11.0495 MA programme

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Mon, 5 Jan 1998 22:29:40 +0000 (GMT)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 11, No. 495.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

Date: Mon, 5 Jan 1998 17:19:23 -0500 (EST)
From: "David L. Gants" <dgants@english.uga.edu>

>> From: GThompson <GThompson@PrismSolutions.com>

Fellow Colleagues:

Bellow is an email message I have sent out to various individuals. It
describes a proposed masters program I am trying to develop. Michael
Neuman, Director of the Research, Curriculum, and Development, Academic
Computing Services at Georgetown University suggested I send this proposed
course of study to this Humanist Discussion list. I would be interested in
getting your feedback. I should be done with a preliminary version of
the masters proposal by the end of the month, or some time in early Feb. I
would appreciate any feedback on it also after I send it out. Thanks
Greg Thompson


Hi Mark:

Remember me? I was your student at the recorder workshop in Marin county
this summer and I was wondering if you were interested in a
business/professional proposition.

I need a mentor for an independent masters program I am designing through
Norwich University in Vermont. What I want to do is to combine my skills
on software and multimedia development, historical research and the
recorder into an interdisciplinary program studying some aspect of English
Renaissance recorder music... As an undergraduate history student, I have
been fascinated by the idea of the use of computers to enhance the study
of the humanities, but I have been frustrated professionally in combining
these two areas in some field of study or profession. Now, the opportunity
has arisen to do so.

This program at Norwich University is based on the Oxford tutorial manner
of learning. I have always excelled in the is manner of learning, from
special projects I have done in high school, through an accelerated
program I got into in college, though my independent research as a
professional writer and www page designer in the software industry. I
spent Oct at Cambridge and Oxford and the British Museum, where I have
gotten applications for reader privleges.

I will have 3 mentors. You, if you choose to accept, would supervise my
historical research on this period (meeting with me by phone or
electronically to the tune of no more than an hour or so per week and
helping me choose a body of literature of the period to study. If I choose
to add a performance component by actually recording to a CD the works I
research, I would pay Fred Palmer as a informal fourth mentor to supervise
this activity), another mentor appointed by Norwich would be the
coordinator, and the third mentor would handle the computer/multimedia/
instructional design component of my program. All three of you would
approve my program before I would embark upon it.

What would the possible outcome of such an interdisciplinary program be?
Here are a few possibilities that I am incorporating into the proposal:
1. A final scholarly paper on some historical issue related to English
Renaissance music (this is probably required)
2. A software multimedia presentation/CBT (computer based training)
program (WWW based or CD-ROM both) giving a historical overview of the
period for a college level music history student.
3. A sophisticated database of the recorder and music of the English
renaissance period with full text and multimedia search capabilities..
As an employee of a database company, I have become fascinated how the
use of technology alters of view of information, changing data into
usable knowledge. I am looking at query tools by companies like Business
Objects and IVEE that allow users to get graphical visualizations of
trends in data.
4. Any combination of the previous 3 choices or the use of any other
technology to explore the humanities.. There is an professional
organization I plan on joining called the Association for Computers and
the Humanities. I think I will be able get to get some potential project
ideas from reading their scholarly journal.

So what do you think? The university would pay you a nice stipend per
year for your efforts. We can do the entire program by distance (the
mentors don't have to be co-located, as long as we can demonstrate that
we have regular contact with each other by some medium). I respect your
love of recorder music and I think you and I have compatible
personalities and interests such that we would work well together, and I
think it would be a tremendous learning experience for both. If you are
interested, I can send you all the literature about the program that
Norwich University sent to me.

I do have a favor to ask of you: I am in the process of putting together
my initial proposal to send to Norwich University. I have to provide
them with an initial bibliography that would cover the areas of study I
wish to pursue. I was wondering if you and I could have a brief phone
conversation with you about the music component of this bibliography? I
would appreciate suggestions as to what type of material I should be
looking for. I will call you.
Take Care,
Greg Thompson

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