[Humanist] 28.465 events: NHC Summer Institute in Digital Textual Studies

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Mon Nov 3 11:48:43 CET 2014

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 28, No. 465.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Mon, 03 Nov 2014 10:41:22 +0000
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: call for applications: Summer Institute in Digital Textual Studies

National Humanities Center
Summer Institute in Digital Textual Studies
Call for Applications

The first of the National Humanities CenterÂ’s summer institutes in 
digital humanities, devoted to digital textual studies, will convene for 
two one-week sessions, first in June 2015 and again in 2016. The 
objective of this Institute is to develop participantsÂ’ technological 
and scholarly imaginations and to combine them into a powerful 
investigative instrument. Led by Willard McCarty and Matthew Jockers, 
the Institute aims to further the development of individual as well as 
collaborative projects in literary and textual studies.


The Institute will focus on the problematic intersection of textual 
humanities and digital computing and will emphasize the transformative 
effects of each upon the other. It will involve both reasoning about 
text with digital tools and constructing tools to extend the scope and 
depth of reading. Moving recursively from formulating questions to 
experimental probing of text, the Institute will be both theoretically 
and practically oriented. Through direct practical work, participants 
will be able to engage with and analyze new styles of reasoning offered 
to the humanities by digital computing. This engagement will involve 
participants in a struggle to bring together the logic and formal 
language of computing with modes of reading and questioning traditional 
to the humanities without dilution of either.

The Institute is conceived as theoretically agnostic and unrestricted as 
to language, disciplinary approach or historical period; close attention 
to text and/or to data derived from textual corpora will serve as the 
basis for theorization. Among other topics, participants will be asked 
to reflect on what is now possible in digital textual studies and what 
is not, and on the means by which the traditional strengths of the 
humanities—development of interpretive skills and critical evaluation; 
sensitivity to historical context; and close observation of 
particularities—might enhance computational approaches to cultural 
phenomena. The InstituteÂ’s conveners aim to make explicit the questions 
that humanities scholars ask, before translating them into actionable 
manipulations and explorations of data at both the small and large 
scales (a.k.a. close and distant reading). By transforming these data 
into multiple forms and formats, it is hoped that new patterns and 
insights will emerge along with new means of communicating these 
insights through an indefinitely flexible medium.

Unlike many summer schools and camps in digital humanities, the 
Institute is not primarily concerned with technological training, rather 
it aims at developing a hands-on, practically oriented technological 
imagination. Tools change, methods come and go. Much impressive work has 
been done and can be done, but in comparison to the demands of research 
in the interpretative disciplines, the power of digital humanities is 
mostly potential. So much remains to be discovered, invented and put to 
the test that only the scholar with a technologically educated 
imagination will be able to remain a productive participant in the 
digital aspects of his or her research. Hence the problem that the 
Institute is dedicated to address.


For more see http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/digital-humanities/.

Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/), Professor, Department of Digital
Humanities, King's College London, and Digital Humanities Research
Group, University of Western Sydney

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