The end of the 19th century is when “the study of literature, philosophy, and classics was split off from the natural and physical sciences” when before they each “had their own licenses on knowledge, as well as professional rituals, meetings, and publications” (Burdick et al. 6). She further contends that “[d]igital work challenges many of these separations, promoting dialogue not only across established disciplinary lines but also across the pure/applied, qualitative/quantitative, and theoretical/practical divides” (Burdick et al. 7). That is to say, the veil of separation between the disciplines is rapidly thinning. It might seem obvious that each department within the academy has its own set of tools set aside to perform their own specialized work-the sciences their measuring sticks and computer coding systems, and the humanities with their paint brushes and daily journals.What happens when we take notice that cultural production as mediated through creative texts might have actual data that can be taken and used to reveal new truths, or old truths in new ways? What happens when humanists borrow the tools that scientists use? Sure, the humanities as a discipline shifts into a space that is more adept at navigating the scientific advances that keep our world moving forward. But what about the sciences? What might we humanists give back to them?
Digital humanities is a natural adaptation to a change in environment. This new discourse, or dialogue, that Burdick posits opens because of the work being done in digital humanities is bridging a gap that was only quite recently formed. As we adapt to our more technologically advanced world landscapes, the humanists can continue creating histories, philosophies, and literatures to help mediate the world, but also to provide more data to be digitized. The digital humanities creates a healthy space for knowledge production and an exchange of information across and among the disciplines, it bridges the gap, and it pushes us all a little closer to knowing what we can’t yet know.