5.0287 UToronto: Grad Program in Humanities Computing (1/243)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Wed, 21 Aug 1991 16:19:24 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 5, No. 0287. Wednesday, 21 Aug 1991.

Date: Wed, 21 Aug 1991 11:12:14 -0400
From: mccarty@epas.utoronto.ca (Willard McCarty)
Subject: CCH Graduate Programme

Dear Colleague:

The Centre for Computing in the Humanities is pleased to announce
its Graduate Programme in Humanities Computing for 1991-92, a
description of which follows here. This description is
also being circulated as a leaflet to all graduate departments,
centres, and institutes for distribution to students, as some of
you will already know. The CCH has taken this somewhat unusual
step because the courses of the programme, though sponsored by
SGS, are still being offered on an experimental basis and so do
not appear in the graduate Calendar.

I very much appreciate your assistance in drawing the attention
of your students, or fellow students, to the Programme. Please
do not hesitate to contact me for further information.

Yours, Willard McCarty


Centre for Computing in the
University of Toronto



Robarts Library
130 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A5

Computing in the humanities

Computing now plays an increasingly significant role
in the academic and intellectual activities of scholars
in the humanities. Its practical benefits for the
researcher, and more recently for the university
teacher, are widely recognized: greater and more rapid
access to basic materials, accuracy and flexibility of
recall, and reduction of purely mechanical labour. As a
tool for helping us understand our cultural artifacts,
the computer also provides a fresh point of view on
familiar objects of study. It raises challenging
questions about our methods and materials, but at the
same time it gives us powerful new tools with which to
carry forth our ancient praxis. As these tools become
more common, they are bound to change the ways in which
basic research is done. In addition, the profound
though often hidden influence of the computer on
everyday life suggests its importance as a cognitive
model, which arguably modern teachers and scholars need
explicitly to understand. Thus the Graduate Programme
of the Centre for Computing in the Humanities (CCH).

Description of the Programme

The Programme is intended for students interested in
the application of computers to research and teaching inthe humanities. It
addresses the ways in which
computer-assisted methods affect and in many cases
improve upon the practical work of scholarship and
instruction. The approach is fundamentally
methodological, concentrating on how this work is
actually done. Students in the Programme are introduced
to a range of software tools and given the opportunity
to gain practical experience in applying them to
relevant materials.

The Programme is currently in its second year. It
has already drawn the interest of several institutions
throughout North America and Europe, where similar
programmes are now being established.

The Programme consists of two sequential
half-courses, the first introductory, the second more
advanced. These are described below. They form a
logical sequence, but either can be taken separately.
Note the prerequisites for the second course, however.

During 1991-92 the Programme is being offered by the
CCH with the sponsorship of the School of Graduate
Studies. There is no fee for either course. Although
neither of these courses will result in graduate credit,
successful completion will be recognized by an official
entry on the student's graduate transcript.

Assigned work consists in the first term of short,
practical exercises and in the second of longer-term
projects. Wherever possible the selection of projects
will allow the student to chose something relevant to
his or her graduate work. Most topics will be concerned
with textual data, but projects in music and fine art,
for example, are possible.

Students in the Programme will have free access to
the facilities of the CCH on the 14th floor of Robarts
Library, including the assistance of its staff. The CCH
has its own growing library of printed and electronic
materials and is committed to acquiring others of
interest to its community.


Students should register directly with the
instructor, Dr. Willard McCarty, at the Centre for
Computing in the Humanities, (416) 978-3974,
mccarty@epas, not with SGS. No other arrangements are
required. Students must be currently registered in
either an M.A. or Ph.D. programme. Enrollment in either
course is limited to a maximum of 20 students.

The Courses

CCH1001H. `Introduction to Humanities Computing'. W.
McCarty. A survey of applications to research and
teaching; topics will include the following: electronic
texts, electronic mail, online resources, and data
capture; representing textual phenomena by encoding;
collecting and managing research notes and
bibliographies; designing and writing a
computer-assisted lesson; textual analysis; datastructures and database
management; publishing.
Assigned work will consist of several short exercises.
Additional brief sessions will be organized for
instruction in the use of electronic mail and other
networked resources.

Prerequisites: experience with MS-DOS or Macintosh OS
and with WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, or Nota Bene.
(Students who lack these prerequisites may satisfy them
by taking the WordPerfect course offered by Computing
Services or its equivalent elsewhere.)

Meeting time and place: Thursday evenings, 7-9 p.m., 3
October to 5 December 1991, at the CCH, 14th floor,
Robarts Library (take an elevator from the 4th floor).

CCH1002H. `Topics in Humanities Computing'.
W. McCarty, with invited lecturers. A more detailed
examination of four major topics introduced in the first
term: (1) exploration and analysis of textual corpora:
concording, counting, and beyond; (2) constructing and
using an electronic `edition': how a text may be
interpretively enriched and its features made
accessible through encoding; (3) from scattered notes to
coherent database: building an electronic resource of
research materials; and (4) research into teaching:
designing and writing `courseware' without programming.
Topics will be supplemented by talks from individuals
actively engaged in computer-assisted research and
teaching. Assigned work will consist of one or more
projects to be chosen by the student in consultation
with the instructor.

Prerequisites: CCH1001H or permission of the instructor.

Meeting time and place: as above, 16 January to 26 March
1992 (Reading Week excluded).

A Note about the CCH

The CCH was founded in 1986 to serve the needs of
researchers and teachers in the various disciplines of
the humanities at Toronto. Since then it has become
known as one of the preeminent centres for humanities
computing world-wide. As such the CCH has been able to
facilitate connections with the international community
and so to benefit local members of faculty and graduate

In addition to operating several microcomputing
laboratories, the CCH develops software, gathers and
disseminates information, publishes newsletters,
technical reports, and books of various kinds, and
assists university departments with a wide range of
infrastructural support. In collaboration with the EPAS
Consortium, the CCH also provides mainframe computing to
all members of faculty and graduate students in the
humanities, including free access to electronic mail and
other networked resources. In addition, the Director and
Assistant Director of the CCH conduct computer-assisted
research and participate in a variety of international
organizations and conferences.
Instructional software developed by the CCH
programmer is currently in use in undergraduate courses
taught by the departments of linguistics and history.
The CCH has also been instrumental in discovering or
sponsoring the development of software of benefit to
researchers and teachers in several other departments.

The two software packages central to the courses in
the Graduate Programme have been developed at the
University of Toronto by members of Computing Services
in collaboration with the CCH. The interactive textual
analysis program TACT, written by John Bradley and Lidio
Presutti, is widely recognized as the best such tool
currently available. The other program, Annota, has
been developed by Geoffrey Rockwell and Lidio Presutti
both for scholarly note-taking and for the production of
instructional software.

Staff of the CCH

Prof. Ian Lancashire (English), Director
978-4238; ian@epas.utoronto.ca

Dr. Willard McCarty, Assistant Director
978-3974; mccarty@epas.utoronto.ca

Ms. Sharine Leung, Site Advisor
978-3991; leung@epas.utoronto.ca

Mr. Mark Maguire, Site Coordinator
978-6391; maguire@epas.utoronto.ca

Ms. Claire Smith, Archive Clerk
978-8656; csmith@epas.utoronto.ca

Mr. Michael Stairs, CCH Programmer
978-6391; stairs@epas.utoronto.ca

Ms. Arlyss Ponchuk, Budget Officer
978-4481; ponchuk@epas.utoronto.ca

Ms. Elke Rudman, Secretary
978-4238; cch@epas.utoronto.ca