Digital Humanities in the time of COVID-19 | Adamas University

Digital Humanities in the time of COVID-19


Digital Humanities in the time of COVID-19

The worldwide lockdown and isolation has created a demand for an alternate to physical movement and presence. As most people are forced to stay indoors and work from home, the digital sphere has become extremely essential. The field of digital humanities provide a space for the creation of new projects as well as for studying and understanding human behavior brought about by the digital sphere.

Whether it is the field of art, music, literature or education, each of the fields have been affected by the spread of the Corona virus across the world. A number of art museums have enabled virtual tours for art lovers to view online from any part of the world. The British Museum in London, Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, The Louvre in Paris are a few of the museums which can now be visited from within the comforts of one’s home. This was made possible with the help of the Google Arts & Culture project. This approach is sure to push away the boredom and the feelings of restlessness and loneliness which is brought about by the forced isolation due to the spread of the Corona virus.

Social media has become an important outlet for the creativity of a number of people stuck at home. Videos of musicians playing covers of popular songs has become very common on Facebook and YouTube. Their seems to be no age bar as well. From the age of 4 to the aged, people are reaching out to a universal audience through the social media platforms. The various instruments used for the same range from Violins, piano, guitar to Tabla and other indigenous instruments.  The renowned group Bolshoi Ballet have planned to premiere their performance of the Nutcracker Ballet on the 10th of April, 2020 in YouTube. This is an opportunity made available due to the lockdown.

Apart from music, a very popular trend on Facebook are the various photograph challenges which evokes a sense of nostalgia, by connecting the current situation with an earlier time. This affects the manner in which a very different identity is created on the Facebook platform with the help of a narrative built on the past. The born digital literature in the form of status update and comments are furthering the manner in which literature is being consumed and will be consumed in the future.

The field which is heavily dependent on the digital forum at present is the education sector. Schools, colleges and Universities have been temporarily shut down. However, the classes continue with the help of platforms such as Google Classroom and Zoom, to name a few.

The manner in which the spread of the disease is studied has also undergone a major change due to the availability of an enormous amount of unstructured data in the form of Big Data. These available data is being further studied with the help of Machine Learning, Virtual Reality and simulation.

The very perception and attitude of the people towards their fellow beings and the society at large are undergoing a major shift due to the continuous developments taking place in the digital sphere. The world is truly moving towards a digital age where the presence of the digital mode is becoming all pervasive. Digital Humanities cater to a changing world which slowly moving towards an interdisciplinary approach to get a holistic view of human society and life.

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