17.478 fundamental books

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Date: Sat Dec 20 2003 - 03:11:51 EST

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 17, No. 478.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                         Submit to: humanist@princeton.edu

       [1] From: Andrew Brook <abrook@ccs.carleton.ca> (20)
             Subject: Re: 17.477 fundamental books?

       [2] From: Patrick T Rourke <ptrourke@methymna.com> (7)
             Subject: fundamental books?

       [3] From: Matt Kirschenbaum <mk235@umail.umd.edu> (3)
             Subject: Re: 17.477 fundamental books?

       [4] From: "Bonnett, John" <John.Bonnett@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca> (114)
             Subject: FW: 17.477 fundamental books?

       [5] From: Timothy Mason <tmason@club-internet.fr> (19)
             Subject: Re: 17.477 fundamental books?

       [6] From: Carolyn Rude <carolynr@vt.edu> (11)
             Subject: RE: 17.477 fundamental books?

             Date: Sat, 20 Dec 2003 08:02:10 +0000
             From: Andrew Brook <abrook@ccs.carleton.ca>
             Subject: Re: 17.477 fundamental books?


    In the case of philosophy, I very much doubt that there is such a thing as
    an overall survey. That is because the 'discipline' (using that word in the
    loosest of senses) encompasses everything from mathematical logic to
    biomedical ethics and Derrida to Confucius to Dan Dennett. Most
    philosophers are more closely connected to nonphilosophers in cognate areas
    (political phils to political theorists, phils of mind to cognitive
    scientists) than to most of their fellow philosophers. Indeed, a chunk of
    my CPA Pres Add was devoted to just this issue. The slides are available at:


    Click the link to publications.



    Andrew Brook, Professor of Philosophy Past-president, Canadian Philosophical Association Member, Canadian Psychoanalytic Society 2217 Dunton Tower, Carleton University Ottawa ON, Canada K1S 5B6 Ph: 613 520-3597 Fax: 613 520-3985 Web: www.carleton.ca/~abrook

    --[2]------------------------------------------------------------------ Date: Sat, 20 Dec 2003 08:04:00 +0000 From: Patrick T Rourke <ptrourke@methymna.com> Subject: fundamental books?


    Geoffrey Finch, *How to Study Linguistics*

    >Literary studies

    Joseph Gibaldi, *Introduction to Scholarship in Modern Languages and Literatures*

    Both of these are basically student guides for graduate students, which may not be exactly what you had in mind.

    Patrick Rourke

    --[3]------------------------------------------------------------------ Date: Sat, 20 Dec 2003 08:03:31 +0000 From: Matt Kirschenbaum <mk235@umail.umd.edu> Subject: Re: 17.477 fundamental books?


    For art history: Gombrich's Art and Illusion. Matt

    Matthew G. Kirschenbaum_____________________________ _______________________http://www.otal.umd.edu/~mgk/

    --[4]------------------------------------------------------------------ Date: Sat, 20 Dec 2003 08:03:02 +0000 From: "Bonnett, John" <John.Bonnett@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca> Subject: FW: 17.477 fundamental books?

    Hello Willard,

    I suspect most lists along the lines you requested are idiosyncratic, reflecting as much the interest of the individual scholar as much as interests of peers in the field. In that spirit, I offer mine from the standpoint of a historian.

    With respect to books that "explain" historians to non-historians, I'd start with Georg Iggers _Historiography in the 20th Century_. In a slim volume he nevertheless provides a good account of the historiographic trends that have governed European and North American historiography, and the underlying philosophies that sustained them. For classic treatments of the historian's craft I'd refer you to books you probably already know, including E.H. Carr's _What is History?_ and Marc Bloch's _The Historian's Craft_.

    More contemporary treatments of the methodology and epistemology of history include David Hackett Fischer's _Historians' Fallacies_; _Telling the Truth About History_ by Joyce Appleby, Margaret Jacob; and Lynn Hunt; Peter Novick's _That Noble Dream_; and John Lewis Gaddis' _Landscape of History_.

    Speaking as a historian, I believe one key contribution the computer will make to historians' practice will be in the area of A-life. Scholars as eminent as Peter Berger have proclaimed a crisis in the social sciences, the fount from which many if not most historical interpretive frameworks spring. Witness Berger's article "A Disinvitation to Sociology?" The reason for the "disinvitation" is the key problem of linking individual behaviour and worldviews to larger mass movements. Put simply, the interpretive frameworks appealed to by social scientists do not explain the emergence of movements such as Naziism. The problem here is akin to one currently being faced by researchers in the science of complexity. There is no theory at present that can explain emergence, how the micro-level behaviour of individual agents leads to the macro-level behaviour of social groups and societies at large. Finding that theory is the object of the science of complexity. It is my earnest hope that historians will contribute to that project.

