Cross-posted from a long comment to a HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory) post by Abby Mullen.
Over on HASTAC, Abby Mullen writes about "DH imposter syndrome" for people new to DH. My reply:
A great thing about DH is that even for people who've been involved for several years (e.g. me) or many years (as with many of my co-workers at MITH and my graduate advisors), there will always be large areas of DH work where each of us is ignorant. Sure, there are commonplaces and vocabulary that everyone picks up over time, as well as a sense of some of the more-trodden discussions (e.g. the community attitude toward big data, small data, deep data; toward defining what is DH and who is a DHer; and towards games and education, online learning, and the scholarly status of digital creations). But if you go to a THATCamp (which I heartily recommend if you haven't), you'll quickly notice that
DH, as I and many see it, has a strong pedagogical focus; part of everyone's work in their particular niche of DH (whether that's mapping, topic modeling, something else) is not only to do awesome things, but to share it with the DH community in a way that non-specialists can understand. There's also a great movement in DH toward a more public humanities aimed at people outside the academy who are passionantly curious about history, narrative, etc. (e.g. the 4humanities project and work that seeks to use the wisdom of the crowd for interpretive rather than mechanical tasks, such as the Scholars' Lab's Prism, comments in the LOC historical photo Flickr stream, and the NYPL menus project).
I don't mean to say that you (or anyone) won't feel like an imposter for a while upon first getting involved in DH (or, as I've pointed out, that you won't continue to feel like an imposter recurrently over the years as DH folds in new tools and approaches and disciplines). What I do mean to say is (from the viewpoint of a fellow grad student) that feeling like an imposter in DH is
Follow the people smart Tweeps you already know are following, and don't be afraid to tweet at them when you don't follow something. CHNM's Tom Scheinfeldt has a great blog post/Debates in DH chapter (the latter is another great resource for diving into DH, by the way: both chapters and really finely crafted blog posts covering a lot of the field's preoccupations) discussing how DH is a peculiarly "nice" field, in large part because of our emphasis on skills and methodology (so there's another benefit to those aspects of DH that make it a little harder to pick up). If someone's doing DH and they're not willing to at least say "try going and reading this book/post/project site", they're going to be a bit anomalous. Also, don't be shy about tweeting a link when you have a new blog post, or to mention you Twitter handle frequently (I looked up your handle after reading this post, but I'm usually more lazy about that!).
Also, it's totally okay to not care about some aspects of the DH field; choose the things that help you do better work in areas you care about. Even if you don't know how your non-DH work relates to what people are doing digitally yet, DH probably relates way more than you can currently imagine. It did for me: I left college wanting to somehow mash up my love of complex books and making websites, then found out about online editions, topic modeling, text visualization, literary games... and a lot of other amazing things that people with similar interests were doing with digital tools. Finding out that other people were doing this stuff was an eye-opener! You know what you care about, so enlist others to help you find the DH work that might intrigue you or help you out, either through HASTAC posts, tweeting, or the DH Q&A site.
Oh, and for anyone reading this who's intrigued by DH but hasn't gone to a THATCamp: you should. Really. Check out the main page and look for one near you (some can also offer limited travel assistance to a few attendees), or tweet @thatcamp if you need help or reassurance that you'll fit in :) And yes, THATCamps are full of people just dipping their toes (or cannon-balling) into the DH waters, so it will be pretty impossible for you to feel like you don't fit in at one.