18.066 Report on ALLC/ACH

From: dgants@ROGERS.COM
Date: Tue Jun 15 2004 - 10:38:38 EDT

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 18, No. 66.
          Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                        Submit to: humanist@princeton.edu

            Date: Tue, 15 Jun 2004 11:18:05 -0300
            From: Lorna Hughes
            Subject: Report on ALLC/ACH for Humanist

    Dear Willard,

    Greetings from beautiful (and sunny!) Gothenburg, where about
    180 delegates are enjoying an excellent, interesting and
    stimulating ALLC/ACH conference. Our local organizer, Jan Gunnar
    Tingsell and his stalwart team have arranged a marvelous
    conference in every respect, and he is to be thanked for making
    everything appear so flawless. If anything has gone wrong at this
    conference, none of us have noticed!

    Humanist readers might be interested to hear in some of the
    conference highlights so far. We heard an excellent opening
    plenary session from John Nerbonne, of the University of
    Groningen. John's talk was on the "Data Deluge: Developments and
    delights", and addressed some of the questions humanists ask
    when they are confronted with large data sets, and the way that a
    technological engagement with such materials can enable scholars
    to answer traditions lines of humanistic enquiry in new (and often
    unforeseen) ways. It addressed the question that is always of
    interest to me, in that "how do we use technology to do the sort of
    things in the humanities that we have been unable to accomplish
    by traditional methods".

    This year is also a year in which the Busa award is presented. The
    recipient this year was Susan Hockey, who is retiring from
    University College, London, after a long and illustrious career in
    Humanities Computing. Reflecting on her experiences with many
    projects, institutions and colleagues in her fascinating talk, Susan
    emphasized that what we as a community should do is to reach out
    to colleagues and institutions who are not yet involved with our
    humanities computing community.

    One of the most important developments at this conference has
    been the closer partnership that is evolving between ACH and ALLC
    under the auspices of the International Federation for Digital
    Scholarship in the Humanities (the umbrella organization formally
    known as ADHO). A steering committee for this group has been
    convened for a one-year period, and great progress has been made
    on collaborative initiatives and activities, including conferences and
    publications. The steering committee has been enthusiastically
    charged with taking this process forward so that formal
    agreements will be entered into at next year's conference.

    Sunday was a day off, an opportunity for some hardy souls to
    venture off on a bus tour to look at the rock carvings at Tanum, led
    by archaeologists who allowed the delegates to touch them. The
    rock carvings, not the archaeologists. Alas, your correspondent
    used the opportunity to catch up on some sleep after the
    conference banquet, and the inevitable discussions about text
    analysis and open archiving that ensued thereafter.

    All that remains now are wistful daydreams of next year's
    conference, ACH/ALLC 2005 at the University of Victoria. The local
    organizer, Peter Liddell, is doing a wonderful job on the pre
    conference preparations, and we all look forward to what I am sure
    will be another incredible event, both intellectually and socially.


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