By Dolores Batten |
October 23, 2019
Texts & Technology PhD Student Stories

In this series, “T&T Student Stories,” current students share what brought them to the interdisciplinary Texts & Technology PhD program. Interested in learning more? Join us for an upcoming info session virtually or in-person on November 7th!

As a student with an English Literature masters, why am I in a digital humanities program like Texts and Technology? Why digital humanities–why not just English Literature?

The answer is that, though writing about and specializing in literary studies does afford me opportunities for deep analysis–allowing me to ask questions of texts (which I love to do), and allowing me to interact with Critical Theories (which I am also a fan of), it stops there. The digitization, computerization and digital iterations of text or the use of technology is not a dominant talking point of the traditional literary scholar track. Also, analyses of popular culture and interdisciplinary aggregations within academia are not always favored in a dedicated literary program except in a historical sense of knowledge or authority.

Thus, a digital humanities approach is important for me to be able to speak about the present. As someone who has been a teacher for many years, advocating for change, and as an academic who has written papers on various literary observations as a method of pointing out social flaws and thus indirectly calling for change, the Texts and Technology PhD program actually gives me the tools to be a part of that change:

No longer am I a passive participant in my own writing; I now can become an active member in the collaborative and creative making process within digital projects that serve the purposes of my writing and the needs of my community simultaneously. I feel that is an amazing opportunity and distinction. So, I leave you with just one question: what changes do you want to see in the world?