[Humanist] 27.489 figures and illustrations?

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Thu Oct 31 07:50:24 CET 2013

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 27, No. 489.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2013 12:44:10 -0500
        From: Paul Fishwick <metaphorz at gmail.com>
        Subject: figures and illustrations in printed text

I have a question regarding humanities scholarship with regard to
figures and illustrations found in texts. Also, I have an observation,
and would like critical feedback.

1. Placement: I find it interesting that some books that I am studying from the 19th
    century (in the general area of science) place figures at the end of the book. The
    reason that comes to mind is one of economy; it is simpler or cheaper to put them
    at the end rather than a more usable and convenient in-line position. Is this the 
    case or are there other good reasons? If it is the case, what is the technical reason
    related to typesetting process? Prior to the invention of metal type, the tradition may 
    have been different since manuscripts were hand copied (e.g., illuminated manuscripts).

2. Abstraction: I recall reading somewhere that illustrations or figures (or maps) are
    seen in DH as containing more potential bias than the written word. However, I find this
    puzzling, and would think that due to visual cues, maps and other illustrations are
    less abstract than symbolic text, and that they have less of an opportunity for
    bias. Thoughts or references on this topic?


Paul Fishwick, PhD
Distinguished Chair of Arts & Technology 
   and Professor of Computer Science
Director, Creative Automata Laboratory
The University of Texas at Dallas
Arts & Technology
800 West Campbell Road, AT10
Richardson, TX 75080-3021
Home: utdallas.edu/atec/fishwick
Blog: creative-automata.com

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