[Humanist] 26.118 an invitation

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sat Jun 30 01:34:18 CEST 2012

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 26, No. 118.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2012 07:10:57 +0800
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: going in all directions at once

When I entered the digital humanities scene (then called "computing and 
the humanities", when juxtaposing them was about all one could say) it 
was possible to think that a fairly good list of most of those involved 
could be compiled. When I started to do things in the field, it was 
possible to think that with assiduous work and help one could compile a 
reasonably complete account of the kinds of things going on, with 
numerous examples, very likely the most important ones. Now, it seems to 
me, one cannot hope to keep a handle on the kinds of things, indeed to 
know what they are. Having anything like a stable categorisation scheme 
that lasts more than a few days is out of the question. It seems obvious 
to me that saying what the digital humanities is (or, less ambitiously, 
what the digital humanities are) is not just impossible but 
wrong-headed. It is a multiplying colony of activities.

Given this (if you'll grant me the characterisation), it seems to me 
especially important that those new to this group and to others with 
more or less the same objective, report on or ask about aspects of 
what they're interested in, even doing, however tentative. In principle 
we know that there's no end to the variety. Some of what pops up will 
turn out to be game-changing. 

Hence my invitation to new members to say what you're about. Lurking
remains the primary mode of being here, and that's fine, but
active participation of is the stuff of life. Sitting here in the Perth
airport, with the signs telling me that there are no limits to what can
be done, no limit to the opportunities, may have provoked this note, but 
however temporary the partial truth brought about by iron mining, it is
an unconstrained, rampant truth of scholarly conversation.


Willard McCarty, FRAI / Professor of Humanities Computing & Director of
the Doctoral Programme, Department of Digital Humanities, King's College
London; Professor, School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics,
University of Western Sydney; Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews
(www.isr-journal.org); Editor, Humanist
(www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist/); www.mccarty.org.uk/

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