Digital Humanities and different intelligences

Theories like Gardner’s multiple intelligences (Gardner 1987) and Sternberg’s successful intelligence (Sternberg 1999) have criticised the notion of the single logical/verbal intelligence measured by the IQ tests. Gardner talks of different intelligences like musical, spatial, kinaesthetic, etc. Sternberg propose a notion of intelligence as an ability to succeed in life in a determinate context and argues that some children do not learn in school because they are not taught in a way that is suitable for their mode of learning (Sternberg and Grigorenko 2004).  People’s minds are not all the same and people have different way of learning or expressing themselves. Furthermore in the last years great emphasis has been put on the fact that there are not people with disabilities, but only people with diverse abilities and they should be given the opportunity to develop their talents. For example a #TransformDH’s video (‘Digit(al) Shakespeares’ 2015) shows how the vision of the world of deaf people is different and their visual abilities are more developed than the rest of the population; so they love Shakespeare for the images that his words evoke, not for the sound of the words.

Digital artefacts are varied including video, sound, images, etc.; so people with intelligences and abilities other than verbal, and that therefore are not very successful in traditional humanities, should have more opportunities to realise their potential in the digital humanities. However, at least for what is my experience at this master course, that does not seem to be the case; there is still too much importance given to the writing and digital artefact seem to be given a secondary place.


‘Digit(al) Shakespeares (Tyrone Giordano and Jill Marie Bradbury)’. 2015. YouTube.

Gardner, Howard. 1987. ‘The Theory of Multiple Intelligences’. Annals of Dyslexia 37 (1): 19–35.

Sternberg, Robert J. 1999. ‘The Theory of Successful Intelligence.’ Review of General Psychology 3 (4): 292.

Sternberg, Robert J., and Elena L. Grigorenko. 2004. ‘Successful Intelligence in the Classroom’. Theory Into Practice 43 (4): 274–80. doi:10.1207/s15430421tip4304_5.

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