[Humanist] 23.144 somewhere we are going

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Thu Jul 9 07:24:21 CEST 2009


                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 23, No. 144.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org



        Date: Wed, 8 Jul 2009 07:34:52 -0600
        From: Sterling Fluharty <phdinhistory at gmail.com>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 23.140 are we going somewhere?
        In-Reply-To: <20090708053222.28F851D678 at woodward.joyent.us>


But what if the digital revolution unveils that the traditional humanities
has been littered with "negative information"?  This quotation came to mind
as I considered whether the traditional humanities and its digital
practitioners are on the same "caravan":

If you explore the potential of digital history and the problem of
> abundance, you realize that it presents a very real challenge to analog
> history and the close reading that has been at the heart of graduate work
> and the monograph. Digital history and the abundance it tries to address
> make many historical arguments seem anecdotal rather than comprehensive.
> Hypotheses based on a limited number of examples, as many dissertations and
> books still are, seem flimsier when you can scan millions of books at Google
> to find counterexamples. I believe it will be possible to marry digital
> techniques with close reading and traditional methods, but very soon it will
> be perilous to ignore these new techniques ("Interchange: The Promise of
> Digital History." Special issue, Journal of American History 95, no. 2
> (September 2008). Available at
> http://www.journalofamericanhistory.org/issues/952/interchange/index.html
> .)

Sterling Fluharty
University of New Mexico



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