Kerry Kilner

Kerry Kilner

I'm a Research Fellow in the School of English, Media Studies and Art History at the Uni of Qld and the Director of AustLit Research and Publications - that means I facilitate research into Australia's literary and story making activities so that it can be delivered through AustLit. I also convene the Research Methods course for third year students. I love working with people who like sharing information about their work in Australian culture.

My Posts

How much should a humanist know?

August 23rd, 2010 § 3

Hello all, How about a session discussing the question of how much technical knowledge or programming language a humanist should aquire to be able to claim to be a digital humanist or to feel confident in working with digital tools?

A recent post on the Humanist discussion list on the subject of getting involved stated:

“I think, rather than envisioning some program or initiative to spur the development of code literacy among humanists, or the creation of an amazing and intuitive new programming language that makes semantic sense to humanists, that the only real way to change this situation is for scholars to think that understanding data structures and code is necessary for the study and use of digital scholarly media.” ([Humanist] 24.270 getting involved)

While another contributor to the thread said:

“… I think that digital humanity producers need to understand how information moves in the world of electronic production.  How does this still-new medium impact writing and narrative structure and visualization and so forth.  I believe that the future relationship between scholarship and electronic publication is too important to wait for scholars to become conversant in XML or TEI.  That said, I do think that scholars need to understand what XML and TEI, or whatever, do — how it shapes their product.  But I do not think they need to be able to do it themselves.” ([Humanist] 24.265 getting involved)

Is Willard McCarty right when he says, “The solution to the problem seems to be to involve educating the imaginations of these colleagues. And it seems to me that the way to do this is somehow to involve them in hands-on making of digital things. I see far too much standing back and talking about static results engineered by someone else, too little engagement, too little scholarly craftsmanship.” ([Humanist] 24.263 getting involved, but how?)

How much should we learn? And how do we know it’s worth learning?