[Humanist] 24.440 digital humanities and the cuts
Humanist Discussion Group
willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Thu Oct 28 07:45:42 CEST 2010
Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 24, No. 440.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
Date: Wed, 27 Oct 2010 14:36:31 +0100
From: John Levin <john at anterotesis.com>
Subject: digital humanities and the cuts
Willard McCarty wrote:
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 2010 05:52:52 +0100
From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
Subject: more than crying wolf
In-Reply-To: <20101024004225.EDE9697FCE at woodward.joyent.us>
What do the students reading this think? Why have they put their lives
on the line, paid the fees and come to ask us about what I used to call
the life of the mind? (If you're a student reading this, PLEASE RESPOND!)
Two responses to the cuts from students:
Osbornes October 20th cuts: A Personal Assessment
Is Life over as we know it?
Having recently completed an MA in DH at Kings, and currently applying
for Phd studentships, my feelings are a combination of despair and disgust.
The government (and the previous one. and the one before that, ad
infinitum) is not only making education instrumental in the most
reductive sense, but also destroying any space for critical thought, and
radically restricting the opportunities for the young - and not only the
poorest - to go to university.
The cuckoos in the nest have been the vice-chancellors, especially those
of supposed 'superior' universities. Not only have they acquiesced in
the governments agenda, not only have they forsaken education for
property development and bilking foreign students, they are also guilty
"The short-termism of Vice-Chancellors failed to understand that as soon
as fees were introduced the university sector would not only lose its
place in the queue for, but its claim entirely on, the public purse."
Martin McQuillan, http://bit.ly/arygr3
I fear also that the humanities will not only be diminished
quantitatively, but also qualitatively. The recent correspondence on the
industrialization of the digital humanities touched upon this: narrow
technical concerns dominating over questioning technology. Similarly for
other fields: When only the rich can afford to study history, then
history will become about the rich, a succession of kings and queens and
'great men.' And that's quite convenient for the education secretary's
demand for a patriotic history telling 'our island story.'
But if the universities abandon intelligence, intelligence will abandon
them and move elsewhere. I love history, and I love hacking around with
computers. I'm going to do these two things regardless. I'll find people
with similar interests, and we'll do it together, outside - and perhaps
even against - academia.
And finally, although it comes from the US, an incident that embodies
the pressures students feel. The Marxist Michael Hardt gave a talk on
Foucault at Yale recently, the Yale Daily News ending its report of it thus:
"Three of four graduate students declined to comment about the talk. Two
said they could not comment because they did not want to harm their job
I'll be damned if I want to live in fear like that.
(Bet this email doesn't do my Phd prospects any good.)
More information about the Humanist