[Humanist] 23.148 why dig?

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Fri Jul 10 09:52:29 CEST 2009

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 23, No. 148.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Fri, 10 Jul 2009 08:51:24 +0100 (BST)
        From: "Willard McCarty" <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: digging into whatever

The current international funding competition, Digging into Data
(www.diggingintodata.org) stirs up in me a question that has been
simmering for some time: what's the archaeological metaphor doing
for us? Why is it to be found in so many different contexts? One
thinks, of course, of Foucault, but The Order of Things has been
around for quite some time. The text to be found on the Digging into
Data site deepens (one might say) this question by describing a
situation in which *breadth*, not depth, is at issue, and the strong
tendency exerted by so much from so many disciplines is to drive
research outward, not downward. I can understand in Siegfried
Zielinski's Deep Time of the Media, for example, the usefulness of
taking about digging down to an historical stratum, then going
outward to reconstruct what was going on then. But so often the
archaeological metaphor seems confused and confusing.

Any ideas?

Professor Willard McCarty

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