Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 18, No. 66.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
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Date: Tue, 15 Jun 2004 11:18:05 -0300
From: Lorna Hughes
Subject: Report on ALLC/ACH for Humanist
Greetings from beautiful (and sunny!) Gothenburg, where about
180 delegates are enjoying an excellent, interesting and
stimulating ALLC/ACH conference. Our local organizer, Jan Gunnar
Tingsell and his stalwart team have arranged a marvelous
conference in every respect, and he is to be thanked for making
everything appear so flawless. If anything has gone wrong at this
conference, none of us have noticed!
Humanist readers might be interested to hear in some of the
conference highlights so far. We heard an excellent opening
plenary session from John Nerbonne, of the University of
Groningen. John's talk was on the "Data Deluge: Developments and
delights", and addressed some of the questions humanists ask
when they are confronted with large data sets, and the way that a
technological engagement with such materials can enable scholars
to answer traditions lines of humanistic enquiry in new (and often
unforeseen) ways. It addressed the question that is always of
interest to me, in that "how do we use technology to do the sort of
things in the humanities that we have been unable to accomplish
by traditional methods".
This year is also a year in which the Busa award is presented. The
recipient this year was Susan Hockey, who is retiring from
University College, London, after a long and illustrious career in
Humanities Computing. Reflecting on her experiences with many
projects, institutions and colleagues in her fascinating talk, Susan
emphasized that what we as a community should do is to reach out
to colleagues and institutions who are not yet involved with our
humanities computing community.
One of the most important developments at this conference has
been the closer partnership that is evolving between ACH and ALLC
under the auspices of the International Federation for Digital
Scholarship in the Humanities (the umbrella organization formally
known as ADHO). A steering committee for this group has been
convened for a one-year period, and great progress has been made
on collaborative initiatives and activities, including conferences and
publications. The steering committee has been enthusiastically
charged with taking this process forward so that formal
agreements will be entered into at next year's conference.
Sunday was a day off, an opportunity for some hardy souls to
venture off on a bus tour to look at the rock carvings at Tanum, led
by archaeologists who allowed the delegates to touch them. The
rock carvings, not the archaeologists. Alas, your correspondent
used the opportunity to catch up on some sleep after the
conference banquet, and the inevitable discussions about text
analysis and open archiving that ensued thereafter.
All that remains now are wistful daydreams of next year's
conference, ACH/ALLC 2005 at the University of Victoria. The local
organizer, Peter Liddell, is doing a wonderful job on the pre
conference preparations, and we all look forward to what I am sure
will be another incredible event, both intellectually and socially.
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