[Humanist] 27.107 on the cfp for computational models of narrative

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sat Jun 8 23:39:28 CEST 2013


                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 27, No. 107.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org



        Date: Sat, 08 Jun 2013 11:20:39 +0200
        From: Jan Christoph Meister <jan-c-meister at uni-hamburg.de>
        Subject: Re:  27.100 on the cfp for LLC, computational models of narrative
        In-Reply-To: <20130606201722.4F7715F49 at digitalhumanities.org>


As a literary scholar and narratologist I sympathize with Martin 
Mueller's criticism: sweeping statements such as Herbert Simon's 
proclamation that "without computational modeling, the science of a 
complex human phenomenon such as narrative will never be successful, and 
that computational models are the proper lingua franca of the scientific 
study of narrative" smack of disciplinary imperialism. As a Humanist one 
can only marvel at the simplistic notion of 'success' or at the 
unreflected notion of 'science' which the quote seems to portray. The 
fact that legions of Humanists make similarly uninformed (if not worse) 
statements about CS or "computers" cannot count as a valid excuse.

But let us take a step back and consider three points. One, this is just 
a quote and we don't have the original context. Two, the context that we 
do have is a CfP that tries to highlight the orientation and impetus of 
an interdisciplinary exchange that might otherwise go unnoticed. This 
CfP expressly invites Humanists to respond to the claim; so a bit of 
polemic is rhetorically apt. Three, on a conceptual and methodological 
level Simon's claim (if indeed he made this claim) that "computational 
models are the proper lingua franca of the scientific study of 
narrative" is definitely worth discussing, particularly in our community.

If this discussion takes place in LLC, and if indeed it turns out to 
become a philosophical discussion that foregrounds the conceptual and 
not just the technological potential of CS/DH approaches in traditional 
Humanities' themes, then the perceived (or real?) polemic will have 
served its purpose.  The special edition of LLC which the CfP announces 
is in part a spin-off from a series of workshops on "Computational 
Modeling of Narrative" which Mark Finlayson and colleagues have been 
organizing twice; this year's third workshop will take place at Hamburg 
University 4-6 August. The workshop is co-hosted by Hamburg's 
Interdisciplinary Centre for Narratology, considered by many literary 
scholars as something of a 'lion's den' in (mostly non-computational) 
formalist and structuralist narrative study and theory. It would be 
great if the spirit of open minded interdisciplinary exchange between 
the Humanities and AI/CS that informs these workshops could also prevail 
and be communicated by an LLC special issue on the topic.

