Stefan Gelfgren (Dept. of of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, Umeå University)

What Non-digital Practices Say About the Digital Humanities

Starting from the (non)-use of digital technology within two religious communities, the Finnish Orthodox Church and the Swedish Laestadian movement, I would like to discuss the need to study the deliberate non-use of, and hesitancy toward, digital technology.

In a field (DH) which focuses on the consequences and potentials of digital technology, the ideas and practices of non-use forces us to nuance how we, as DH scholars, view “the digital“. The two cases in this paper show well-founded and reasonable examples of hesitancy toward digital technology and culture.

Have the digital humanities focused too much on the digital, and too little on the Humanities? Is it time for a move back to the Humanities? I argue that the non-use of digital technology cannot be studied without an understanding of the digital, and vice versa.