14.0802 new CD-ROM; NEH lectures

From: by way of Willard McCarty (willard@lists.village.Virginia.EDU)
Date: Wed Apr 18 2001 - 05:20:14 EDT

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 802.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

       [1] From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk> (98)
             Subject: "Georgian Cities" CD-ROM

       [2] From: "Bobley, Brett" <BBobley@neh.gov> (60)
             Subject: Two More Lectures in NEH eHumanities Series

             Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001 10:08:57 +0100
             From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk>
             Subject: "Georgian Cities" CD-ROM

    [The following is being circulated on behalf of the research centre
    "Cultures Anglophones et Technologies de
    l'Information" to announce its latest product, a CD-ROM entitled "Georgian
    Cities", and to give an overview of its other activities. --WM]

    CD-ROM Georgian Cities
    Authored by the
    Research Centre "Cultures Anglophones et Technologies de l'Information",
    Universit de Paris-Sorbonne
    Published by Presses de l'Universit de Paris-Sorbonne, 2001

    The CD-ROM 'Georgian Cities' consists of four sections totalling about
    1000 frames: London, Bath, Edinburgh and a thematic chapter on
    architecture, society, culture, religion. It reflects transdisciplinary
    approaches to urban studies: cartography, architecture, cultural life,
    and studies in literary and artistic images of these
    cities, combining documents of various types -- maps and photographs of
    cityscapes, paintings, literary texts, musical recordings, extracts
    from films on Georgian life. The documents were prepared by a team of
    specialists (Jacques Carr: architecture and society; Franoise
    Deconinck-Brossard: music and religion; Brigitte Mitchell de Soye:
    social life, Bath ; Marie-Hlne Thvenot-Totems: cultural life,
    Scottish studies), and the multimedia integration was done by the
    codirectors of the research centre, Liliane Gallet-Blanchard and
    Marie-Madeleine Martinet, demonstrating the integration of historical
    specialisms and computing skills.

    The hypertext structure allows the user to move from one section to
    another: The user may for instance enter the section on Edinburgh
    through the homepage of the section, then moving to its subsection
    on daily life and furniture, which has hyperlinks to a corresponding
    subsection in Bath, from which navigation in any chapter on the
    latter city -- religion, hospitals -- is possible; the correlations
    between the different disciplines of cultural history is thus

    Navigation can also continue through an index, a sitemap highlighting
    the user's present position, a chronology, which are accessible from
    any page, in a navigation bar. The structure of the CD-ROM makes
    full use of hypermedia, and is meant to explore its potentialities in
    cultural history. The navigational paths correspond to the various
    types of contextualisation for each section, articulating social or
    cultural or architectural approaches : it allows the user to move
    through links and hot spots from maps to pictures and photographs of
    Georgian buildings, or from texts about music to audio

    The interface options have been selected so as to reproduce
    eighteenth-century forms of perception: animation effects are used to
    illustrate a historical process such as the development of the New Town
    of Edinburgh, the sequential nature of narrative texts by Fielding on
    London, or to follow the explanation of a process (eg reconstructing
    the steps in plotting a perspective construction by Turner); windows
    can be opened by the user to suggest a change of scale in
    town-planning (eg map/building: from a map of Bath to the Royal
    Crescent, then to interior views and blown-up details); sets of
    alternative images can be replaced to suggest options eg of contrasting
    viewpoints on a cityscape -- views of Somerset House by several artists,
    in sections which model Georgian representational techniques, so as
    to enable the user to reproduce (and thus question) the ways in which
    the Georgian cityscape has been mediated to us in art; similarly,
    choices are offered between several musical tunes to accompany a
    picture- a Handel overture or pastoral tunes-; transition effects
    (eg zoom, or random effect) have been inserted to underline modes of
    vision -- enlargement of the field of vision in painting, digressive
    structure of a text by Dr Johnson or the Reverend Penrose narrating
    their experiences in London or Bath.

    Georgian Cities is meant primarily to teach undergraduate and graduate
    students in the fields of eighteenth-century studies or cultural
    history, humanities computing and the aesthetics of hypermedia, and in
    interdisciplinary courses on subject-related computing skills. It also
    proposes an example of epistemological research in the semiotics of
    hypermedia presentation applied to cultural history: modelling the
    Georgian urban culture in the information space of electronic documents
    through the software functions, a topic explored in the editors'
    contribution to DRH 98: "The hyperspace of the Enlightenment."

