[Humanist] 28.167 "silos" of knowledge

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Tue Jul 1 22:35:15 CEST 2014

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 28, No. 167.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Mon, 30 Jun 2014 22:04:42 -0400
        From: Patrick Durusau <patrick at durusau.net>
        Subject: Re:  28.163 "silos" of knowledge
        In-Reply-To: <20140630200722.82A6A63CD at digitalhumanities.org>


On 06/30/2014 04:07 PM, Martin Wynne wrote:
> Another defence of 'In Defence of Disciplines' can be found in a
> review here:
> http://www.spiked-online.com/review_of_books/article/a-vital-defence-of-disciplines
>  Various points seem relevant to the questions "what is the digital
>  humanities" and "what's wrong with the digital humanities", even
> if this area is not addressed directly - for example:

I was very amused by Joanna Williams claim in the review:

Disciplines provide the structure for managing the process of peer
review that dictates which academics get hired, published, awarded
grants or promoted.

I am assuming she missed the Wall Street Journal op-ed earlier this
year that suggested a lottery would be just as effective as the NIH
peer review process for research grants:

While the op-ed was an opinion piece, the authors were relying upon
empirical studies of the grant process.

Any studies of grants in the humanities to suggest? (Grants that
largely support the guild rather than advancing scholarship.)

Hope you are having a great week!


> " He argues it is the specific training disciplines provide that
> creates the conditions for the passing of academic judgement: 'The
> community of scholars in a field establishes understandings and
> contentions about what constitutes important questions and what
> constitutes good research.' The questioning of the rules associated
> with academic disciplines, and the increasingly blurred boundaries
> between subjects, represents a challenge to the objectivity of
> knowledge. This leaves scholars without a structured framework for
> criticality and, unable to challenge existing knowledge or make
> truth claims in relation to new knowledge, the academic enterprise
> is betrayed."
> It's clearly an important corrective to any headlong and unthinking
>  surge towards embracing interdisciplinary research as
> intrinsically more beneficial and innovative than research based in
> the mainstream of established academic disciplines.
> Best wishes, Martin

- -- 
Patrick Durusau
patrick at durusau.net
Technical Advisory Board, OASIS (TAB)
Co-Chair, OpenDocument Format TC (OASIS)
Editor, OpenDocument Format TC, Project Editor ISO/IEC 26300
Former Chair, V1 - US TAG to JTC 1/SC 34
Convener, JTC 1/SC 34/WG 3 (Topic Maps)
Co-Editor, ISO 13250-5 (Topic Maps)

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