[Humanist] 30.412 friendly introductions?

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Mon Oct 17 07:22:05 CEST 2016

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 30, No. 412.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Mon, 17 Oct 2016 06:13:48 +0100
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: friendly introductions

This question will only be answerable by those old enough to have been 
an academic when computers were relatively new to the humanities. I'm 
looking for recommendations of introductory texts -- specifically books, 
chiefly monographs -- that attempted to make "the computer" approachable 
and understandable to those who were or might have been somewhat 
tentative about computers. Examples are Feldman and Norman, The 
Wordworthy Computer  (1987); Shore, The Sachertorte Algorithm (1985); 
Evans, The Mighty Micro (1979); Laver, An Introduction to the Uses of 
Computers (1976); Schneider, Travels in Computerland (1974); Shorter, 
The historian and the computer (1962).

The category of book I am interested in does not include books such as 
Abercrombie, Computer programs for literary analysis (1984), or Oakman, 
Computer methods (1980), or any of Susan Hockey's fine introductory 
texts. These address people who have put behind them, or into a robustly 
locked closet, any such tentativeness. They want to get started.

I am also not looking for studies that report on or discuss specific 
research done with a computer, such as Hymes, The use of computers in 
anthropology (1962), or Bowles, Computers in humanistic research (1967). 
Nor does it include books focusing on or speaking from an interest in 
artificial intelligence, such as Sluckin, Minds and machines (1954), or 
Feigenbaum and Feldman, Computers and thought (1963).

But if you have or know of books which take the temperature of former 
times with respect to computing please let me know what these are. 

Many thanks.

Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/), Professor, Department of Digital
Humanities, King's College London; Adjunct Professor, Western Sydney

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