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About This Wiki

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 11 months ago

Introduction

 

This Wiki presents a structured list of departments, centres, institutes and other institutional forms that variously instantiate humanities computing. For each entry a link is provided to the relevant site on the WWW and a brief description given. This list represents an ongoing attempt to derive a basic typology from a complex variety of activities and so to provide institutional models for the field. Despite the fact that national academic conventions vary quite widely and cultural differences make comparisons difficult if not hazardous, no attempt has been made here to account for them. The intention is not to define what is happening in the field world-wide, rather it is to provoke discussion leading either to consensus or at least to an improved understanding of the conditions under which computing humanists work. Constructive criticisms and clarifications are not merely welcome, they are to the point.

 

In discriminating one institutional centre from another, we have asked the following questions:

 

  • Does the centre pursue research in humanities computing, and if so, is this research academic? Is it undertaken by the centre either as a whole or through projects conducted by some or all of its members, for whom such research is part of their job-description, or is its direction determined by members of other departments?

  • Does the centre offer its own courses or programmes? If so, are these academic, i.e. count toward a degree or other formally recognised certification, either in humanities computing or as a component of a joint degree? Do its members supervise or co-supervise thesis projects at the M.A. or Ph.D. level?

  • Does it provide support for members of academic departments and students? If so, is this support specifically collegial, i.e. given by one colleague to another, ranging from occasional consulting to full-scale collaboration at the level of co-investigator?

  • Does it make academic appointments or share them with one or more other departments?

  • Does it participate in institution-wide decision-making on issues related to IT in teaching and research?

 

No judgment is expressed or implied as to the worth of the centres under consideration; rather our attempt here is to provide some measure of their participation in the fundamental activities of institutionalised scholarship.

 

Our listings are arranged relative to the disciplinary perspectives of humanities

computing as these have traditionally been understood. One practical consequence of this is that we have sometimes chosen to subordinate an organization or centre's institutional status or structural identity to its topical focus; a case in point would be the listing for the Alliance for Computers and Writing, where an emphasis on teaching and instruction seemed more important to us in our contexts than the ACW's status as an organization per se.

 

Beyond humanities computing proper, the scope of these listings is, of course, potentially vast. We have been necessarily subjective and selective in choosing additional areas of emphasis. For example, new media arts and design are fairly heavily represented; fields such as instructional technology and distance learning are not. Centres which support computing activities without disciplinary distinction, mixing the humanities with other areas of application indifferently, are excluded altogether. We are aware of such shortcomings in the coverage we present.

 

For a discussion of exclusively European centres with links, see Tito Orlandi et al., "European studies on formal methods in the humanities", in Koenraad de Smedt et al., Computing in Humanities Education: A European Perspective (Bergen: aco*hum, 1999) [X].

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