Humaniora och informationsteknik [The Humanities and Information Technology]

Patrik Svensson


How and why do the humanities and information technology intersect? Should the humanities accommodate the so-called information society? What is the role of the humanities in relation to nanotechnology, virtual worlds and computer games? Does it make sense to build cultural laboratories in the computer? Is there a risk in adopting a non-textual and creative approach to humanities research? What is the responsibility of the humanities in the twenty-first century? These are some of the issues explored in this article. A broad disciplinary context and a number of case studies are employed to sketch a rough outline of an emerging field. It is argued that it is important to both relate to the technology critically and to actively engage in exploring it. Technology is not just a tool used to solve problems but also a cultural and communicative arena. This arena might be seen as a cultural laboratory that can be used in humanities research. In the article, this model is presented as well as a real-world humanities laboratory (HUMlab). But neither virtual nor real laboratories can replace what is most important for the further development of this field, namely that we as humanities scholars allow ourselves to become interested in the technologies that increasingly permeate our lives and our societies.


humanities computing; humanities; HUMlab; academic disciplines; information society

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