    For me, influential readings on the current state of the social sciences and A-Life include Fred Weinstein. "Psychohistory and the Crisis of the Social Sciences." in _History and Theory_. 34 (December 1995): 299-319; M. Mitchell Waldrop. _Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos_; Jonathan Rauch. "Seeing Around Corners" in the Atlantic Monthly, April 2002 [Available on-line at: <http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/2002/04.rauch.htm>http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/2002/04.rauch.htm];

    Jeffrey Goldstein. "Emergence as a Construct: History and Issues." in _Emergence: A Journal of Complexity Issues in Operations and Management_ 1(1): 49-72. [Available on-line at: <http://www.emergence.org/Emergence/Archive/Issue1_1/Issues1_1_3.pdf>http://www.emergence.org/Emergence/Archive/Issue1_1/Issues1_1_3.pdf];

    and David Hancock. "The British Atlantic World: Co-ordination, Complexity, and the Emergence of an Atlantic Market Economy, 1651-1815." in _Itinerario_. 23(2): 107-126.

    Then there is the question of narrative. Historians are increasingly becoming interested in narrative -- particularly non-linear narrative -- due to its potential as an instrument to represent -- and in turn deepen our understanding of -- non-linear systems, be they urban, economic, or social. The concept of non-linearity is important to historians because it reminds us that historical outcomes are not inevitable. Many are showing increasing interest in counterfactuals -- a traditional taboo for historians -- due to this realization.

    To my mind, a good starting point for thinking about non-linear narrative is the work of Mikhail Bakhtin, particularly his _Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics_, and _The Dialogic Imagination_. I am also impressed by the book of one distinguished interpreter, Gary Saul Morson, _Narrative and Freedom: The Shadows of Time_. Here Morson credits Bakhtin with articulating the concept of "sideshadowing", a form of expression in which readers are confronted with possibilities that could have been explored in the novel, but weren't. I am interested in appropriating this concept into my own work with 3D expression, inventing conventions that will show users paths that could have been traversed by a historical system, but weren't. For those interested I'd also recommend the introduction of Niall Ferguson's _Virtual History_, which addresses the issue of counterfactuals in 19th and 20th century western historiography.

    All the best,

    John Bonnett

    -----Original Message----- From: Humanist Discussion Group <willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk>) To: humanist@Princeton.EDU Sent: 12/19/2003 6:32 AM

    Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 17, No. 477. Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London www.kcl.ac.uk/humanities/cch/humanist/ www.princeton.edu/humanist/ Submit to: humanist@princeton.edu

    Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2003 11:21:26 +0000 From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk> Subject: fundamental books?

    I would very much appreciate recommendations of books or articles you regard as fundamental to an understanding of each of the following disciplines or discipinary groups:

    Philosophy History Social sciences (including at least sociology, anthropology and economics) Linguistics Cultural studies Performance studies Literary studies Computer science

    In each case I am interested only in works that address an intelligent but possibly ignorant audience. My guess is that the job could only be done by a leading figure of the day, e.g. in the case of anthropology, Clifford Geertz. I am asking the questions: what is each discipline all about? how does it construct the world? what does it have to offer? I am interested quite specifically in what each has to offer us in humanities computing, but I'd rather not eliminate any possibilities at the moment.

    If you think I have forgotten a discipline or group for which such a book or article exists, please let me know.

    Many thanks.

    Yours, WM

    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 www.kcl.ac.uk/humanities/cch/wlm/

    --[5]------------------------------------------------------------------ Date: Sat, 20 Dec 2003 08:04:31 +0000 From: Timothy Mason <tmason@club-internet.fr> Subject: Re: 17.477 fundamental books?

    Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty ) wrote:

    >I would very much appreciate recommendations of books or articles you >regard as fundamental to an understanding of each of the following >disciplines or discipinary groups: > > >Social sciences (including at least sociology, anthropology and economics)

    For sociology, would Anthony Gidden's "Sociology" not fit the bill? For anthropology, the choice is difficult, but Marvin Harris's "The Rise of Anthropological Theory" is worth looking at. For an anti-dote, Mary Douglas's 'Purity and Danger' can be recommended - along with virtually anything by Michael Taussig. "Mimesis and Alterity" is to be particularly recommended. For linguistics, one cannot do better than Pinker's "The Language Instinct" - after which, you may visit my set of links to non-Chomskyan linguistic sites to get the other point of view. That's at http://perso.club-internet.fr/tmason/WebPages/LangTeach/CounterChomsky.htm

    Best wishes

    Timothy Mason Université de Paris 8

    --[6]------------------------------------------------------------------ Date: Sat, 20 Dec 2003 08:05:06 +0000 From: Carolyn Rude <carolynr@vt.edu> Subject: RE: 17.477 fundamental books?

    More disciplines that might have something to contribute to humanities computing: Science and Technology Studies Composition and Professional Communication (usually administered in English departments but with their own set of disciplinary questions, often involving technology)

    Carolyn Rude Dept of English, 323 Shanks Virginia Tech Blacksburg, VA 24061-0112 Carolyn.Rude@vt.edu 540 231 8396 fax 540 231 5692

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