities is the intersection of digital technology and the humanities, I find it interesting where it will be classified under the aforementioned categories. The rhetorical approach emphasizes the relationship between the work of art and the audience. Digital humanities¬† can possibly be the overview for each of the literary theories. Digital humanities can be mimetic by using technology such as a web chat or talk show on television to connect the author to the audiences. The show that I love the most is Visionaries-Inside the Creative Mind, on the OWN channel. When it comes one I get inspired by of today’s great moguls like Jim Carey or Tyler Perry. It fascinates me how some can go from being a Joe-Schmo or even homeless to becoming a tycoon in their field.Digital Humanities can be expressive by exploring the connection between the art and the artist through video journal like the show project runway. The one on one time with each contestant and capture that individuality, soul, and essence of the designer. The artist’s vision is even more original given the circumstances that each contest is given the same challenge but the beauty of each piece comes from within the designer. Digital humanities can become rhetorical by strengthening the relationship between the art and audience such as mediums like youtube. After watching a video or hearing a literary piece, the audience can leave comments about what they saw, vote on what they saw and discuss with others what the piece was about or how it made them feel. Digital humanities can be formal which is similar the a new critics point-of-view by using tools like Ngram viewer and wordle. These tools analyze art by evaluating only the elements in a piece like a word count, or alphabetizing the vocabulary.

One show that uses digital humanities in all four of these aspects is Oprah’s Lifeclass Live on OWN.¬† This show connects the audience from all around the country and the world to one another through the nationally syndicated program and an additional live web chat during the taping of the program. Oprah and her co-host Iyanla Vanzant(relationship expert) reflect on past shows and share experiences that have changed since the show. Oprah does interviews with the past guests to see how that felt about their work then, now, and in the future. The past interview are analyzed by Iyanla all while audience member and those how are texting, calling, emailing Oprah comments and question. All of these connections happen simultaneously and in front of a live studio audience. This show used many different form of technology to create a larger and united connection from the audience to the art to the author and a closed interpretation of the art all at the same time. It sounds confusing but amazingly it works well. Digital humanities brings what we have fantasized in our minds to life digitally which is like virtually. Some many new children’s toys are being reinvented to do digitally like painting or coloring on a computer screen.



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