10 Books That Explore the Role of the Humanities in the Digital Age

In the contemporary emphasis upon data, STEM education and technological innovation, it can be easy to question the value of the humanities. As you will find in my blog, I am no Luddite, and yet I love spending time with my Luddite friends (by that I mostly mean the authors of many books that I read).  At the same time, it would be a false characterization to assume that a modern advocate of the humanities or the liberal arts is necessarily some sort of neo-luddite.  There are many thoughtful critics of our age as well as others who seem to make sense of life in the digital age through the humanities. To ignore these critiques is to miss out on an important and balanced education for our age. To ignore the voice of the humanities is to risk not learning about a valuable way of thinking about and looking at life in an increasingly technological world.  Toward that end, here are ten books to offer interesting challenges, critiques, and insights about the value of the humanities today.

  1. Truth, Beauty, and Goodness Reframed: Educating for the Virtues in the Age of Truthiness and Twitter by Howard Gardner
  2. Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities by Martha Nussbaum
  3. Multilitearcies for a Digital Age by Stuart Selbar – This text provides a humanities approach to technology literacy.
  4. Writing: A Manual for the Digital Age by Blakesley & Hoogeveen
  5. Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving and Presenting the Past on the Web by Daniel Cohen
  6. Hamlet’s Blackberry: Building a Good Life in the Digital Age by William Powers – This provides a fresh critique of some of the downfalls of the digital age and offers a few ideas for avoiding them.
  7. Switching Codes: Thinking Through Digital Technology in the Humanities and the Arts by Bartscherer & Coover
  8. Understanding Digital Humanities by David Berry
  9. The Spatial Humanities: GIS and the Future of Humanities Scholarship by Bodenhamer, Corrigan & Harris
  10. Building a Bridge to the 18th Century: How the Past Can Improve Our Future by Neil Postman
Posted in blog, books, digital culture

About Bernard Bull

Dr. Bernard Bull is the author of Missional Moonshots, Assistant Vice President of Academics, Associate Professor of education, and a frequent keynote speaker and consultant on topics related to educational innovation and entrepreneurship, futures in education, and the intersection of education and digital culture. Opinions expressed here do not reflect those of his primary employer(s).