[Humanist] 24.174 sightings at DH2010

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Tue Jul 6 08:40:27 CEST 2010

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 24, No. 174.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

[1]   From:    Neil Fraistat <nfraistat at gmail.com>                       (28)
Subject: centerNet at DH 2010

[2]   From:    Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>          (53)
Subject: DH at home

Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2010 14:39:07 +0100
From: Neil Fraistat <nfraistat at gmail.com>
Subject: centerNet at DH 2010

Dear all,

Those of you attending DH 2010 in London might want to know that there will
be four sessions related to centerNet during the conference, three on
Friday, June 9, and a general members meeting on Saturday, June 10.  At the
meeting on Saturday, Kay Walter and I will discuss the outcomes of the just
concluded centerNet international summit and Harold Short will talk about
opportunities and challenges for digital humanities centers at the present
time; we anticipate lively discussion.

Here is a listing of the sessions:

*Friday, June 9*

9:00:  "CHAIN: Coalition of Humanities and Arts Infrastructures and
Networks," to be held in Safra Theatre

11:00 "Teaching/Managing" (Findings from the  IMLS Interns grant for DH
Centers and ISchools), to be held in S-2.08

2:00 "Understanding the Capacities of Digital Humanities,"  to be held in
Safra Theatre

*Saturday, June 10*

1:00 - 2:00   centerNet General Members, to be held in Safra Theatre

We hope to see many of you soon!

Neil Fraistat
Professor of English & Director
Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH)
University of Maryland
301-405-5896 or 301-314-7111 (fax)
Twitter: @fraistat

Date: Tue, 06 Jul 2010 07:33:58 +0100
From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
Subject: DH at home

Dear colleagues,

It's been since 1989 that a digital humanities conference was at an
institution to which I belong, then in Toronto, when the field was not
called that, and called names some of us can remember and are glad not
to hear any more; now in London, where we are presiding over a very
different scene, though with some familiar faces from that former time
still in evidence. The conference itself starts on Wednesday. Today
continues the meetings of all those people who have worked so hard to
make the current event happen, most of all Harold Short. "Thank you"
just isn't enough -- but won't be all.

It is, I'd guess, a common enough thing for those getting older (and so
aware, as the younger ones tend not to be, of going speedily to hell in a
handbasket) to think that the world is going to hell in a handbasket, when
what's happening is change, much more various and complex and indeterminate.
But we in the digital humanities see a flowering. Perhaps I have been
sitting in my pleasant little English garden too much, but I do think this
assessment accurate. Of course there are weeds (WHICH MUST BE 
what I sense at a distance and see gathered here in London on this 
occasion is enormously positive. As a colleague asked me rhetorically 
last night, how often does an academic get to be present at the 
emergence of a new field? I think of the creation of English as a 
discipline, at Oxford in the late 19C and then at Cambridge in
the early 20C.

Yes, humanities computing has been emerging for the last 60 years ormore, but disciplinary self-awareness is less than ca 15 years old, and
a sense of solid ground on which to build, rather than sand, is very
recent indeed.

So, for those of us going off to do other things, and for those of us
sticking around a bit longer to help keep things going, a very great
sense of having something valuable to pass on.

At the same time, when one considers, for example, great works of quite
traditional scholarship such as Geoffrey Lloyd's Cognitive Variations
(Oxford, 2007), it's hard not to have another, quite sobering sense of
intellectual poverty, or rather, immaturity. As Lloyd implicitly
demonstrates, when you're in a field that has been passionately,
lovingly tended for generations, for millennia, what you can grow is so
much greater than what you can manage in a field from which the stones
have just been removed. So its mostly potential that we have to pass on,
potential far more than actual. So much to be done before the likes of a
Lloyd can show what digital scholarship is really capable of. I don't
mean prize-winning books in whatever medium. I mean the sort of stuff
that rescues "human" from the register of dirty words and makes one feel
like a child.

Thus, in a quiet moment before the official day begins, in East London,
with a cool breeze blowing and, from the street below, a Cockney builder
arguing on a mobile phone with some work mate.

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

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