16.373 Computer-related sessions at the MLA 2002

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Date: Mon Dec 09 2002 - 03:00:10 EST

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 16, No. 373.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                         Submit to: humanist@princeton.edu

             Date: Mon, 09 Dec 2002 07:51:55 +0000
             From: lachance@chass.utoronto.ca (Francois Lachance)
             Subject: Re: 16.367 Computer-related sessions at the MLA 2002

    Williard, John and especially subscribers who are members (or officers) of
    the US-based Modern Languages Association,

    John Lavagnino's Thursday posting about sessions relating to computing at
    the upcoming MLA Convention provoked a bit of speculation about
    information management and the tools for automating linking

    John generously offers with good humour...
    > Special offer for Humanist readers: if you want a link from your talk
    > to your home page, or if your talk is not there but should have been,
    > just ask me and these lapses will be magically corrected!

    However I wonder if such information could not be complied at source and
    published (along with abstracts of the papers) by the MLA itself. I ask
    because of John's description of his retrieval method:

    > obviously than they once did; in compiling this list I'm mostly just
    > going on the titles of talks, because there is usually no other
    > information available about them.

    Other learned societies publish as much as possible abstracts along with
    programs. Some interesting questions arise about the sociology of
    knowledge and access to "information about scholarly presentations",
    "presentations themselves," "data sets pertaining to those presentations,"
    "reactions of respondents," and "conferences as the transactional setting
    for the exchanges between presenters, respondents and the locus where
    reporters gather information to share".

    Yes, the MLA is big, but surely somewhere one of its committees is
    considering leveraging the public relations potential of publishing
    abstracts online, let alone its value for scholarly research. Anyone know?

    Francois Lachance, Scholar-at-large,
    knows no "no exit" in a hypertext
    every cul-de-sac is an invitation to turn

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