Digital Humanities and Digital Economy: Riding the Second Wave of Consilience
The international workshop WEDHIA is part of the 4-year Talent Cultivation Project for Digital Humanities (TCDH) sponsored by R.O.C.’s Ministry of Education. The project and the workshop are engaged in the idea of consilience between science and the humanities. While various efforts have been tried before TCDH, the gulf between science and the humanities remain blatant (Slingerland and Collard, 2011). The current ICT and digital revolution can either deepen the gap or, if properly channeled, facilitate consilience. It is the latter the essential goal of TCDH. To do so, TCDH runs a large-scale experiment by encouraging the novel course designs that integrate digital technology into the education of the broadly defined humanities. In the meanwhile, WEDHIA is organized as a platform to connect the international communities of scholars, pragmatists, and policymakers with similar pursuits.
While many utopians and skeptics hopes and fears, respectively, the arising of the ICT and the digital revolution, few would argue that the purview of the humanities has extended beyond its conventional boundary and become increasingly interdisciplinary. The emergent cyberspace is not just a reflective duplication of the humanities in the physical space. It has become a standalone dimension where humans “live” and nurtures a new, cyber kind of humanities. Furthermore, Humans’ thoughts, conversations, and actions occurring and recorded in the “cloud”, in turn, affect their lives in the physical space, which creates another new domain for the humanistic scholars by working in these two spaces and their interactions.
What is said above about the digital humanities also applies to the digital economy. Cyberspace is no longer just to facilitate the physical market. Cyberspace itself is a market. What we see more is the intertwining between the physical market and the cyber market. In the cyberspace, the development of ICT narrows, if not closes, the gap between humanities and economy by making the recording of ordinary people’s lives possible and thus flourishing the revealing of individuality in both the domains of the humanities and economy. To the former, this feature of ICT promotes the bottom-up approach in humanities, such as the bottom-up history. To the latter, this feature makes customization one of the key competition factors among enterprises, which in turn stimulates the return of economy to humanities and narrative as described in Humanomics by Vernon L. Smith and Bart J. Wilson (2019).
With the transformation and fusion mentioned above in mind, this workshop will continue the theme of WEDHIA 2018 on investigating the pedagogical innovation in humanities and its economic and social significances. However, instead of the influence of ICT, this investigation will focus on the impact of ICT on the interdisciplinary dialogues, collaboration, and hence the consilience among science, humanities, and social sciences in the era of big data.