19.426 VR scholarly editions

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 18 Nov 2005 08:33:34 +0000

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 19, No. 426.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Fri, 18 Nov 2005 08:28:37 +0000
         From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
         Subject: immersion and distance

I take the impossible task of the historian simultaneously to
re-enact an historical moment, with total awareness of all the
possibilities then open, and to remain an individual thoroughly
cognizant of the present -- to be, that is, a co-conscious multiple.
(See Ian Hacking's Rewriting the Soul. I take it as given that we
must know what we're getting into, even if that knowledge is rather
frightening.) If so, then, the ideal VR scholarly edition would do
the following:

(a) allow for a totally immersive experience of an historical text or
a series of related texts from the same historical moment or from
different ones, based on the best scholarly knowledge of the history
or histories involved;

(b) provide some means of reminding the exploring scholar of his or
her identity of origin, or of rescuing this scholar from a *totally*
immersive experience;

(c) allow the parameters of historical reenactment to be changed, in
order to create conjectural scenarios.

In part my Star-Trekified Collingwoodian speculations are due to a
mounting frustration at online presentations, esp of manuscript
books. It's as if I were hungry but unable to go further than gaze at
the food in the deli window. Ok, I admit this is a rather special
deli -- I can actually get a shop assistant to move the food around
and comment on it, show me related items etc. But I cannot get anything to eat!



Dr Willard McCarty | Reader in Humanities Computing | Centre for
Computing in the Humanities | King's College London | Kay House, 7
Arundel Street | London WC2R 3DX | U.K. | +44 (0)20 7848-2784 fax:
-2980 || willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk www.kcl.ac.uk/humanities/cch/wlm/
Received on Fri Nov 18 2005 - 03:42:34 EST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0 : Fri Nov 18 2005 - 03:42:35 EST