[Humanist] 27.110 on the cfp for computational models of narrative

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sun Jun 9 22:36:47 CEST 2013


                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 27, No. 110.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org



        Date: Sat, 8 Jun 2013 23:41:31 +0000
        From: Martin Mueller <martinmueller at northwestern.edu>
        Subject: Re:  27.107 on the cfp for computational models of narrative
        In-Reply-To: <20130608213928.B11355F7C at digitalhumanities.org>


I fully concur with Chris Meister's remarks, and in particular with his
desire for "open minded interdisciplinary exchange between the Humanities
and AI/CS" about narratology and many other topics."

On 6/8/13 3:39 PM, "Humanist Discussion Group"
<willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk> wrote:

>
>                 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





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