19.693 talk at Brown: Ramsay on computerized literary criticism

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 5 Apr 2006 06:59:11 +0100

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 19, No. 693.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Wed, 05 Apr 2006 06:55:28 +0100
         From: Elli Mylonas <Elli_Mylonas_at_BROWN.EDU>
         Subject: Talk 4/13, 14: Steve Ramsay

The Computing in the Humanities Users' Group presents

Humanizing Computerized Literary Criticism

Stephen Ramsay
Department of English
University of Georgia

   3:30, Friday April 14
STG Conference Room
Graduate Center, Tower E

The emerging field of "digital humanities" is still grappling with
its dual intellectual roots in the humanities and computational
sciences. Its central questions still revolve around the relationship
between computational processes and textual interpretation: do they
intersect, compete, cohere at all? Computation comes to us, along
with the cultural burden of science, as an activity associated with
the inexorable calculus of fact and truth. As humanists, we usually
regard computation itself as occupying the realm of objectivity and
fact, although the results of computation may form the basis for
interpretation and subjective evaluation.

This talk probes this pairing, considering texts as various as
ancient Sumerian tablets and the works of Harriet Beecher Stowe, and
examining the computational, analytical, and interpretive strategies
we bring to the encounter. Ramsay suggests that even computational
processes, at least in those areas of interest to the humanist, are
already rife with the subjective--and indeed, that computation itself
is not only an interpretive act, but one that requires the
perspectives and contexts of humanities scholarship.

Stephen Ramsay is an Assistant Professor of English at the University
of Georgia. He specializes in the computational analysis and
visualization of literary texts, and is one of the co-investigators
for The Nora Project <http://www.noraproject.org>. He has written a
number of software systems for humanistic inquiry, and is currently
the lead developer of Tamarind -- an automatic XML preprocessor and
corpus builder for scholarly text analysis. He has lectured widely
on subjects related to text analysis theory and software design for
the humanities.

This talk is organized by the Scholarly Technology Group at CIS.
For more information, contact stg_info_at_brown.edu or see http://
Received on Wed Apr 05 2006 - 02:11:42 EDT

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