Humanist Discussion Group

Humanist Archives: June 20, 2021, 7:52 a.m. Humanist 35.95 - what we write about

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 35, No. 95.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
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        Date: 2021-06-20 06:36:48+00:00
        From: Willard McCarty <>
        Subject: what we write about

In the latest New York Review of Books, Matt Seaton quotes international
journalist Jill Filipovic. This bit of a sentence caught my eye:

"... I've moved away from needing to feel like I'm an expert on
everything I write about, and have instead started by asking, 'what do I
want to know about?'

This, for me, with my very different concerns, is a succinct statement
of what I think is exactly the right mode of engagement on Humanist, or
one of them. I'd think that it also describes the movement in a
scholarly careeer as "I want" is informed and shaped by experience -- 
and one allows oneself to take risks that point the way as utterly 
bullet-proof arguments can never do. Consider, for example, the work of 
historian of ancient Greek religion, Walter Burkert, e.g. in Homo Necans, 
especially for what might be called his intellectual flight-path, zooming 
down to inspect the smallest of details, then zooming up to behold the 
whole terrain, then back down again and so on. Thrilling!



Willard McCarty,
Professor emeritus, King's College London;
Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews;  Humanist

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