[Humanist] 25.366 simultaneous but divergent

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Wed Oct 12 08:49:23 CEST 2011


                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 25, No. 366.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    maurizio lana <m.lana at lett.unipmn.it>                     (30)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 25.360 simultaneous but divergent

  [2]   From:    Jascha Kessler <urim1 at verizon.net>                       (146)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 25.360 simultaneous but divergent


--[1]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Tue, 11 Oct 2011 09:19:29 +0200
        From: maurizio lana <m.lana at lett.unipmn.it>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 25.360 simultaneous but divergent
        In-Reply-To: <20111011060743.E2E7C1D5EF0 at woodward.joyent.us>

Il 11/10/2011 08:07, Humanist Discussion Group ha scritto:
> YouTube's offering by Richard E. Miller
> (Rutgers), co-editor of The New Humanities Reader, begins with, "What
> we're trying to do ... is to imagine a humanities that all students
> would be interested in." The idea of education in that statement is
> worth unpicking, don't you think? But I suspect what Bob Amsler had in
> mind is the notion that in our hands digital tools and methods will
> change the humanities in some fundamental way. What about the humanities
> simultaneously changing computing in some other fundamental way? Isn't
> that half the story of what we're doing?

it's a problem, a serious one, if we must make humanities more 
interesting because the passion of humanities students is lowering.
i don't think that a new, deeper connection between mathematics 
(whichever they will be) and humanities will be able to give *by itself* 
a solid and satisfactory answer to this problem.
the question "why the humanities?" comes before any other, and 
immediately after comes "why mixing humanities and 'other sciences'?", 
the accent being on the "why". the answers must be able to explain the 
matter to (and possibly to convince) those who - in the sciences or the 
humanities fields - don't think that this wedding has to be done.
this is said by a humanist who has been doing researches with 
physic-mathematicians for years now on highly experimental matters, not 
by a skeptic person.
best
maurizio

-- 
Maurizio Lana - ricercatore
Università del Piemonte Orientale, Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia
Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici, via Manzoni 8, 13100 Vercelli
tel. +39 347 7370925



--[2]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Tue, 11 Oct 2011 12:29:13 -0700
        From: Jascha Kessler <urim1 at verizon.net>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 25.360 simultaneous but divergent
        In-Reply-To: <20111011060743.E2E7C1D5EF0 at woodward.joyent.us>


"Interpretation," is it?  But what is interpretation?  That Talmud is neat
instance, vast volumes of commentary, which by now, digitized I am sure,
remain forever the same, though altering from person to person, or
scholar/rabbi to scholar rabbi, from one generation to the next.
 R.P.Blackmur remarked in the latter 1940s, as I recall, that new trends or
schools, or turns, in literary criticism were au fond a new generation's
effort to teach the same texts [all or whichever in the Humanities, say] in
a different manner, with a different perspective, historical, linguistic,
psychological, political...whatever.  Derrida, et alia, came along two
decades later and, Voilà! we got theory as theory on theory, ad nauseam, not
texts but as in the Talmud marginal comments on marginal comments, since of
course, the Torah remained the same, pace the scholiast and archæologist.
It might be well to recall Thoreau's comment when he talked about the value
of "experience."  Viz., one generation abandons another like vessels
stranded on the shore.  {more or less, if not exactly quoted}.
Jascha Kessler



-- 
Jascha Kessler
Professor of English & Modern Literature, UCLA
Telephone/Facsimile: 310.393.4648
www.jfkessler.com
www.xlibris.com





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