Here’s the problem though, today’s English graduate student digital natives are not. Not digitally native, I mean. In part, I am highly skeptical of Prensky’s categories. Clearly there is more to digital literacy than the year of one’s birth. Still, English phd students tend to come from fairly affluent families (especially on a global scale). They are obviously well-educated. In other words, they have had access. English, however, probably self-selects for an aversion to technology. That is, overall, English grad students are less technologically literate than their contemporaries. I don’t think it would be unfair to say that, on a national scale, an English education fails to educate students to support a digital literacy. Just look at the curriculum and try to figure out where such an education might be taking place: in dark corners only.
So English, and maybe other humanities, is attractive to those who cannot figure out the digital world or who find some principled reason to reject it (which is fine in my view, just as it is fine that the Amish reject many technologies). However, while it is fine for an individual or even a community to reject technologies, it probably doesn’t bode well for an academic discipline.