[Humanist] 28.776 creative computing

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sun Mar 1 08:52:45 CET 2015

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 28, No. 776.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2015 13:52:01 +0000
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: digital humanities at Bath Spa

Recently I visited a small liberal arts university to the west of 
London, Bath Spa (http://www.bathspa.ac.uk), and was so impressed with 
what I found there that I invited my host, Professor Andrew Hugill, to 
write a brief description of his activities in digital humanities there. 
He sent the following.

 > Professor Andrew Hugill was appointed in April 2013 with a mission to
 > develop the university's digital portfolio. Hugill is a
 > transdisciplinary academic, a composer who works in Music and
 > Computer Science, as well as some of the wilder shores of French
 > literature. He has a track record of creating cross-disciplinary
 > entities, having established the Institute Of Creative Technologies
 > at De Montfort University, which generated £7 million in external
 > income under his direction.
 > In 2014, Hugill established the university-wide Centre for Creative
 > Computing (CCC) at Bath Spa University, based at Corsham Court. This
 > has already secured significant funding from NESTA (£125,000 for
 > predictive analysis for museums) and an undisclosed industry partner,
 > who is funding a postdoctoral research fellow. Working with his
 > colleague Professor Hongji Yang, a software engineer, and Dr Jerry
 > Fishenden, a new media researcher and developer, Hugill has
 > established a network of 30 academics from all areas of the
 > university, who are working on a range of projects. These include
 > digital heritage, artistic creation, software development, and some
 > secret projects, all of which aim to increase understanding of
 > creative computing.
 > The CCC has already attracted 10 PhD students (all except one
 > self-funding) and edits the International Journal of Creative
 > Computing (Interscience). It has a programme of seminars and visiting
 > lectures. Recent speakers include Prof Jim Hendler (lead scientist of
 > the semantic web) and Prof Willard McCarty (Professor of Humanities
 > Computing). It also runs a Masters course and in 2015 is launching an
 > undergraduate programme that includes specialist pathways in
 > Animation, Gaming and Software Development alongside a major/minor
 > combination with a range of subjects from all the university
 > Schools.
 > One of the challenges for Bath Spa University is to integrate
 > computing more effectively into its teaching and research. To this
 > end, the School of Humanities and Cultural Industries has been
 > examining Digital Humanities as an area for development. There is a
 > significant opportunity to embed digital humanities thinking and
 > practices across a range of subject areas, from Music, Visual and
 > Performing Arts to Creative Writing, Literature and History. The CCC
 > is committed to trying to achieve a thoroughly developed digital
 > humanities throughout the university.

Even if only by implication the term "creative computing" gives to digital 
humanities a push in the direction of synthesis to complement its long-
standing analytic emphasis. This is happening via efforts in simulation, 
but as the turn to simulation develops the experience and wisdom of 
practitioners in the arts will, I'd think, be of great benefit. The discovery 
of a new teacher is a cause for celebration.

Comments? Other examples?

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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