This class has been an incredible breeding ground for new knowledge and skills. As an art history Master’s student, this is a required class that is meant to introduce us to a broader range of ways art data can be analyzed. And by pointing out this was required for my Master’s degree is not a knock against the class! If anything, I was originally worried it would be so advanced that I would struggle greatly. (My family members pointed this out as well since I worked with PHD students.) I am happy to say that wasn’t the case due to the instruction and helpful, kind classmates. I can truly say that I have learned a lot even though some week’s were admittedly tougher than others. I have learned to code text-adventure games (useful for my creative projects as well as educational), learned a little HTML, learned about website accessibility, and have even worked on creating a digital art history exhibit with my peers.
What I’m taking away here is there are endless possibilities in the realm of art history. When I was younger, it always seemed like there were two options: You become a professor or art curator. But learning about DH has shown me there is more then one path to work in this field. This is something I had already begun to learn in my other classes as well. It’s a comforting thought to know that there isn’t one way to fulfill your career ideals. The world isn’t just black and white, after all. I do genuinely want to be a professor but for all I know, I could end up in as a full-time archeologist or even in a lab somewhere. Maybe this all should have seemed obvious but when you’re in high school, you have so much on your plate that your future already seems decided.
Risam’s article gave a great overview of how the parameters of DH can keep expanding to include more diversity. Because history was originally written by white European men. In modern times we see the history books being rewritten so we can get closer to the truth. This is, of course, true for art history as well. For example, we can have a more nuanced discussion by having women writing about female art titans like Frida Kahlo and Artemisia Gentileschi. As DH expands, I hope we continue to see the increase in historians from marginalized groups making use of it. I imagine the Native Americans could create better interactive maps of how America looked before the settlers. And the people of Polynesia and Micronesia could do the same with their islands. People who speak dying languages like Gaelic can record the language structure before they are gone forever. (I mention Gaelic because I know there is a current attempt to save the language!) Even with with today’s current situation in America, I’m sure someone is out there arching all the content from hashtags like #BLM and #BlackArtistSpace so we can look back and see how the online world reacted to real-time events.