In the classic 2009 digital humanities (DH) article “The Productive Unease of 21st-century Digital Scholarship” Julia Flanders explores the unique position of DH vis-a-vis the larger narrative of the inherent progress of technological development. She suggests that although DH is innately tied to changes in technology, it doesn’t “progress” in the say way (or else isn’t as driven by the concept of progress as industry might be) — rather, it creates a productive unease. Flanders points out three examples of productive unease that DH has caused: regarding the significance of medium, a renewed attention to institutional structures, and a focus on representation and modelling. In summary, Flanders proves that DH takes up the same mantle as the humanities always have; the difference lies in the use of tools, models, and other technologies to further probe the analysis of cultural material.
Flanders, Julia. 2009. “The Productive Unease of 21st Century Digital Scholarship.” Digital Humanities Quarterly 3 (3): n.p. http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/3/3/000055/000055.html.