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Humanist Archives: Jan. 12, 2020, 6:53 a.m. Humanist 33.542 - becoming translators

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 542.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                   Hosted by King's Digital Lab
                Submit to: humanist@dhhumanist.org

        Date: 2020-01-11 08:49:42+00:00
        From: Willard McCarty 
        Subject: Fwd: Message sent but not arrived

[A message that never arrived, now sent. --WM]

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject:        Re: [Humanist] 33.318: what we're not ready for?
Date:   Tue, 15 Oct 2019 09:30:31 +0200
From:   Claire Clivaz 
Organization:   SIB, DH+
To:     Humanist 

Dear Willard,

You are pointing to a crucial question. May be one of the most essential
at stake today.

A lot of DH'ers are focusing their energy on affirming and building an
own DH identity, notably regarding the institutional marks. We are so
new in academics and it has requested so much fights to get what we
have, that it sounds obvious for a lot of us to be strong guardians of
the DH island.

But what we could give of inestimable price to others is our capacity of
translators. Instead of trying «perinde ac cadaver» to be independent in
scholarship, we could develop our translators abilities between fields,
between computing standards, between concepts and tools. Let's try to be
«passeurs du présent», according to the historian François Hartog's
words in his book «Régimes d'historicité. Présentisme et expérience du 
temps» (https://journals.openedition.org/osp/752) .

Have a good day,


On 15.10.19 09:04, Humanist wrote:
>                    Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 318.
>              Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
>                     Hosted by King's Digital Lab
>                         www.dhhumanist.org
>                  Submit to:humanist@dhhumanist.org
>          Date: 2019-10-14 07:19:19+00:00
>          From: Willard McCarty
>          Subject: what we're not ready for
> [This posting should have preceded the one I just contributed, but
> somehow it has not. Forgive the out-of-sequence commentary. --WM]
> A few days ago, 9 October to be exact, I used a comment Jerome Bruner
> made about the maturity of cognitive psychology in turn to ask about the
> maturity of digital humanities. To ask what we in digital humanities are
> "not quite ready for" (Bruner's words) is to probe our awareness of
> problems that belong to us, that constitute our own proper field of
> study. In the back of my mind was, and is, Northrop Frye's argument in
> the "Polemical Introduction" to Anatomy of Criticism that "the absence
> of systematic criticism has created a power vacuum, and all the
> neighboring disciplines have moved in". Another way of saying somewhat
> the same thing is that interdisciplinary research, to which a
> methodological field like ours is committed, requires a discipline from
> which to be interdisciplinary. To ask after the problems we are not yet
> ready for, problems that we cannot ignore because they are important and
> will otherwise be ignored or treated incompletely or badly, is to ask
> the still unanswered question, what is digital humanities? A kind of
> sociology? Cultural studies? Philosophy? Or is something emerging that
> looks sort of like these, and others, but has its own agenda? Nothing
> wrong with being an amalgam, like computer science.
> The comment of mine that got Vika Zafrin to reply was to the effect that
> a good answer to the above cannot simply be helping others, though one
> learns a lot from doing that. I did not intend to imply that helping
> others is not a good thing or a worthy way to spend one's time, nor that
> this often follows from involvement of digital humanities (whatever it is)
> in the research of sociologists, cultural critics, literary scholars et al.
> Service is fundamental to reprocity, and reciprocity is what keeps the
> whole show going. But to serve well without being merely a servant --
> a role our machines are quickly assuming -- one has to have something to
> give. In our case, what is it?
> Comments?
> Yours,
> WM
> --
> Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/),
> Professor emeritus, Department of Digital Humanities, King's College
> London; Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews
> (www.tandfonline.com/loi/yisr20) and Humanist (www.dhhumanist.org)

Claire Clivaz
Head of DH+
SIB | Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics
Amphipole 187 - Quartier Sorge, Dorigny – CH-1015 Lausanne
t +41 21 692 40 60

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