[Humanist] 30.906 pubs: McLuhan; history; enchantment

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Wed Apr 19 07:28:01 CEST 2017

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 30, No. 906.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    Andrei Volodin <a.volodin at gmail.com>                      (73)
        Subject: "Istoriya" (History) - special issue: "Digital History in
                the Framework of Digital Humanities"

  [2]   From:    Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>          (34)
        Subject: Enchanting Technology

  [3]   From:    Marinella Testori <testorimarinella at gmail.com>            (18)
        Subject: Beyond McLuhan?

        Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2017 11:09:10 +0300
        From: Andrei Volodin <a.volodin at gmail.com>
        Subject: "Istoriya" (History) - special issue: "Digital History in the Framework of Digital Humanities"

Special issue of Russian journal "Istoriya" (History) is devoted to digital
history in context of Digital Humanities.

*Istoriya (History). 2016. Volume 7. Issue 7 (51): "Digital History in the
Framework of Digital Humanities" [Electronic resource]. Access for
registered users. URL: https://history.jes.su/issue.2016.3.7.7-51-en

“Digital turn” became a professional reality for historians, because new
ways of storing, processing, and studying information were included in the
everyday toolkit of historical research. No wonder that the problem of the
digital turn in history has become one of the main topics of the
International Congress of Historical Sciences in 2015.
The digitization of historical sources, electronic reference databases and
digital existence of historiography are successively changing the
historian’s craft. Digital reality has a significant impact on historical
research, and it’s time to examine the features of the research practices
of historians and to consider the features of digital instruments for
analysis and visualization of historical information.
For these reasons in the special issue of the journal we decided to examine
the role and place of interdisciplinary research area of “цифровая история”
[cifrovaja istorija] (digital history, histoire numérique, Geschichte
digital, storia digitale, digital historia) in modern historiography and in
the wider context of the Digital Humanities.


=== Part I. Digital History ===
The Differences between Digital Humanities and Digital History (Stefen
Special Effects or, The Tooling is Here. Where are the Results? (Willard
The Digital Turn in Historical Research: Plausible and Unevident (Andrei
Information Systems in the Digital Environment of Historical Studies (Dinara
Gagarina / Sergey Kornienko / Nadezhda Povroznik)
Crowdsourcing in Cultural Heritage Preservation and Research (Volodymyr
The website of the Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts in Moscow (Aleksey

=== Part II. Digital Humanities ===
Scale, Meaning, Pattern, Form: Conceptual Challenges for Quantitative
Literary Studies (Franco Moretti)
Digitizing Method: Philologist's Review to “Distant Reading” by Franco
Moretti (Evgenia Suslova)
Information Interactions as Basis of the Information Environment of Digital
Humanities (Galina Mozhaeva / Polina Mozhaeva-Reniya / Ulyana Zakharova)
Character-Distinguishing Features in Fictional Dialogue: Quantifying Verbal
Identities in Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” (Anastasiya Bonch-Osmolovskaya /
Daniil Skorinkin)
E-oxymoron: Digital as Qualitative (Galina Orlova)
Towards Open Qualitative Data (Alexandra Kasatkina)
Transdigit: a Short Apophatic Guide (Peter Safronov)
Digital Humanities 2016: What the Conference Challenges Mean for the DH
Community? (Rem Khlebopros / Inna Kizhner / Ivan Rudov / Maksim Rumyantsev)

=== Part III. Quantitative History ===
GIS-Approach to Regional Statistics: A Case of the Urbanization from the
Russian/Soviet Population Censuses in 1897—1926—1959 (Timur Valetov /
Andrei Volodin)
And after All, Two or Twenty Million? The Number of Old Believers in the
Russian Empire in the 19th — early 20th centuries (Pavel Ermeev)
Regional Development of the Russian Joint-Stock Commercial Banks in the
Second Half of the 19th century: Statistics and GIS-Technologies (Sofya
Salomatina / Olga Frenkel)
Databases and Reconstruction of Social Profile of Terror Victims:
Historiography (Catherine Mishina)

☼ https://history.jes.su/issue.2016.3.7.7-51-en ☼

Best regards,
Andrei Volodin

Associate Professor
Historical Information Science Department
History Faculty
Moscow State University


        Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2017 11:41:41 +0100
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: Enchanting Technology

Technology is magical -- or so Timothy de Waal Malefyt writes in 
his guest editorial, "Enchanting Technology", in Anthropology Today 
33.2 (April 2017): 1-2. I paste in below the first three paragraphs.


> What persuades researchers to ‘see’ human sensibili- ties in big
> data, when results are derived from empirical calculations of
> numbers? What widespread ancient ritual is investigated by
> anthropologists with both disdain and admiration? In a word: magic!
> The topic of magic is as old as anthropology itself, and over the
> decades has produced inconsistent, even heated, debates. Malinowski
> was ambivalent about magic. For him, magic inspired a ‘world of
> mysterious and unex- pected possibilities’, of ‘lingering hopes in
> miracles’ and ‘belief in man’s mysterious possibilities’, yet was
> also ‘disappointing’, ‘prosaic’ and ‘clumsy enacted art’ for purely
> practical reasons (1954: 69-70). Tylor, Frazer and Durkheim were less
> equivocal and outwardly debased magic as backward, barbaric and
> ‘pernicious’.
> Still, other anthropologists esteemed magic as a positive force for
> the people who believed in it. The Waxes deemed magic a ‘sensible,
> coherent system of thought and action employed by practical and
> intelligent people’ (Wax & Wax 1963: 502). Gell (1992) even proposed
> investigating native art with the same aesthetic ‘awe’ and
> enchantment that casts us under Western art’s magical spell. What is
> it about magic that both attracts and repels?

Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/), Professor, Department of Digital
Humanities, King's College London; Adjunct Professor, Western Sydney
University and North Carolina State University; Editor,
Interdisciplinary Science Reviews (www.tandfonline.com/loi/yisr20)

        Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2017 12:56:39 +0200
        From: Marinella Testori <testorimarinella at gmail.com>
        Subject: Beyond McLuhan?

Dear Willard,

It has been brought to my attention a very recent book published here in

The author, Alberto Contri, argues that McLuhan's motto: 'The medium is the
message' has been replaced by another one, that is: 'People are the
The work analyses the evolution of communication in the era of the
Internet, and points out the risks that virtual reality and related
multitasking pose in terms of what Contri defines as 'constant partial

Unfortunately the text is currently available in Italian only, but maybe
among the readers of the list there is someone interested in buying and
reading it in any case (link:

Thank you for your attention,
kind regards.


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