Volume 21, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1385-1535
  • E-ISSN: 1875-7324
  • oa Big data, grand challenges: On digitization and humanities researchThis article is an original translation of José van Dijck’s Ketelaarlezing: ‘Big Data, Grand Challenges. Over digitalisering en het geesteswetenschappelijk onderzoek’, organized by the Nationaal Archief and the Koninklijke Vereniging van Archivarissen in Nederland at December 10, 2014. www.kvan.nl/files/Ketelaarlezing/Ketelaar12_2014-DEF.pdf.

  • By José van Dijck
  • Source: KWALON, Volume 21, Issue 1, Mar 2016,
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.5117/2016.021.001.002
  • Language: Dutch



Due to the digitization of sources, humanities scholars have to develop new research questions and methodologies. This article theorizes the ‘digital turn’ by looking at three challenges: the necessity of combining qualitative and quantitative methods; the dilemma of multidisciplinary cooperation; and the ideological question of why and how the humanities should be concerned with a new digital materiality. We need the expertise of humanities scholars – their critical insights, analytical acuity, and knowledge of ambiguity and diversity – to make sense of a digital culture that permeates and directs our daily life.


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