Humanist Discussion Group

Humanist Archives: Sept. 23, 2021, 6:26 a.m. Humanist 35.259 - querying & queering digital humanities

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 35, No. 259.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
                      Hosted by DH-Cologne
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        Date: 2021-09-22 20:19:08+00:00
        From: <>
        Subject: Querying and Queering DH


I have benefitted highly from your recommended reading over the years, allow me
to reciprocate by drawing the attention of Humanist subscribers to a seriously
engaging tour de force:

"Why Are the Digital Humanities So Straight?" by Edmond Y. Chang in _Alternative
Historiographies of the Digital Humanities_ [1] edited by Dorothy Kim, Adeline

It is described as

An essay in the form of a program, a program in the form of an essay. Written in

My favourite line in the code/essay:

5000 REM Play, Don’t Play, or Just Read

One way to read this: reading is neither play nor not playing. It is sui
generis. Or it is otherwise. The language of the remark is "English" and I am
not sure how to parse (are those Oxford commas?) - Either/Or or And/Or

There was a delightful discussion [2] hosted by Digital Humanities at X
University [3] where considerations of noise to signal ratio morphed into
collective annotation and interpretation of ascii art. The participants also
enjoyed the "decoding" of code switching esp. irony in REM notes. And pondering
just what it is one is reading and what it references: is the remark referencing
the artefact before one or the social context in which artefacts circulate and
are produced?

Well worth reading for the playful fashion in which ontological implications --
the what of digital humanities -- is laid out. A fine mind game for testing
assumptions. One last little bit of quotation:

10 GOSUB 4000
4000 REM Set Starting Variables
4002 REM The player must assume the computer and the playing field are leveled.
4004 RANDOMIZE(999)


This to me is a clever way of inviting reader-players to envisage text and
context as equivalent levels. Or I may be skewing the passage to a metaleptic




~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
François Lachance
Wannabe Professor of Theoretical and Applied Rhetoric

to think is often to sort, to store and to shuffle: humble, embodied tasks

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