13.0351 research in the humanities

From: Humanist Discussion Group (willard@lists.village.virginia.edu)
Date: Sun Jan 16 2000 - 17:29:15 CUT

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 13, No. 351.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

       [1] From: "Prof. Roly Sussex" <sussex@lingua.arts.uq.edu.au> (24)
             Subject: Re: 13.0346 history & philosophy of research?

       [2] From: Steven Totosy <steven.totosy@ualberta.ca> (15)
             Subject: the humanities

             Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 17:21:45 +0000
             From: "Prof. Roly Sussex" <sussex@lingua.arts.uq.edu.au>
             Subject: Re: 13.0346 history & philosophy of research?

    Willard is quite right. Especially in the "high" humanities the
    idea of "methodology" seems marginal: certainly it has a quite
    different place from the social sciences, where published papers,
    and grant applications, fail at once unless they have a competent
    and comprehensive description of how the work's mechanics are
    arganized. The relation between methodology and epistemology
    is different in the social sciences, and in those areas of
    Linguistics, especially text- and corpus-oriented linguistics,
    where social science techniques are more prominent. There
    would be few postgraduate courses in applied linguistics, for
    instance, which do not have a subject on research methods and

    What is interesting about computational methods in language
    research - sorry, ONE of the interesting things - is that these
    methods are providing us with both a new methodology and a new
    epistemology. The notion of "data" is undergoing a reworking.
    Humanists are learning to interpret statistical reports on
    what our software says the text is doing. This whole process
    is tending to bring some areas of the Humanities closer to
    questions of methodology in other disciplines, and indeed
    to make the Humanities more scientific.

    Roly Sussex
    Centre for Language Teaching and Research
    The University of Queensland

             Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 17:22:16 +0000
             From: Steven Totosy <steven.totosy@ualberta.ca>
             Subject: the humanities

    your letter about shortcomings in the humanities, especially with regard to
    the empirical, is unfortunately an important observation. i have been
    working on and in this for a long time now and it is difficult with our
    colleagues and with the field as a whole, indeed. on the other hand, there
    are many of us who do recognize the importance of the issue and there is a
    sizable corpus of work out there. for example, the approach i am pushing,
    the systemic and empirical approach to literature and culture (based on an
    array of other schools of thought such as radical constructivism and the
    Empirische Literaturwissenschaft), is perhaps worth to look at. just go to
    my journal, CLCWeb and its library (it has several bibliograophies in the
    approach) at <http://www.arts.ualberta.ca/clcwebjournal/> (see also the
    journal's aims and objectives, off its index page). best,

    Steven Totosy
    Editor, CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture: A WWWeb Journal
    -- CLCWeb 1.4 (December 1999) is online now --

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