Chris Meister

Am 06.06.2013 22:17, schrieb Humanist Discussion Group:
>                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 27, No. 100.
>              Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
>                         www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
>                  Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
>
>
>
>          Date: Wed, 5 Jun 2013 22:09:23 +0000
>          From: Martin Mueller <martinmueller at northwestern.edu>
>          Subject: Re:  27.96 cfp for LLC: computational models of narrative
>          In-Reply-To: <20130605215413.A391B2D0F at digitalhumanities.org>
>
>
> I read the below announcement with a mixture of amusement and annoyance. The
> study of narrative is a major concern of the discipline of Literary Studies
> (if it is a discipline). I am confident in predicting that few, if any,
> literary scholars will read any essay in this promised issue. But then, as
> Patrick Juola pointed out some time ago, practically nobody in the
> humanities at large reads anything in LLC.The  literary scholars are partly
> at fault here. But what about the astonishing arrogance of a statement like
> "without computational modeling, the science of a complex human phenomenon
> such as narrative will never be successful"? If LLC aims at being "The
> Journal of Digital Scholarship in the Humanities" will it help the
> conversation between "digital humanists" (a term I abhor) and plain old
> humanists if a special issue on so fundamental topic as narrative takes such
> a narrow and aggressively possessive approach towards its topic?
>
> I am far from hostile to quantitative or computational approaches to the
> study of literature or other disciplines in the humanities. And I could
> understand a special issue of LLC that concerned itself with in a more
> modest note with the question how far computational approaches can take us
> towards a better understanding of narrative.
>
> But this is not the way to go for LLC, at least not if it wants to reach out
> to a wider audience.
>
> On 6/5/13 3:54 PM, "Humanist Discussion Group"<willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk> wrote:
>
>>                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 27, No. 96.
>>             Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
>>                        www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
>>                 Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
>>
>>
>>
>>         Date: Tue, 04 Jun 2013 18:41:58 -0400
>>         From: Mark Finlayson <markaf at MIT.EDU>
>>         Subject: CfP: LLC Special Issue on Computational Models of
>> Narrative (2nd call)
>>
>>
>> 2nd Call for Papers
>> ===================
>> Special Issue on Computational Models of Narrative
>> ===================
>> Literary & Linguistic Computing: The Journal of Digital Scholarship in
>> the Humanities
>>
>> **Submissions due Friday, September 27, 2013**
>>
>> Edited by:
>> ----------
>> Mark A. Finlayson, MIT, USA (lead editor)
>> Floris Bex, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
>> Pablo Gervás, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
>> Deniz Yuret, Koç University, Turkey
>>
>> The past fifteen years has seen a resurgence of interest in a formal
>> understanding and computational applications of the phenomenon of
>> narrative. Since 1999 there have been more than forty conferences,
>> workshops, symposia, and other meetings focusing on applying
>> computational and experimental techniques to understanding, using, and
>> generating narrative. Researchers across the humanities, social
>> sciences, cognitive sciences, and computer sciences have turned their
>> attention back to narrative, and are eager to make progress. With this
>> momentum, the coming decade promises dramatic advances in the
>> understanding of narrative.
>>
>> With this growing interest and building momentum in mind, Literary &
>> Linguistic Computing: the Journal of Digital Scholarship in the
>> Humanities (LLC) invites submission for a special issue on the topic of
>> ³Computational Models of Narrative².  The issue is so named because we
>> believe that a true science of narrative must adhere to the principle
>> espoused by Herbert Simon in his book The Sciences of the Artificial:
>> that without computational modeling, the science of a complex human
>> phenomenon such as narrative will never be successful, and that
>> computational models are the proper lingua franca of the scientific
>> study of narrative. The purview of the issue, then, is more than just
>> the limited body of effort that directly incorporates computer
>> simulation: it also includes work from a cognitive, linguistic,
>> neurobiological, social scientific, and literary point of view.  The
>> special issue is open to any work where the researchers have
>> successfully applied their field¹s unique insights to narrative in a way
>> that is compatible with a computational frame of mind. We seek work
>> whose results are thought out carefully enough, and specified precisely
>> enough, that they could eventually inform computational modeling of
>> narrative.  As such, authors should explicitly discuss in their paper
>> how their work could support or inform computational modeling.
>>
>> Full papers should not normally exceed 9,000 words. Shorter articles
>> (containing material of a more general nature) should not exceed 5,000
>> words and reports on research in progress should not be longer than
>> 3,000 words.  Authors  should review and conform to the following
>> guidelines:
>>
>> Information for authors:
>> http://www.oxfordjournals.org/our_journals/litlin/for_authors/index.html
>> Online submissions:
>> http://www.oxfordjournals.org/our_journals/litlin/for_authors/online_submi
>> ssion.html
>> Self-archiving policy:
>> http://www.oxfordjournals.org/access_purchase/self-archiving_policye.html
>>
>> Authors should submit their papers in .doc format (per LLC preferences)
>> to Mark Finlayson, the lead editor, at markaf at mit.edu by 27th September
>> 2013. After this initial submission the editors will signal any major
>> problems with style or content.  Revised versions addressing these
>> concerns will be due as an online submission to the LLC manuscript
>> system on Friday, November 22, 2013. When submitting to the LLC online
>> system, authors should explicitly state in their cover letter to the LLC
>> editor that their paper is part of this thematic issue. Papers will then
>> be peer-reviewed, and final decisions will be issued Friday, February
>> 14, 2014.  The final copy, including all style and content corrections
>> indicated by the editors, will be due Friday, March 14, 2014.  We expect
>> the issue to appear as either the 2nd or 3rd issue of the 2014 volume.
>> Any questions should be addressed to Mark Finlayson at markaf at mit.edu.
>






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