Digital Middle Eastern Studies : challenges, ethics, and the digital humanities

Date
2015-05
Authors
Fischer, Gayle Renee
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Abstract

This professional report explores the adoption of digital humanities practices in the field of Middle Eastern Studies, focusing on what Middle Eastern Studies contributes to overall digital humanities discussions. An increase in conferences, panels, and workshops since 2013 shows that scholars in Middle Eastern Studies and related fields, such as Islamic Studies, display an interest in the digital humanities and the power of academic digital tools and methods to contribute to their work. Middle Eastern Studies as a discipline faces unique challenges in the adoption of digital humanities practices, arising from its interdisciplinary, geographically-focused nature, problems working with non-Roman scripts in the digital environment, and ethical issues based on the history of colonialism in the region. Due to U.S. foreign policy interests and the unintended applications of digital Middle Eastern Studies research, scholars working with these methods should carefully consider the impact their work may have on individuals currently living in the Middle East.

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