The Digital in the Humanities Vol. 02

Part of what you seem to be gesturing toward in your discussion of interdisciplinary collaboration comes down to physical space, which brings up an interesting and somewhat ironic problem relating to the need digital projects have for a rather large amount of real estate in an institution. Despite its reliance on online platforms, much of the talk around the digital in the humanities today also concerns physical location — namely does the future of digital work lie in individual departments or libraries? Do you have an opinion on the best physical place for digital scholarship, and what does this say about its future role in the university?

The empirical answer is that libraries are certainly moving forward. When you look at job offers, a lot of them are in libraries or library-like environments. I’ve done what I’ve done and I stand by it. I think the solution for digital research is a lab attached to a department. That is to say with the department as its reference, but not exactly an organ of the department. The lab would have its own autonomy. It’s clearly a precarious situation and honestly it would make sense to look to the sciences to see the ways in which a biology lab and the biology department function together. The way I see these labs is attached, but not co-extensive with the department — appendixes of the departments.

Ful interview Franco Moretti :

Franco Moretti is the Danily C. and Laura Bell Professor in the Humanities at Stanford University. He is the author of Signs Taken for Wonders (1983), The Way of the World (1987), Modern Epic (1995), Atlas of the European Novel 1800-1900 (1998), Graphs, Maps, Trees (2005), The Bourgeois (2013), and Distant Reading (2013), and chief editor of The Novel (2006). He founded the Center for the Study of the Novel and the Literary Lab.


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