Clio's Matrix: Reflecting on Digital History at The University of the West Indies, St Augustine
Keywords:digital, technology, history, objectivity
AbstractThe introduction of Digital History courses to the teaching lists of universities worldwide had been hailed by many historians as a positive step forward. This positive endorsement came as academia realised that these courses demonstrated the various universities' commitment towards expanding their historical offerings in step with the advancements taking place in technology. These courses demonstrated also the willingness and ability of the faculty members so involved to adopt and to teach new technologies and methodologies that today, inevitably, affect the discipline. However whilst the benefits of these courses may at first seem self-evident there are also many less visible, but nevertheless problematic, downsides to the adoption of digital technology into this traditional academic discipline. More specifically these downsides centre on the objectivity issues concerned with the presentation and the use of the sources within historical writing. The perceived downsides increase when one recognises that the field of Digital History itself is ultimately an attempt to redefine what traditional historical writing is and the basis of its legitimising authority.