[Humanist] 22.512 always at the edge
Humanist Discussion Group
willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Tue Feb 10 07:16:22 CET 2009
Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 22, No. 512.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
Date: Mon, 09 Feb 2009 10:31:24 -0600
From: John Laudun <jlaudun at mac.com>
Subject: Re: [Humanist] 22.507 why digital humanities
> "FOLKLORE STUDIES, like any other kind of studies, don't just happen.
> Fields of scholarship occur because specific technological and
> and institutional resources are available and because specific
> individuals utilize those resources in specific ways. Whatever measure
> of intellectual or academic freedom we enjoy takes place in a grid
> defined by pre-existent theoretical and social models which we
> accept or
> with which we must contend, with machines that help us deal in
> ways with the implications of those models, and with rewards available
> to those of us who use both models and machines in ways that seem
> valuable to the payers of salaries and the givers of grants."
> Bruce Jackson, “Things that from a long way off look like flies”, The
> Journal of American Folklore 98.388 (April-June 1985): 131.
Well, yes. Folklore studies finds itself on the humanistic edge of the
humanities - human sciences divide. Across the chasm lies cultural
anthropology. Thus the practitioners of folklore studies are always
having to assess the ideological and technological landscapes on which
we find ourselves, always, as it were, having to discover anew how
best to explain ourselves to others, to defend our place at the edge.
(That folklore studies should continually have to explain the
importance of studying the actual words, actions, and creations of
ordinary human beings -- and that ordinary human beings are capable of
great intelligence and beauty -- is something to be lamented
elsewhere.) Bruce Jackson dedicated a good portion of his career to
studying African American folklore, especially those forms to be found
Department of English
University of Louisiana – Lafayette
Lafayette, LA 70504-4691
laudun at louisiana.edu
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