16.321 Canada Research Chair in Humanities Computing

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Date: Thu Nov 14 2002 - 03:55:08 EST

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 16, No. 321.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                         Submit to: humanist@princeton.edu

             Date: Thu, 14 Nov 2002 08:43:14 +0000
             From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk>
             Subject: Canada Research Chair in Humanities Computing

    David Gants, currently assistant professor of English at the University of
    Georgia, has been appointed Canada Research Chair in Humanities Computing
    at the University of New Brunswick. As many will and all here should know,
    David has been assistant editor of Humanist for many years, stepping in
    on several occasions when I have had to step out. He will, I very much
    hope, remain in the virtual here after the physical move to a lovely part
    of that fine country, where our field is indeed prospering. Congratulations
    to David, to the University of New Brunswick and to our Canadian colleagues.

    The appointment of someone to a post directly in humanities computing is of
    course a highly significant event. There are very few such posts in the
    world. The fact that this is a new one is especially encouraging. I also
    find it significant that the appointment is of a textual editor and
    bibliographer with a focus on electronic publication. The close
    relationship between humanities computing and textual editing may seem
    obvious enough, but the causes of its fruitfulness, demonstrated for years
    by Jerome McGann, for example, is important to understand in detail. The
    consequences go far beyond the broad confines of David's speciality,
    promising e.g. a healthy (and badly needed) revolution in literary studies.

    The following is taken from the official announcement:

    >Transforming the Power of the Printed Word

    >It is only in the last 15 years that art and humanities scholars have
    >begun to explore the potential benefits of computers to their research.
    >But since then, electronic editing and publishing has emerged as one of
    >the most exciting areas to pursue. The capabilities of powerful
    >microcomputers enable scholars to adopt a number of innovative approaches
    >to research. For example, deep, intricate, scholarly databases can be
    >organized and developed around a single author or work. Or library-based
    >archives can compile or create texts for distribution in various formats,
    >such as books, journals, CD-ROMs and databases, for training and research

    >Dr. David L. Gants is considered a pioneer in this emerging field. As a
    >humanities computing specialist, he has been combining his highly
    >developed computer skills with fundamental textual and literary
    >scholarship for over a decade. As a leading scholar in electronic editing
    >and humanities computing, he actively investigates how to use emerging
    >technologies to explore key questions challenging the arts and humanities,
    >and to uncover innovative ways to ask new questions.

    >His present research promises to transform the content and delivery
    >capabilities of the printed book. It centres on developing a new
    >generation of digital publications that incorporate the power of hypertext
    >and computer networks to investigate textual culture. The program involves
    >two major components. First, Dr. Gants is creating the electronic
    >component of the forthcoming edition of Ben Jonson, a project that will
    >publish (simultaneously in print and digital formats) the works of one of
    >early modern England's most important authors. His second focus is to
    >develop a revolutionary electronic resource for the quantitative analysis
    >of the first two centuries (1475-1640) of England's printing and
    >publishing industry.

    >In addition to providing humanities scholars with valuable research tools,
    >this program will produce a pool of highly skilled individuals ready for
    >Canada's publishing industry, which is poised to enter the digital realm.

    For details about the Canada Research Chair scheme and David's appointment,
    see the news release published by the Canadian government at


    Dr Willard McCarty | Senior Lecturer | Centre for Computing in the
    Humanities | King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS || +44 (0)20
    7848-2784 fax: -2980 || willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk |
    w.mccarty@btinternet.com | www.kcl.ac.uk/humanities/cch/wlm/

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