The first wave of the National Research Council of the Philippines’ (NRCP) Back2Basic (B2B) is almost complete at it successfully conducted the 12th episode featuring Digital Humanities by Dr. Randy T. Nobleza, NRCP Associate Member of Humanities Division, on December 1, 2021 via Zoom.

Dr. Nobleza explored the concept of Dagitab or Decolonizing Island and archipelagic transdisiplinarities. He also shared his journey as he encounters the intricacies and nuances of interdisciplinarities during the pre-pandemic era.

From taking up his lifechanging courses: Humanidades and Arts studies to becoming a fulltime faculty of the Bachelor of Arts (AB) in Communication and AB English under the School of Arts and Sciences, Nobleza dwelled deeper into creative resistance and media activism, and dabbled with terrestrial radio, print news, and even television.

Nobleza encouraged the participants to joining him and distilling the lessons of Digital Humanities to everyday lives in hopes for a better normal, while learning decolonize island and archipelagic studies through Dagitab.


NRCP Associate Member of Humanities Division, Dr. Randy T. Nobleza


Insights in Relation to Digital Humanities

According to Dr. Nobleza, the Philippines had reached intersectionality with Digital Humanities with its characteristics.

“Before, there were only disciplinal areas like psychology, creative writing, or sociology, and then there are some field of studies like arts studies and humanities that are inherently multi-disciplinarity if not essentially interdisciplinary,” he said.

Nobleza stressed that this is true during the pre-pandemic times because there are already digital technologies like Free, Open-source software.

“Though Open Space Technology and Appreciative Inquiry is more utilized for generating content rather than static products,” he added.

He also shared that based on camp Manifesto for the Digital Humanities which concerns the totality of the social sciences and humanities, and the digital humanities designate a “trans discipline.”

“It embodies all the methods, systems, and empirical perspectives linked to the digital within the fields of humanities and the social sciences,” Nobleza added.

Digital Humanities

“We can get a sense of scale and depth of Digital Humanities by navigating the book edited by Mathew Gold, about “Debates in the Digital Humanities,” Nobleza encouraged the participants to explore the book to learn more about Digital Humanities.


He said that the book’s introduction contributes to the state of the art of field of Digital Humanities.

Nobleza showed some of the books which can be explored like, A Companion to Digital Humanities, A Companion to digital Literary Studies,  The American Literature Scholar in the Digital Age, and Switching Codes produced by DH scholars and their respective university press.

He said that there is a more veering towards open and free access such as the “Hacking the Academy” and “Digital Humanities pedagogy” which completely free and downloadable with a creative commons license. 

Digital Humanities during Covid 19 Pandemic

These are times in which print is no longer what it used to be and digital tools and practices have altered the world as we know it.

“Digital is not a unified field but an array of convergent practices that explore a universe” Dr. Nobleza highlighted.


Nobleza presented that the Gold’s “Debates in Digital Humanities” dug in further the reservation and limits of the transdiscipline, thus, calls for definition of digital humanities, its locus, and tactics. According to him, there is also a need for theorizing rather than data mining and processing into something and that there are some critique, practice, and teaching digital humanities in mainly American and European universities in the global north settings and contexts.

“There is hope for the future of digital humanities” said Dr. Nobleza.


Meanwhile, Nobleza revealed that there are a number of applications of Digital Humanities in the island and archipelagic settings, especially during these trying times of the pandemic. The Archives haven digitized continually to be more accessible. Museums have pivoted to digitizing its exhibits and organizing virtual tours.

“Despite the disruption of classes in basic and higher education, learning must continue with online and e-libraries” said Dr. Nobleza.

Nobleza informed that there is a new mode vis-à-vis the remote and internet-based learning to a more hybrid and flexible pedagogy. He also highlighted how research is becoming more and more net-based and computational with data science and analytics which is an offshoot of the manifesto for digital humanities. He shared that there is also the Digital Humanities Manifesto 2.0 from the humanities and technology camp unconference.

After the comprehensive lecture of Dr. Nobleza, the Chair of Humanities Division, Dr. Hope Sabanpan-Yu moderated the open forum. Questions were about digitab on high school curriculum, transferring to digital format the materials in culture and arts, archiving indigenous dances, and more. A total of 232 (138 females and 94 males) online class participants enjoined Episode 12 of Back2Basic including NRCP members, DOST agencies, students and teachers from different schools and universities, academe, media, and DepEd.


Dr. Yu and Dr. Nobleza during the open forum of B2B Episode 12



Some of the Enrollees of B2B Episode 12

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