16.043 silence and flood

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty (w.mccarty@btinternet.com)
Date: Mon Jun 03 2002 - 07:18:14 EDT

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                    Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 16, No. 43.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

             Date: Mon, 03 Jun 2002 11:51:40 +0100
             From: Willard McCarty <w.mccarty@btinternet.com>
             Subject: apologies for the silence then flood

    Dear colleagues:

    My apologies for the total silence from Humanist for the last week,
    followed by the virtual tsunami about to hit you. I was attending the
    conference of the Consortium for Computers in the Humanities / Consortium
    pour Ordinateurs en Sciences Humaines (COCH/COSH), in the Congress of the
    Social Sciences and the Humanities, at the University of Toronto. See
    <http://web.mala.bc.ca/siemensr/C-C/2002/Program.htm> for details. The
    COCH/COSH event, ably organized by Ray Siemens, gave abundant evidence that
    (as more than one speaker remarked) humanities computing has come of age --
    and that Canadian humanities computing, from British Columbia in the west
    to Newfoundland in the east, has the full and much deserved attention of
    the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Technologies
    de l'esprit / Mind Technologies, a full day of the conference co-sponsored
    by SSHRC, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and others, offered a
    rapid survey across many different projects and thus provided a good
    overview of the variety.

    The conference programme shows such variety but cannot of course give you
    any idea of quality or qualities. Although I know many of the participants
    and their good work, I was surprised as well as delighted by the overall
    impression of vitality. Roughly this came from two sources: the fruits of
    efforts over many years by senior people in the field and new research by
    young scholars, including one entering PhD student. (Our young turks are
    scarily competent! :-) Papers ranged from reports on projects that have
    benefitted from computing -- the
    without-this-I-wouldn't-have-been-able-to-do-that kind -- and
    demonstrations of maturing and matured resources, to considerations of
    questions in humanities computing itself. Some of the papers, that is,
    could easily have been given in conferences on modern language study or
    history, for example. It is in the nature of humanities computing, I would
    think, that the range of material presented to us is interdisciplinary. In
    other words, I find it a very healthy sign that people are not simply
    decamping to their disciplines-of-origin but wisely cultivating multiple
    audiences. If this is a tendency that selects for the young scholars, who
    need all the exposure and help they can get, then so much the better for
    humanities computing.

    Now for that tsunami I promised you....


    Dr Willard McCarty, Senior Lecturer,
    Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London,
    Strand, London WC2R 2LS, U.K.,
    +44 (0)20 7848-2784, ilex.cc.kcl.ac.uk/wlm/,
    willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk, w.mccarty@btinternet.com

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