[Humanist] 31.772 surveys, ideology, infrastructure, service

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Mon Apr 16 09:16:22 CEST 2018

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 31, No. 772.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Sun, 15 Apr 2018 09:04:57 +0100
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: surveys, infrastructure and intellectual work

I agree with Claire that the time for defining is over, for ramping down on
the surveying and for more research projects sufficiently exciting
intellectually to attract funding from the European Research Council, the
Mellon, AHRC et al. Digital projects seem to be the flavour of the day, so
much so that the 'digital' qualifier finds its way into most of the
applications I have seen. My experience, however, is that few of the
applicants use this qualifier as more than window-dressing, just as few use
'interdisciplinary' in any way that shows they know what good research
across disciplines actually entails. 

If the conversation is to be about funding, then we need to have a prior
conversation about what it means to go beyond mere application of tool or
method X to problem Y. We need to have a conversation -- and many more
papers in learned journals -- on (and not just about) the two-way traffic
between Xs and Ys. We need to be looking into the resonance between all Xs and
Ys. Is that not our central concern as digital+humanists? Of course there
will be many X-type and many Y-type people involved who are more concerned
with Xs and Ys, respectively, but isn't it the resonance which brings us

Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/), Professor emeritus, Department of
Digital Humanities, King's College London; Adjunct Professor, Western
Sydney University; Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews

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