[Humanist] 24.77 an oddity or something more

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Wed Jun 2 07:24:24 CEST 2010


                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 24, No. 77.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    James Rovira <jamesrovira at gmail.com>                      (18)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 24.74 an oddity or something more?

  [2]   From:    Dot Porter <dot.porter at gmail.com>                         (98)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 24.74 an oddity or something more?


--[1]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Tue, 1 Jun 2010 06:51:45 -0400
        From: James Rovira <jamesrovira at gmail.com>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 24.74 an oddity or something more?
        In-Reply-To: <20100601053351.548EE5C063 at woodward.joyent.us>


I think Kenny overstated his case.  

James Rovira
Assistant Professor of English
Tiffin University
Blake and Kierkegaard: Creation and Anxiety
http://www.continuumbooks.com
> 
> 
> 1. Tools for word-study vs scholars' interests
> 
> In his British Library lecture, Anthony Kenny cites the classicist 
> Robert Connor's observation that "Computer technology became available 
> precisely at the wrong moment in the profession's development. The era 
> of traditional lexical and textual studies had largely passed..." when 
> the tools to pursue such studies better than ever before arrived on the 
> scene. Kenny suggests that scholars might have reacted adversely to 
> "quantification invading their own subject [offering] no escape from 
> those wretched numbers" (pp. 9-10). Hence their rejection.



--[2]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Tue, 1 Jun 2010 10:49:37 -0400
        From: Dot Porter <dot.porter at gmail.com>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 24.74 an oddity or something more?
        In-Reply-To: <20100601053351.548EE5C063 at woodward.joyent.us>


Regarding Alan's comment re: the materiality of text:

In my circle, at least, there is great concern with the materiality of text
and what digital technology means for it. Concerns include both the
philosophical (what does it mean for a editorial reading of a text when that
reading is known solely through digital imaging? For example, readings from
the Archimedes Palimpsest images, or those discovered through the virtual
unrolling of damaged papyrus scrolls), as well as the practical (what is the
best way to present the materiality of a text in a digital environment?). I
presented a paper last year on this topic, it's available online for anyone
interested: http://dho.ie/node/74; I have a few things in the pipeline as
well. The "Digital Paleography and Codicology" series of books published by
the Institute for Documentary and Scholarly Editing also includes several
chapters along these lines, I believe
(http://www.i-d-e.de/schriften-2/kodikologie-und-palaographie-im-digitalen-zeitalter/cfp-palaeography-en).

Melissa Terras and Kathryn Piquette work in this area (two names off the top
of my head, I know there are more). Generally, Alan may have a point, but
there are certainly digital scholars interested in, thinking about, and
talking about materiality of texts.

Dot

On Tue, Jun 1, 2010 at 1:33 AM, Humanist Discussion Group <
willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk> wrote:

>                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 24, No. 74.
>         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
>                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
>                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
>
>
>
>        Date: Mon, 31 May 2010 18:38:08 +0100
>        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
>        Subject: odd chiasmus
>
>
> I am wondering whether anyone here knows of a study of or
> commentary on a phenomenon of which I have 3 instances from the history
> of computing: at the very moment when a development has come to
> fruition those most closely concerned turn away. The instances are these:
>
> 1. Tools for word-study vs scholars' interests
>
> In his British Library lecture, Anthony Kenny cites the classicist
> Robert Connor's observation that "Computer technology became available
> precisely at the wrong moment in the profession's development. The era
> of traditional lexical and textual studies had largely passed..." when
> the tools to pursue such studies better than ever before arrived on the
> scene. Kenny suggests that scholars might have reacted adversely to
> "quantification invading their own subject [offering] no escape from
> those wretched numbers" (pp. 9-10). Hence their rejection.
>
> 2. Tools for construction vs constructivism in art
>
> Richard Wright, in "From System to Software: Computer Programming and
> the Death of Constructivist Art", in White Heat Cold Logic, asks about
> the artistic movement known as Constructivism, why it "should have
> declined precisely at the point at which the 'programmatic' seemed to
> reach its fullest potential for expression: the programming of the
> digital computer" (p. 120). He leaves the question open.
>
> 3. Disembodiment of information vs materiality of texts
>
> Alan Galey, in "The Human Presence in Digital Artefacts", in Text and
> Genre in Reconstruction (forthcoming from Open Book Publishers), argues
> that "it should be disquieting to see a deepening separation of material
> form from idealized content in our tools at the very moment when
> literary critics have established the materiality of texts to be
> indispensable to interpretation" (p. 94).
>
> What might we say about these co-incidences? Is there some inclusive
> principle at work here? Are there other examples in the history of the
> digital humanities we might consider?
>
> Comments?
>
> Yours,
> WM
> --
> Willard McCarty, Professor of Humanities Computing,
> King's College London, staff.cch.kcl.ac.uk/~wmccarty/ http://staff.cch.kcl.ac.uk/%7Ewmccarty/ 
> ;
> Editor, Humanist, www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist;
> Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, www.isr-journal.org.

-- 
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Dot Porter (MA, MSLS)
Digital Medievalist, Digital Librarian
Email: dot.porter at gmail.com
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*





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