[Humanist] 28.840 "digital humanities": first occurrence

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sat Mar 21 07:51:33 CET 2015

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 28, No. 840.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Fri, 20 Mar 2015 11:27:19 +0000
        From: Arianna Ciula <ariannaciula at gmail.com>
        Subject: Re:  28.835 "digital humanities": first occurrence
        In-Reply-To: <20150320061212.09792C39 at digitalhumanities.org>

I am following this with interest but also with some surprise that no
parallel with non-English terms is brought to the fore (it has been
mentioned before that the term 'digital humanities' is not that
translatable... as the noun humanities in itself in fact, but while one can
'adjectivise' - with not minor semantic implications - humanities into
humanistic, it's not possible to do the same with digital; so in Italian we
have 'informatica umanistica' but the equivalent of the French 'Humanités
numériques/digitales' does not work for many of us).

I am in the process of finalising a paper which includes some discussion on
the emergent meanings of computational vs. digital associated with
palaeography. Peter Stokes did this in more rigorous terms, while I really
just try to give some context to an internal - not so troubling yet
revealing of a time of change in understanding and use of terms - conflict.
My then MA supervisor at King’s College London (2003), John Lavagnino,
suggested I used 'digital palaeography' and I believe its first occurrence
with the sense we understand it today was in my 2004 DRH poster. But while
at King's I was also in the process of completing my PhD in Italy, where
pressure was for sticking to the term ‘computazionale’ (computational) to
describe my approach. This might certainly be an idiosyncratic case rather
than the wide manifestation of a cultural difference; all the same it shows
that this was a time where such terms were negotiated and if not publicly
debated, certainly source of methodological questioning at some level.


Dr Arianna Ciula
Department of Humanities
University of Roehampton | London | SW15 5PH
arianna.ciula at roehampton.ac.uk  | www.roehampton.ac.uk

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