[Humanist] 23.310 digital/hot

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Mon Sep 21 07:51:04 CEST 2009

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 23, No. 310.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Sun, 20 Sep 2009 15:15:04 -0500
        From: John Laudun <jlaudun at mac.com>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 23.309 "digital" = "hot"?

> folks in this neighbourhood wouldn't have a clue

Really? Really? Have we really come no distance at all in humanistic  
work that we still manage to cast dispersions on people we don't even  
know? I would have thought that digital humanities, which at its best  
opens up possibilities for a larger, more inclusive study of human  
meaning-making, would be the first to trample over the usual  
stereotypes about working-class this or rural that. I recognize that  
the term "digital humanities" is an awkwardly pitched tent that  
includes within its flaps not only what was/is humanities computing  
but also the various emergences of digital media in humanities  
research and communications. For this reason, I would hope that we  
would recognize at least the utility, cum expediency, of being  
inclusive if not the principled reason for being so. As I continue my  
own work into a group of men who invented an amphibious folk boat 25  
years ago, I spend a lot of time thinking about tools, their uses, and  
their meanings. I had hoped that all these discussions about tools and  
prototypes as theories would have opened up our own imaginations to  
thinking about how tools create possibilities, offer the possibility  
for revising a worldview. It seems, in our own case, that our tools  
and our discussions about them have failed us. Our world seems no  
larger than it was before.

John Laudun
Department of English
University of Louisiana
Lafayette, LA 70504-4691
laudun at louisiana.edu

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