[Humanist] 25.352 simultaneous but divergent?
Humanist Discussion Group
willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Fri Oct 7 09:06:07 CEST 2011
Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 25, No. 352.
Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
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Date: Fri, 07 Oct 2011 08:05:13 +0100
From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
Subject: simultaneous but diverging?
This starts as an historiographical question but may wander elsewhere:
who has written about more or less simultaneous developments that we
would expect to reinforce each other but which in fact pass each other
like ships in the night? I am thinking, for example, of Robert Connor's
pondering of the question of why "computer technology became available
at precisely the wrong moment" in the development of Classics, when
"[t]he era of traditional lexical and textual studies had largely
passed..." ("Scholarship and Technology in Classical Studies", in
Scholarship and Technology in the Humanities, ed. May Katzen, 1991, pp.
52-62). Connor goes on to consider the same chiasmus in literary and in
historical studies. Anthony Kenny points to Connor's question in his
British Library lecture on computing in the humanities (1992),
speculating that scholars fled the juggernaut of quantification with
which computing was associated, especially in the early years. One might
finger scarier, more repellent things, such as the military uses of
computing at that time, e.g. SAGE, the "electronic battlefield" of
Vietnam &c. But rather than dig only into those historical data for an
explanation of that particular crossing in the night, I'd like to know
about the whole class of such anomalies, and other examples, perhaps
Suggestions and comments?
Professor Willard McCarty, Department of Digital Humanities, King's
College London; Centre for Cultural Research, University of Western
Sydney; Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews (www.isr-journal.org);
Editor, Humanist (www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist/); www.mccarty.org.uk/
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