History From Below

This week, The Chronicle of Higher Education published a piece (now behind a paywall) written by Prof. Timothy Brennan. In it, the digital humanities as a field is essentially assessed as a “bust.” A concluding critique seemed particularly harsh: “Rather than a revolution, the digital humanities is a wedge separating the humanities from its reason to exist — namely, to think against prevailing norms.” Although I and many others who engage with DH have a number of qualms with this assessment, I decided that one way to rebut it was simply by exploring one sub-field largely excluded from the article: GIS and digital mapping.

What is below is a transcription of my Forbes column for this week, which looks at how digital mapping has changed our understanding and access to issues regarding race, segregation, and social justice in the United States. I think that Prof. Brennan might…

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