[Humanist] 26.71 disciplinary paranoia

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sat Jun 9 22:47:29 CEST 2012


                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 26, No. 71.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org



        Date: Fri, 08 Jun 2012 10:47:14 +0200
        From: Manfred Thaller <manfred.thaller at uni-koeln.de>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 26.40 disciplinary paranoia?
        In-Reply-To: <20120523214914.0EE29282173 at woodward.joyent.us>

Dear Willard,
sorry to take some time.

That interdisciplinarity, if taken serious, requires the willingness to 
give something to the other discipline as well, not only the interest to 
get something from it, has at an earlier stage been the subject of an 
article which is as thought provoking as amusing.

D.B. Rutmann has written in Historical Methods, 19 (1986) 121-123, a 
contribution "History and Anthropology: Clio's Dalliances" in which he 
argues the point of the first para of this mail, describing the 
relatively little effect a series of interdisciplinary fades of history 
had on the discipline as the fate of a muse to much focused on its short 
term satisfaction from a sequence of partners, and to little on what 
they could gain from her.

Kind regards,
Manfred

Am 23.05.2012 23:49, schrieb Humanist Discussion Group:
>                    Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 26, No. 40.
>              Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
>                         www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
>                  Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
>
>
>
>          Date: Thu, 24 May 2012 07:48:00 +1000
>          From: Willard McCarty<willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
>          Subject: disciplinary paranoia
>
> Taking a cue from Richard Hofstadter's article "The Paranoid Style in
> American Politics", Harper’s Magazine, November 1964, then thinking
> about the fearful desire to live in a totally explained world where
> everything conspires to make sense, I am wondering about the reactions
> we encounter as digital humanists when approaching other disciplines for
> more than merely a momentary, delimited fling. When, to continue with
> the sexual metaphor, what we're after is not simply an affair but
> marriage. What I want to ask is this: how common is it for
> representatives of the other discipline to gather into themselves, to
> react in a way that suggests an anxiety about the coherence of their own
> field and how the digital humanities might threaten that putative
> coherence? Some disciplines are more confident than others, but I
> suspect that none is so sure of itself that it cannot be provoked into
> such anxiety by something which promises to change everything, as for
> the humanities the digital humanities does.
>
> Any sense in this? Comments?
>
> Yours,
> WM

-- 
Prof. Dr. Manfred Thaller
Historisch-Kulturwissenschaftliche Informationsverarbeitung, Universität
zu Köln
Postadresse: Albertus-Magnus-Platz, D 50923 Köln
Besuchsadresse: Kerpener Str. 30, Eingang Weyertal, II. Stock
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