13.0036 humanities computing & related

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Tue, 25 May 1999 20:26:04 +0100 (BST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 13, No. 36.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

[1] From: Elisabeth Burr <he229bu@unidui.uni-duisburg.de> (32)
Subject: Re: 13.0031 humanities computing discussion

[2] From: Francois Lachance <lachance@chass.utoronto.ca> (59)
Subject: who by

[3] From: <cbf@socrates.berkeley.edu> (8)
Subject: Tenure and electronic publication

[4] From: Jim Marchand <marchand@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu> (19)
Subject: thanks

Date: Tue, 25 May 1999 20:22:48 +0100
From: Elisabeth Burr <he229bu@unidui.uni-duisburg.de>
Subject: Re: 13.0031 humanities computing discussion

I have just read Tito Orlandi's "The Scholarly Environment of Humanities
Computing" and I wanted to thank him for the description of the situation
at most European universities (cf. 5. "The European connection") because it
shows me that the problems I am having with getting Humanities compu- ting
going at Duisburg university are not personal ones and aren't due to my own
incapability (as I tend to think when I am really frustrated after ha- ving
had another of those tedious discussions where I am told that corpora can
be loaded down from the net or you just have to bye CD-ROM editions of
newspapers or where a computerlinguist doesn't even try to understand what
I am trying him about Humanities computing).

That is why ACO*Hum seemed like an anchor and I still hope that we will use
it in such a way, that we can create a net of Humanities computing where we
create European undergraduate courses by pulling individual courses
together, use boarderline countries and their universities to create
collaboration, develop Internet courses, use Erasmus/Socrates to send our
students abroad to get what we can't offer ecc. If we could manage to
present such a course to our administration and ministry we might get it
through, above all in the restructuring phase we are in at the moment. We
should, however, combine these courses with languages in order to get
students to go abroad and we need people who will look after them when they
are abroad, i.e. we need very good collaboration. As soon as we get this
going then we could push for a broader setup as Willard describes it.

Elisabeth Burr

PD Dr'in Elisabeth Burr
FB 3/Romanistik Gerhard-Mercator-Universitaet
Geibelstrasse 41 47048 Duisburg
+49 203 3791957 Elisabeth.Burr@uni-duisburg.de
Editor of:

Date: Tue, 25 May 1999 20:23:05 +0100
From: Francois Lachance <lachance@chass.utoronto.ca>
Subject: who by


Thank you for your persistence in bringing attention to the
ruminations you offer at

> <http://ilex.cc.kcl.ac.uk/wlm/essays/know/>

I have a question about the genesis of the text which is related to a
tension I perceive to be at work in the credit question raised by
Professor Orlandi and in the trader metaphor. Question: were the notes
added after the major section of the text was completed or were they
stepping stones in the development of the major section? I know the
questions of orchestration and textual genesis seem far from the
"content" of the essay. However, I do believe such questions hinge
upon the currency of the metaphors which are placed in circulation by
the publication of the essay.

allow me, if you will, a little illustration:

Note number seven on Support Staff reads:

Scholars and scientists in all fields have found
that the older configurations of such
services, according to which the principal
investigator has the questions and the staff person
provides the answers, are no longer valid, if they
ever were; as both the technological expertise
and the scholarly range necessary for research grow,
it is also for the formulation and the
refinement of the questions themselves that principal
investigators have to turn to 'staff', whom it is
increasingly necessary -- not a matter of courtesy,
much less as a matter of condescension, but
a matter of justice and accuracy -- to identify as colleagues
in the research enterprise.

and the "Mechanical Primitives" section of the essay, if I summarize
if correctly here, invokes an individual scholar as a consumer of
software products.

As may perhaps emerge from this juxtaposition, the content question
becomes one of the symmetry between production and consumption. This
is so very well elucidated in your synopsis on the role of modeling in
humanities discourse that is seems puzzling as to why it disappears
from the essay's horizon at this point. If I may venutre an opinion,
it is the interference of the the trader metaphor which shifts the
essay's initial locus of concern -- the what of the building-testing
activity -- to a concern with "legitimation" -- the who of the
building-testing activity.

The trader's transactions -selling and buying- under certain judicial
regimes occur in the private sphere. In the public sphere, diplomatic
relations also lead to exchanges of knowledge. The ambassadorial model
in the form of the student exchange or a visiting professorship
already exists in the academy. It may just lend a bit more
self-similarity across scale to the various levels in your
survey/program which if I do not abstract too too much is grounded on
the belief in principled feedback between researchers and their
objects of study and between researchers themselves as well as between
researchers and a wider public.

If such be the case, then is not philology still queen since
translation animates your tentative neo-trivium (history [the past],
philosohy [the possible future] and sociology [the present
relations]). Or is the regal model dead?

has been, is and most likely will be
very much fascinated by
the discourse of machines and models

Date: Tue, 25 May 1999 20:24:43 +0100
From: <cbf@socrates.berkeley.edu>
Subject: Tenure and electronic publication

I have finally gotten my hands on the formal statement proposed by
Berkeley's Library Committee to the campus's Academic Senate, with respet
to faculty review and different media:

"In the course of reviewing faculty for merit and promotion, when there
are grounds for believing that processes of peer review and quality
assurance are the same in different media, equal value should be attached
to the different forms of scholarly communication."

Charles Faulhaber Department of Spanish UC Berkeley, CA 94720-2590
(510) 642-3781 FAX (510) 642-7589 cbf@socrates.berkeley.edu

Date: Tue, 25 May 1999 20:25:04 +0100
From: Jim Marchand <marchand@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu>
Subject: thanks

This is a personal thanks to all those who wrote to my powers that be in my
behalf in re office space and computer connection. The result is that I
have (to quote my Indian friend who speaks Indian English) somewhat more
commodious if not so sumptuous quarters and will retain my ethernet

We were discussing evaluation of computer work in a humanities environment,
and I can assure you that no one takes internet work or listwork seriously.
I once wrote our Research Board, asking for equipment to help me with
internet work and received a letter back reminding me that this was not
scholarly activity. I am sure that such things will change as people get
more savvy, but our Research Board is staffed with us.

I feel that much of the good scholarship is being done nowadays on the net,
but I don't know how one might be able to evaluate it. Also, note that
payment for work done (on the basis of some evaluation) is or is not in the
coin of the realm. I, for example, was not looking for a raise, nor for
promotion (neither of these was likely to be forthcoming), but for a cozy
nook in which to contemplate ones books and talk to ones colleagues. If, on
the other hand, you are looking for pay for your work ... Who was it that
said: `Give him a coin if he wishes to be paid for his work'?

Jim Marchand.

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