This site had its genesis one day in 2020 when I was importing some data into Microsoft Excel. The text to columns wizard asked if my data were delimited or fixed-width. I had just been listening to the soundtrack from the musical Wicked, so I had the urge to reply “Delimited! My data are delimited” reworking a line from the song Unlimited.
The following day Quinn Dombrowski asked on Twitter if anyone else made up songs while data-cleaning, and I knew I wasn't alone. Fast-forward a few months and after spending too much time modifying the lyrics of one song into a DH version, I decided to lean into the idea, and put together a whole album.
The initial idea was that each song would deal with a different aspect of digital humanities. By phrasing the album title as a question – What is Digital Humanities? – I could also play on the idea that digital humanities has a preoccupation with defining the field.
Further, by presenting the songs in a website that follows many of the conventions of a digital edition it could act as a provocation: why is this not a “real” or “serious” digital humanities project? It consists of
- a website
- presenting a collection of texts by the same author.
- encoded in TEI
- annotated for understanding
- by an audience not necessarily familiar with the content
How does this differ from, say, The Pulter Project (a DH project I admire)?
This site is set in Crimson Pro (Google Fonts | GitHub | Specimen) and handcoded in HTML with templates managed by Eleventy. The source code is available on GitHub.
The images used on the Albums page come from Unsplash and are used under the Unsplash license:
- Hand holding the vinyl of Super Trouper by ABBA by Kobu Agency
- The ever sensational Ayorkor by Kobe Subramaniam
- [Person holding green shards] by Kenrick Mills