This is a slightly different tact, but I'm also in the process
developing a humanities computing course. Instead of text processing, I
plan to focus on the use of computer graphics. The idea (at least right
now) is to have a cross-listed CS/History/American-Studies course in
computer modeling is taught within the framework of material culture (I
suspect archaeologists could find use for it too). Students will learn
how to hand-model, and use 3D scans to generate digital surrogates,
while keeping in mind the significance of the vernacular architecture of
My hope is that a final project would include a beautifully rendered
model of an object and a paper on the material culture. I know this is a
slightly different approach, but my feeling is that on a "big"
humanities project, the humanists won't necessarily be the one's doing
the programming. By giving students some exposure to working on a
non-trivial project, I think it also goes a long way in giving different
disciplines an appreciation for the complexity and nuances of what
others bring to the table.
Sebastian Rahtz wrote:
> If its not to late to comment...
> An awful lot of "humanities" folk (not sure how many subjects you want
> it to cover) really want databases, I'd say, not text-handling. We all
> need to teach data analysis, whether it be of medieval texts or census
> returns or coin collections, and I'd argue that the
> experience gained, and the immediacy of the results, is a lot more use
> than a term of XML. Representation of data by a tree structure in XML,
> and querying it using XQuery, is jolly useful, but is it maybe a
> slightly niche activity in the humanities as a whole?
> dirty, but its fun and immediate,
> and has real uses.
> Sebastian Rahtz
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