15.146 an Australian report

From: by way of Willard McCarty (willard@lists.village.Virginia.EDU)
Date: Sun Jul 29 2001 - 02:42:24 EDT

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 15, No. 146.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

             Date: Sun, 29 Jul 2001 07:32:28 +0100
             From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk>
             Subject: after the (Australian) wine

    In a posting to Humanist 15.138 Francois Lachance asked for a report on the
    symposium at the University of Newcastle, NSW (Australia), "A Practicable
    Future for Computing in the Humanities: An International Symposium",
    <http://www.newcastle.edu.au/department/lc/symposium/>. He wanted to know,
    "after the wine", if one of us would enlarge in particular on Allen
    Renear's talk. I am happy to report that the wine (officially tasted on a
    scheduled tour of wineries in the Hunter Valley), as some of you will have
    the experience to suspect, was very good indeed. So, of course, was
    Allen's talk, but I will leave the reporting on it to him. This note is
    rather about the format of the Symposium and, following on from it, about
    related activities in Australia I was fortunate enough to encounter. Allow
    me then to comment on these things before domestic cares attenuate the
    afterglow of sustained exposure to humanities computing (and the humanists
    who engage in our work) in New South Wales and elsewhere Down Under.

    There were in brief two sessions per day for three days, in each session
    (except for a special one Tuesday morning, which featured two
    presentations) one lecture of 30-40 minutes followed by about 90 minutes of
    discussion. The wise generosity of time allotted to discussion meant in the
    end that the lectures could function as provocation to deeper and more
    widely ranging debate -- not as statements to which there is no time to
    respond. If only all symposia and conferences were thus! I realised
    afterwards what I had been missing at conferences for so long -- the chance
    to engage with attendees not just over dinner etc but also in the less
    distracting environment of a session.

    Unfortunately I was not able to get down to Melbourne and so had no
    opportunity to see at first hand the activities at RMIT, esp in hypertext
    <http://hypertext.rmit.edu.au/>, and at the University of Melbourne, esp in
    multimedia <http://www.meu.unimelb.edu.au/>.

    Thanks to an invitation from Greg Dening I was able to visit the Centre for
    Cross-Cultural Research at the Australian National University in Canberra
    <http://www.anu.edu.au/culture/>, where I was shown the almost completed CD
    for People of the Rivermouth, a project of the Academy of Social Sciences
    in Australia <http://assa.edu.au/projects_peopleriverhtml.htm>. Rivermouth
    is exemplary for the application of multimedia technology to major
    ethnographic work on a rich, complex and very old culture of which few of
    us have any idea. While in Canberra I was also able to visit the National
    Gallery of Australia, which has produced a multimedia document on a very
    moving installation at the Gallery, The Aboriginal Memorial, for which see
    <http://www.nga.gov.au/> (Collections --> Aboriginal & Torres Strait
    Islander art --> The Aboriginal Memorial, best viewed with IE). Through
    lack of coordination on my part I did not get to visit the Australian
    Scholarly Editions Centre <http://idun.itsc.adfa.edu.au/ASEC/> at ADFA in
    Canberra, though the Director of the Centre, Paul Eggert, attended the
    Symposium in Newcastle. On the work of the Centre, see in particular the
    Just In Time Markup (JITM) scheme
    <http://idun.itsc.adfa.edu.au/ASEC/aueledns.html>, developed by a research
    team including Graham Barwell (Wallongong), who also was at the Symposium.

    Further notes on humanities computing work in Australia would be most
    welcome. Omissions indicate nothing more than the limited scope of my

    And, in case anyone is wondering, allow me to reassure you that those of us
    fortunate to arrive before the Symposium began and to remain Down Under
    afterwards tasted various wines on several other occasions as well.


    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/

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