Digital Humanities and Society: an impact requiring ‘intermediation’

Carla Basili, Grazia Biorci, Antonella Emina


Impact and sustainability are the leitmotiv of current Research Policies in Europe. Science is required to show its positive socio-economic influence on Society, and Humanities Research is not exempted from this requirement. Within this context, Digital Humanities might enhance the external impact of Humanities Research, more specifically the commitment to public engagement, by means of strategic opportunities offered by digital techniques. To pursue this objective, intermediation seems necessary in order ‘to switch Humanities on’ within Society. Actually, virtual objects might be as speechless as real ones, i.e. books in a library without users. The value of a Digital approach lies in its usability, in the additional tools and helps it supplies, and in stimulating users in becoming active agents of their reading. As in a good storytelling the attention to what can provoke reactions is as important as the action narrated itself, digital objects need hints to stimulate and activate users’ curiosity, questions and original solutions. The paper concentrates on three elements: the requirement for external impact of research activities; the need for intermediary agents and a concrete experimentation of intermediation. Digital Humanities are analysed in the context of the Humanities and beyond the academic realm, in their targeting diverse recipients, external to the scientific community. The test conducted so far is addressed to the specific stakeholder community of teachers, called to act as intermediaries between Humanities Research outcomes and the Scholastic Community.


Digital Humanities; Education; Impact of Humanities; Public Engagement

DOI: 10.6092/issn.2532-8816/7196


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Copyright (c) 2017 Carla Basili, Grazia Biorci, Antonella Emina

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