[Humanist] 24.580 on our present and future

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sun Dec 12 11:40:46 CET 2010

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 24, No. 580.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Sun, 12 Dec 2010 10:36:51 +0000
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: The Present and Future of Humanist Inquiry in the Digital Field

Those here will want to know about Harpold, Klastrup and Tosca, eds., 
"The Present and Future of Humanist Inquiry in the Digital Field", 
Proceedings of the Digital Aers and Culture Conference 2009, at 

> What contributions may literary, poetic, and aesthetic idioms of
> humanist inquiry -- traditionally associated with problems of lyrical
> expression, narrativity, linguistic subjectivity, and authorial and
> readerly agencies -- continue to offer to the analysis of medial
> practices and systems in the era of mobile, distributed, and social
> media? The crux of this question, we propose, lies in the
> specifically historical purchase of humanist method: its ability to
> (re)situate new symbolic practices in complex and nuanced relation to
> prior traditions and atavisms of expressive language and action -- in
> contrast to the reductively progressivist, de-historicizing impulses
> of much of contemporary digitalism.

Note, once again, the historical turn of the field. I *would* say this, 
you may think, but: this turn of attention seems to me the most hopeful 
sign I have observed for the digital humanities for a very long time. It 
is not for nothing that the humanities have been called the historical 
disciplines. Without history only dogma? (I escape dogma by use of the 
question-mark, which provokes an historical enquiry, does it not?)


Willard McCarty, Professor of Humanities Computing,
King's College London, staff.cch.kcl.ac.uk/~wmccarty/;
Professor, Centre for Cultural Research, University of Western Sydney,
Editor, Humanist, www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist;
Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, www.isr-journal.org.

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