[Humanist] 29.910 anti-DH

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Mon May 2 08:58:16 CEST 2016


                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 29, No. 910.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    lachance at chass.utoronto.ca                                (16)
        Subject: Data and Mindsets

  [2]   From:    Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>          (35)
        Subject: working with The Man, or anti-DH conspiratorialized


--[1]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Sun, 1 May 2016 20:21:40 -0400 (EDT)
        From: lachance at chass.utoronto.ca
        Subject: Data and Mindsets
        In-Reply-To: <20160418053749.E8F08CDC at digitalhumanities.org>

Willard,

Could such a situation described below ever happen in the field of
Humanities Computing?

<quote>
The long delay in recognising this important fact (Ugarit parallels with
Homeric epic) was due to the circumstance that Semitists, and not
Classicists, deciphered and interpreted the Ugaritic tablets. Those
Semitists were admirably equipped for pointing out biblical parallels, but
most of them were unconcerned about the Greek side of the problem.
</quote>

Cyrus H. Gordon
The Common Background of Greek and Hebrew Civilizations

-- 
Francois Lachance
Scholar-at-large
http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~lachance



--[2]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Mon, 2 May 2016 07:47:37 +0100
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: working with The Man, or anti-DH conspiratorialized
        In-Reply-To: <20160418053749.E8F08CDC at digitalhumanities.org>

Fittingly, perhaps, yesterday (1 May) the Los Angeles Times Book Review 
published a noisy attack against digital humanities from which one might 
conclude that the world ends neither with a bang nor a whimper but with 
a cozy collaboration of the sort that would have been risked fatal 
consequences at the hands of the Resistance during World War II. This is 
"Neoliberal Tools (and Archives): A Political History of Digital 
Humanities" by Daniel Allington, Sarah Brouillette and David Golumbia 
(https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/neoliberal-tools-archives-political-history-digital-humanities/). 
The political realm is by choice (here affirmed) not where I play; for 
what it is worth my academy would require all those who enter to leave 
politics at the door. Were I writing such an article (which I cannot 
without setting aside the work I live to do) I'd describe that eagerness 
for collaboration with The Man, who is most assuredly a political 
animal, in rather different terms, as due to the academic's profound 
anxiety over the raison d'être of the scholarly life. I'd look to the 
very anxious roots of "impact". I'd make sure to say, this is how things 
look in the country in which I am living. Though my own institution 
(King's College London) has made great strides in getting the digital 
humanities to grow a bit -- without compromising to any degree I've been 
able to observe the intellectual integrity of the work done here -- I would 
not presume to designate it as the place crucial to how the field is 
now, and mention it a dozen and a half times. If only we here were that 
important :-).

Perhaps it is time to reread Richard Hofstadter's famous article, "The 
Paranoid Style in American Politics", in The Paranoid Style in American 
Politics and Other Essays (Harvard University Press, 1965, pp. 3-40), 
rpt from Harper's Magazine, November 1964, pp. 77-86 
(http://www.micciacorta.it/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Hofstadter-1996-Paranoid-Style-American-Politics-1-to-40.pdf). 
I strongly recommend reading the final paragraph at least. Note that 
Hofstadter recognises the phenomenon he is writing about as 
international.

Comments?

Yours,
WM
-- 
Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/), Professor, Department of Digital
Humanities, King's College London



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