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With digitalculturebooks, the University of Michigan Press publishes innovative work in new media studies and digital humanities. We began in 2006 as a partnership between MLibrary and the Press, taking advantage of the skills and expertise of staff throughout Michigan Publishing. Our primary goal is to be an incubator for new publishing models in the humanities and social sciences.

Interdisciplining Digital Humanities

Boundary Work in an Emerging Field
Julie Thompson Klein
The first book to test the claim that the emerging field of Digital Humanities is interdisciplinary and also examines the boundary work of establishing and sustaining a new field of study


Interdisciplining Digital Humanities sorts through definitions and patterns of practice over roughly sixty-five years of work, providing an overview for specialists and a general audience alike. It is the only book that tests the widespread claim that Digital Humanities is interdisciplinary. By examining the boundary work of constructing, expanding, and sustaining a new field, it depicts both the ways this new field is being situated within individual domains and dynamic cross-fertilizations that are fostering new relationships across academic boundaries. It also accounts for digital reinvigorations of “public humanities” in cultural heritage institutions of museums, archives, libraries, and community forums.

“With a clarity of conception, method, and address that is enviable, Klein states at the outset she is testing the claim that the digital humanities comprise an interdisciplinary field. Her method is to explore acts that establish the field—among them, the acts of creating definitions, demarcating periodizations, identifying practices, and establishing linkages; as she persuasively shows, these are all preeminent modes of boundary work; examples, in other words, are embedded in conceptual maps, but the maps do not determine the territories. Interdisciplining Digital Humanities thus provides us not only with a deftly and imaginatively drawn map of the digital humanities, but also with an engaging way of understanding what needs to be done in order to anchor any growing interdisciplinary field of study so that it can thrive by creating capacity, not just survive.”
—Kathleen Woodward, University of Washington

Interdisciplining Digital Humanities is a vital guide to an agile and burgeoning field in the throes of self-definition. Klein provides an objective, accessible, and comprehensive overview of the many debates, methods, and concepts that will help readers navigate the digital humanities today. It will be an indispensable resource for seasoned practitioners and newcomers alike.”
—Todd Presner, University of California, Los Angeles

Julie Thompson Klein is Professor of Humanities in the English Department and Faculty Fellow for Interdisciplinary Development in the Division of Research, Wayne State University.

Gail Ryder, who created the cover art, is a graduate of the Master’s in Interdisciplinary Studies at Wayne State University and an Associate Professor of Humanities at Siena Heights University, where she teaches liberal arts courses and composition—online. Bringing her classroom to the virtual world has given her the opportunity to merge a strong interest in the visual arts with her passion for curriculum development. Her newest creation is a course on the Harlem Renaissance. In her spare time, she works on collages, multi-media journals, and one-act plays about the locker room at the local YMCA.

Praise / Awards

  • "Is there a basic core of 'DH knowledge' that every classicist should have? Each discipline needs to find its own answer to a question like this. Klein points us to what our colleagues in other fields have done, and to ways of thinking about DH both as a field and as a practice. The book is useful not merely as a summary of current thinking in and around DH but as a stimulus to defining Digital Classics."
    --Anne Mahoney, Bryn Mawr Classical Review
  • "Thompson Klein’s book is the single most important book on the subject of web scholarship available now and should complement the MLA Handbook."
    --Prabuddha Bharata
  • "The fruit of great experience and of great learning, this is an important book that presents the state of the humanities in the United States and in large part around the world."
    --Natures Sciences Sociétés

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Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 218pp.
  • 2 Figures, 1 Table.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2015
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-07254-5

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  • $59.95 U.S.

  • Paper
  • 2015
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-05254-7

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  • $29.95 U.S.

  • Open Access
  • 2015
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-90013-8

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  • digital humanities, humanities computing, interdisciplinarity, transdisciplinarity, boundary work, institutionalization and professionalization, communities of practice, interdisciplinary teaching and learning, interdisciplinary collaboration, scholarly communication and rewards