17.036 new book: Toward an Anthropology of Graphing

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Date: Tue May 27 2003 - 02:09:53 EDT

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                    Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 17, No. 36.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                         Submit to: humanist@princeton.edu

             Date: Tue, 27 May 2003 06:55:35 +0100
             From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk>
             Subject: new book

    Toward an Anthropology of Graphing
    Semiotic and Activity-Theoretic Perspectives


    Wolff-Michael Roth
    University of Victoria, BC, Canada

    Toward an Anthropology of Graphing: Semiotic and
    Activity-TheoreticPerspectives presents the results of several studies
    involving scientists and technicians. In Part One of the book, "Graphing in
    Captivity", the author describes and analyses the interpretation scientists
    volunteered given graphs that had been culled from an introductory course
    and textbook in ecology. Surprisingly, the scientists were not the experts
    that the author expected them to be on the basis of the existing
    expert-novice literature. The section ends with the analysis of graphs that
    the scientists had culled from their own work. Here, they articulated a
    tremendous amount of background understanding before talking about the
    content of their graphs. In Part Two, "Graphing in the Wild", the author
    reports on graph usage in three different workplaces based on his
    ethnographic research among scientists and technicians. Based on these
    data, the author concludes that graphs and graphing are meaningful to the
    extent that they are deeply embedded in and connected to the familiarity
    with the workplace.

    Hardbound ISBN: 1-4020-1374-4 Date: June 2003 Pages: 356 pp.
    EURO 135.00 / USD 130.00 / GBP 86.00

    Dr Willard McCarty | Senior Lecturer | Centre for Computing in the
    Humanities | King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS || +44 (0)20
    7848-2784 fax: -2980 || willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk

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