[Humanist] 28.880 pull of the intellectual catwalk

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sat Apr 11 09:50:11 CEST 2015

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 28, No. 880.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Fri, 10 Apr 2015 06:58:43 +0100
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: momentary and perennial

In response to Francois' scholarly "intrepid voguers" and Desmond's
inevitability of following rather than setting trends: doesn't it depend on
your professional and personal trajectory? As an historian I follow the
trends with great interest. What matters in that guise is not the truth of
what people have said or the wisdom of what they have done but the fact of
their sayings and doings. As a technologist of modest proportions I surf the
wave. As a digital humanist, feet planted squarely where the humanities meet
computing, or more tellingly where they crash into each other, it's the
perennial I go for, or rather the emergence of ever better questions that
catches my eye. The next-new-thing, bandwagon-hooting, humanities-saving
hype is to that persona a silly distraction. As Editor of Humanist, like
Desmond I find the resurfacing of old ideas most interesting -- a mechanism
of conversational memory that, I am told, is how oral cultures keep their
collective memory going?

If there's a persona hovering above, or somewhere near, all these others,
then that one would be the moralist who worries about how limited energies
are spent.

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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