13.0315 disciplinary/interdisciplinary problems

Humanist Discussion Group (willard@lists.village.virginia.edu)
Tue, 7 Dec 1999 14:11:38 -0500 (EST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 13, No. 315.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

[1] From: Madonnalisa Gonzales-Chan <mtgonzls@stanford.edu> (28)
Subject: RE: 13.0307 teething problems

[2] From: cbf@socrates.berkeley.edu (25)
Subject: Re: 13.0311 disciplinary/interdisciplinary problems

Date: Tue, 07 Dec 1999 19:02:51 +0000
From: Madonnalisa Gonzales-Chan <mtgonzls@stanford.edu>
Subject: RE: 13.0307 teething problems

It's interesting that you posed this question. My university has made
extraordinary moves in humanities computing. There is a centralized
academic computing group with the full support of the University Library to
deploy instructional technologists into various departments on campus. The
primary mission is to assist faculty in incorporating new technologies for
teaching/research. I believe many other universities are beginning to
develop/grow the infrastructure for making this happen campuswide. This
infrastructure includes (ideally)tenure appointments recognizing the use of
technical innovations, (in practice)instructional tech consulting, and (in
practice)technical support structure for basic desktop assistance.

In my case, I am the academic technology specialist for the English
Department and the first projects I had to tackle in my department was
getting the faculty to warm up to basic desktop software(aside from word
processing and email). I research business and educational tools and
figure out how they can be adapted for teaching/research. I also keep my
eyes open for tools being developed at other universities.

I have slowly brought a few of the faculty into the realm of course web
page publishing and the use of newsgroups for teaching. There are also a
few faculty members getting involved with voice recognition software and
hopfully I will get a few of them involved with collaborative critical
analysis using hypertext tools.

It's an endless tug between basic computing skills and seeing the value for
innovations in teaching. It is also at times a frustrating battle to get
junior faculty and graduate students realizng the information wealth that
technology can do for their teaching and research.

Long term goals would be to meet with other humanities computing folks and
find out how we can help each other grow similar edu tech support groups so
that we can share tools, ideas, innovations, what worked/didn't work, etc.

Just my $0.02 from a practitioner's pov.

Date: Tue, 07 Dec 1999 19:03:27 +0000
From: cbf@socrates.berkeley.edu
Subject: Re: 13.0311 disciplinary/interdisciplinary problems

Allow me to applaud and second Patrick Durusau's suggestion. This is
precisely the problem. I would only add that in addition to books and
tutorials, we might add real working programs. My Christmas wish: A decent
and inexpensive SGML editor.

> Computing humanists should make publically available research guides and
> tutorials on their areas of interest during the academic term Fall, 2000 -
> Spring, 2001. Such materials should be similar to computing in the
> classics such as: "Snobol Programming for the Humanities" (Susan Hockey,
> and "Computer Programs for Literary Analysis" (John R. Abercrombie, 1984).
> Research guides should liberally illustrate techniques with actual
working code
> and sample data while tutorials should provide a graded introduction to both
> concepts and techniques for particular topics.
> Interested?
> Patrick
> --
> Patrick Durusau
> Information Technology Services
> Scholars Press
> pdurusau@emory.edu
> Manager, ITS

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