[Humanist] 24.404 ideal PhD programme

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Thu Oct 14 18:35:13 CEST 2010


                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 24, No. 404.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    Carol Wical <c.wical at uq.edu.au>                           (28)
        Subject: RE: [Humanist] 24.402 an ideal PhD programme?

  [2]   From:    Ryan Deschamps <ryan.deschamps at gmail.com>                 (77)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 24.402 an ideal PhD programme?


--[1]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2010 06:50:12 +1000
        From: Carol Wical <c.wical at uq.edu.au>
        Subject: RE: [Humanist] 24.402 an ideal PhD programme?


Hi Willard.
 
As you may recall I'm currently finishing up my PhD. Most of my comrades are using software to help illuminate their various texts. Whether this is because they've all grown up computing or whether most of them have English as a second language I don't know.
 
So that leads me to answering your question more or less consistently with my feeling about DH departments (that there shouldn't be). 
That is, aside from different tools and a differently constituted end-product (a thesis may look like a website rather than a book) I don't see why "DH" PhDs need be treated differently or, indeed, if there should be a DH PhD. 
 
I find these lines of consideration about separateness from the Humanities and the kind of implied globality of the Digital a bit unsettling. More thought doubtless required on my part.
 
Carol
 
 
Carol Wical
Project Officer
AustLit - Research Projects and Publications
www.austlit.edu.au 

School of English, Media Studies and Art History
The University of Queensland
St Lucia   4072
p: +61 7 33653313
f:  +61 7 3365 7930
CRICOS Provider 00025B



--[2]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2010 11:43:21 -0300
        From: Ryan Deschamps <ryan.deschamps at gmail.com>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 24.402 an ideal PhD programme?
        In-Reply-To: <20101011194214.A37D090A74 at woodward.joyent.us>


Willard,

Questions like these come up in my very similar fields, Information Sciences
and Public Administration.    My responses, when asked in these fields,
often end up contradictory and/or ambiguous.    It goes back to a discussion
about disciplines and disciples, we had many many years ago (and, to my
astonishment, I still find very relevant).

Fields exist primarily because there are people ('disciples') that
congregate around common learning, values etc.     In this sense, the ideal
PhD programme is partly one that will attract students.   Determining what
will attract students is where I find contradictions.    Students will want
all of these competing values in a potential degree.

-  Maximum achievement for minimum effort  &&  a challenging course load.
-  Friendly, encouraging supervisors that do not coddle them through their
thesis.
-  Practical, employable knowledge && exposure to ideas that no one else
really knows about.

I would add that access to the main players (academic and community) in the
field would be essential.  (I should add that I am taking the perspective of
a potential student.)

In terms of curriculum, I like the idea of some foundations to start - who
suffered to make digital humanities a reality?    What are it's theoretical
foundations?    Why do we need to learn digital humanities?   What
distinguishes it from other areas of digital or humanistic inquiry?   I also
think there should be a fundamental skills aspect to the degree - either as
a requirement or as an introductory course.    Fundamentals would include
knowledge of some programming language / standard or protocol for humanistic
types, and evidence of close reading / aesthetics / linguistic abilty for
anyone coming from a more technical background.

Ryan. . .

On Mon, Oct 11, 2010 at 4:42 PM, Humanist Discussion Group <
willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk> wrote:

>                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 24, No. 402.
>         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
>                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
>                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
>
>
>
>        Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2010 06:28:42 +1100
>        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
>        Subject: more envisioning
>
> Some time ago I asked for ideas about the ideal department of digital
> humanities. Let me ask now a related question: what (national
> constraints aside) would an ideal PhD programme in the digital
> humanities look like? How many years would it run? Would it have an
> initial year of coursework (as in N America) or be purely a research
> degree (as in the UK)? What would the courses be, if there were
> coursework? What sort of examination would it have, if any, after an
> initial period, to make sure candidates were not too deeply into trouble
> to finish? How would the variety of digital humanities research be
> reflected in the name and nature of the degree? What should the designer
> of a programme aim for, i.e. what sort of work afterward?
>
> All ideas welcome.
>
> Yours,
> WM
> --
> 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,
> www.uws.edu.au/centre_for_cultural_research/ccr/people/researchers;
> Editor, Humanist, www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist;
> Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, www.isr-journal.org.



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