Theme of the Workshop

  • 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 palpable (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 reach the goal, TCDH runs a large-scale pedagogical experiment by encouraging 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.

  • In the past two years, WEDHIA (WEDHIA 2018, WEDHIA 2019) were held as a satellite event of the International Conference of Digital Archives and Digital Humanities (DADH 2018 and DADH 2019, respectively). This year, due to its increasing scale, WEDHIA will be held as an independent event, scheduled one-week after DADH 2020. The theme of this year is “The Changing Face of the Humanities: The Promises and Perils of the Digital Age,” as described below.

  • Over the last five semesters (from Spring, 2017, to Spring, 2019), the TCDH project has granted 124 courses. These courses have been archived online and free to the public. These courses in part reveal the “experimental outcomes” of the TCDH project. Among these outcomes, what concerns us most is what this digital age means for the humanities and how these implications can be reified through pedagogical innovation. Alternatively put, how the pedagogy of the humanities and social sciences, as conventionally recognized, can be reshaped or renovated in the era filled with digital promises and, simultaneously, fraught with digital perils.

  • From the 124 courses, one may be able to gain some insights and to broach the issues above. In fact, many of them illustrate how digital promises can be incorporated into the curriculum design to transform a conventional course through an ontological and/or methodological reorientation. The resultant pedagogical innovation also enables students to grapple with various challenges from the current digital revolution. Even so, the road toward advanced transformation, from Ver. 1.0 to Ver. 2.0, is filled with turns and twists. By and large, the challenges have four dimensions: organizing an interdisciplinary team, choosing proper tools, guiding students from scratching to getting immersed, and, finally, enhancing the former three with the support from industry and/or professional people. Success or failure in each dimension will eventually determine whether the course can be profoundly elevated to Ver. 2 or remain where it was.