[Humanist] 28.521 a new computational humanities?

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Mon Dec 1 07:11:24 CET 2014

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 28, No. 521.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Sun, 30 Nov 2014 21:25:45 +0000
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: a new computational humanities

The following, from the beginning of Carolina Cruz-Neira, "Computational 
Humanities: The New Challenge for VR", IEEE Computer Graphics and 
Applications (May/June 2003), offers the following definition:

> Computational humanities is an emerging field that bridges the
> sciences and humanities with the goal of creating accurate computer
> simulations of historical, social, cultural, and religious events.
> Immersive virtual reality (VR) plays a key role in computational
> humanities because it can provide immersive spaces that accurately
> represent a place with its associated activities, culture, or
> history. Furthermore, these immersive spaces offer an innovative
> solution to the problem most humanities scholars face--that is, they
> lack direct access to events, phenomena, and sites of interest for
> their research. Using VR in computational humanities opens up the
> possibility of time and space travel, letting people actively
> participate in the story being told, experience the events firsthand,
> and interact with (or even become one of) the environment's
> characters.

Apart from the radical simplification of the field, contracted to 
simulation, isn't it interesting that the author should hold up accurate 
representation as the scholars' goal and space-time travel as 
scholarship? How widespread are such notions?

Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/), Professor, Department of Digital
Humanities, King's College London, and Digital Humanities Research
Group, University of Western Sydney

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