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Durham University

Department of Geography

Departmental Research Projects

Publication details

Crang, M. The Promises and Perils of a Digital Geohumanities. Cultural Geographies. 2015;22:351-360.

Author(s) from Durham


This intervention asks to what extent to developments of digital media offer new objects that demand new methods, and to what extent they create new methods that might be applied to older cultural fields creating a digital humanities. It argues that digital media sometimes reanimate older debates and issues not only in what we study but how we do so, and their significance may be less in new techniques than altering the general tools of our trade in cultural geography. The paper looks at both new digital cultures, such as gaming and new converging media, and new methods, be they analysing the data exhaust of digitally mediated social lives, or using new software in literary analysis. Profound tensions exist between quantitative imaginaries of a massive stock of texts yielding determinate meanings and deconstructive visions of texts yielding indeterminate and proliferating meanings. Big data sits uneasily with big interpretation. The paper suggests a materialist semiosis is needed to attend to the permutations where new digital techniques may form affective technologies conveying meanings as much as effective analytical tools.

Department of Geography