    Systems requirements: Windows 95 or later, 800x600 display with 65000
    colours, sound card, 60 Mb of free space.

    Contact: Marie-Madeleine.Martinet@paris4.sorbonne.fr or

    The Research Centre "Cultures Anglophones et Technologies de
    l'Information" conducts research in Humanities Computing. It authors
    multimedia products such as the present CD-ROM, and its research website
    http://www.cati.paris4.sorbonne.fr. The members of the Centre give
    presentations on them at international conferences and in research
    centres. It supports research on the aesthetics and semiotics of
    multimedia, published in the Centre's own series (Sorbonne University
    Press) and in international publications. t organises conferences with
    demonstrations by guest lecturers (King's College London, Oxford, The
    Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute at the
    University of Glasgow, The Centre for Advanced Studies in Architecture
    at Bath, The Scottish Cultural Resources Access Network, The Advanced
    Technology Center at Missouri University, The Digital Image Center at
    the University of Virginia). Its members direct the methodological
    courses in electronic documentation methods for the Sorbonne's
    undergraduate and graduate students, both in general courses and in
    subject-related workshops. It is currently taking part in the
    University's project in on-line distance learning.

    Dr Willard McCarty / Senior Lecturer /
    Centre for Computing in the Humanities / King's College London /
    Strand / London WC2R 2LS / U.K. /
    +44 (0)20 7848-2784 / ilex.cc.kcl.ac.uk/wlm/

             Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001 10:18:33 +0100
             From: "Bobley, Brett" <BBobley@neh.gov>
             Subject: Two More Lectures in NEH eHumanities Series

    The NEH is now announcing the next two speakers in our eHumanities lecture
    series in Washington, DC. Please pass to your colleagues.

    An NEH Lecture Series on Technology & the Humanities
    Registration is free via our website:

    The National Endowment for the Humanities is proud to announce a series of
    lectures on eHumanities, which will bring leading scholars to Washington, DC
    to discuss digital technology and its importance to the humanities.

    * * * * * * * * * *


    Tuesday, May 1, Noon - 1:00 pm

    Professor Alan Liu
    University of California, Santa Barbara

    TITLE: Historicizing "Information"

    DESCRIPTION: What is the value of historical knowledge as studied in the
    humanities in an information age when only the technologically "new,"
    "cutting-edge," and "just-in-time" seem to have real value? In this lecture,
    Alan Liu will discuss a philosophical and historical approach to information
    as well as his own pedagogical and research approaches to making history
    matter in the era of instantaneous knowledge. He will use examples found in
    in Albert Borgmann's 1999 book, "Holding On to Reality: The Nature of
    Information at the Turn of the Millennium."

    * * * * * * * * * *


    Tuesday, June 5, Noon - 1:00 pm

    Professor Eric Rabkin
    University of Michigan in Ann Arbor

    TITLE: Using Computers to Discover Cultural Truths: The Genre Evolution
    Project Studies Science Fiction

    DESCRIPTION: The Genre Evolution Project is testing the hypothesis that
    cultural materials, like biological organisms in their environments, evolve
    as complex adaptive systems. In order to test this hypothesis, the GEP has
    developed new, collaborative, computer-based methods that bridge the usual
    gap between qualitative and quantitative research. Using the American
    science fiction short story as its first test subject, the GEP has made
    discoveries both in critical theory in general and in science fiction in
    specific. Among the latter discoveries is a new understanding of the
    evolution of characterization that not only contradicts received literary
    historical truisms but suggests why critics may have gotten this wrong and
    what in fact created the literary evolution we now document.



    What is eHumanities all about?

    How does technology affect traditional humanities disciplines? Some scholars and educators have argued that in just a few short years, advances in information technology and the development of the Internet have had a more dramatic affect on the way people read, write, and exchange information than any invention since the printing press. In the long term, what will its impact be on our notions of literature? On our culture and society? What are some of the philosophical ramifications of these advances? The goal of this series is to highlight some of the important work being done by scholars who are studying digital technology from various perspectives in the humanities.

    The lectures will take place at the National Endowment for the Humanities, 1100 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20506 in Room M-09. Attendance is free, but please register in advance (see below). Feel free to share this announcement with your colleagues.

    Registration is free via our website: http://www.neh.gov/online/ehumanities.html

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