Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 17, No. 75.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
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Date: Tue, 10 Jun 2003 06:33:07 +0100
From: Alexandre Enkerli <email@example.com>
Subject: Course Title and Field Terminology
Recently thinking about what I would like to teach, I turned my attention
to a course that could possibly be called "humanities computing" if I were
to give it in a Faculty of Arts. What I have in mind is a course in which
talk both about practical computer use in our fields and using computing as
a subject of research. For instance, some lessons could be on Perl hacking
skills or the proper use of citation programs while other lessons could be
on the history of the Free Software and Open-Source movements or the
cultural impact of the Internet. The course I had in mind would be better
set in the context of what is sometimes called "human sciences" and
sometimes captured by the fixed "social sciences and the humanities" as
used in North America.
Such a course would attempt to satisfy the needs of social scientists as
well as humanists both practically (e.g. statistics and qualitative data
analysis) and theoretically (social and cultural issues in computer use).
While it may sound broad, it could be done. What should be the title of
While it may well be that the historical development of the field discussed
on this list as been a shift away from the juxtaposing "and" of "computers
and the humanities," it seems that neither "computing in the humanities"
nor "humanities computing" capture the potentially dual nature of both the
field and the aforementioned course.
Ethnomusicology, a similarly dual disciplines, has developed lengthy
arguments on the use of "music in culture," "music as culture," and "music
and culture." When this issue became somewhat moot, it seems that the
preferred connection was that of the broad juxtaposition of the "and"
connector. Interesting to see "humanities computing" moving in the opposite
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