[Humanist] 28.525 a new computational humanities
Humanist Discussion Group
willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Tue Dec 2 07:11:14 CET 2014
Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 28, No. 525.
Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
Date: Mon, 01 Dec 2014 15:04:18 -0600
From: Andrew G Taylor <agt2 at rice.edu>
Subject: Re: 28.521 a new computational humanities?
In-Reply-To: <mailman.3.1417431601.25531.humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org>
On 12/1/2014 5:00 AM, Willard McCarthy wrote:
> 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?
Can work outside of scholarship still be considered "Humanities"?
I understand this is a scholarly listserv, but here are my two cents as
a non-Humanities scholar trying to make complex materials more available
to people via new technology.
One could argue that creating accurate simulations is not scholarship,
but is still valuable and falls under the Humanities mantle. It is
certainly impossible to create a "realistic" (accurate is impossible)
historical simulation without drawing on the scholarly fields of
history, archeology and anthropology - so is it applied scholarship? And
can novel representations serve as launchpad to new scholarship and
This relates to an ongoing question - what is the role of the
non-scholar working in a Humanities ecosystem?
I'm not a professional scholar - I'm a visualization/database person who
loves making historically-inaccessible images and information more
accessible to people using New Media platforms. I look at this as the
librarian or archivist role - creating entry-points that enable (and
improve?) Humanities scholarship.
Occasionally while processing materials (and reframing the materials in
a new way) I may come up with/run into a scholarly insight, but that is
not the goal. My intention is to give people interested in the
Humanities better access to materials and information.
Sophisticated knowledge about a Humanities subject requires years of
study and focus - I'm focusing my attention differently. I'm developing
an understanding of New Media representation and presentation, but not
about any specific area of Humanities.
Regards, Andrew Taylor
Andrew Taylor, MLS
Associate Curator, Visual Resources
Department of Art History, Rice University
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