[Humanist] 27.247 another case of remark-able expansiveness
Humanist Discussion Group
willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Mon Jul 29 22:26:38 CEST 2013
Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 27, No. 247.
Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
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Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 06:18:29 +1000
From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
Subject: another case of remark-able expansiveness
In the latest online serving of The Chronicle of Higher Education, for
29 July, Mark Edmundson sets out to sketch a portrait of "The Ideal
English Major", i.e. the American undergraduate who specialises in that
for the full article.
"The Ideal English Major" is a brave attempt to get to the fundamental
goal of identifying with that discipline: "Becoming an English major
means pursuing the most important subject of all -- being a human being."
What I find remarkable about it in this context is its simultaneous
expansiveness (looking outward from within a discipline and seeing the
whole world) and blinkered view (not seeing that all other disciplines
also afford such a view, but each a different one). It seems to me that
one of the dangers for us is to develop in exactly the same way, seeing
only our view of the whole intellectual world.
This is not to say that English or any other of our predecessors is
faulty in that respect. For one of them it is exactly how an expansive
mind trained within the discipline will expand. But, it seems to me, we
need to see the world at any one instant from our own centre and from
that of whatever discipline we're then dealing with.
Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/), Professor, Department of Digital
Humanities, King's College London, and Research Group in Digital
Humanities, University of Western Sydney
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