File /Humanist.vol22.txt, message 501


From: Humanist Discussion Group <willard.mccarty-AT-mccarty.org.uk>
To: humanist-AT-lists.digitalhumanities.org
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2009 06:16:22 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: [Humanist] 22.512 always at the edge


                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 22, No. 512.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist-AT-lists.digitalhumanities.org



        Date: Mon, 09 Feb 2009 10:31:24 -0600
        From: John Laudun <jlaudun-AT-mac.com>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 22.507 why digital humanities


> "FOLKLORE STUDIES, like any other kind of studies, don't just happen.
> Fields of scholarship occur because specific technological and  
> economic
> and institutional resources are available and because specific
> individuals utilize those resources in specific ways. Whatever measure
> of intellectual or academic freedom we enjoy takes place in a grid
> defined by pre-existent theoretical and social models which we  
> accept or
> with which we must contend, with machines that help us deal in  
> specific
> ways with the implications of those models, and with rewards available
> to those of us who use both models and machines in ways that seem
> valuable to the payers of salaries and the givers of grants."
>
> Bruce Jackson, “Things that from a long way off look like flies”, The
> Journal of American Folklore 98.388 (April-June 1985): 131.

Well, yes. Folklore studies finds itself on the humanistic edge of the  
humanities - human sciences divide. Across the chasm lies cultural  
anthropology. Thus the practitioners of folklore studies are always  
having to assess the ideological and technological landscapes on which  
we find ourselves, always, as it were, having to discover anew how  
best to explain ourselves to others, to defend our place at the edge.  
(That folklore studies should continually have to explain the  
importance of studying the actual words, actions, and creations of  
ordinary human beings -- and that ordinary human beings are capable of  
great intelligence and beauty -- is something to be lamented  
elsewhere.) Bruce Jackson dedicated a good portion of his career to  
studying African American folklore, especially those forms to be found  
in prisons.

--
John Laudun
Department of English
University of Louisiana – Lafayette
Lafayette, LA 70504-4691
337-482-5493
laudun-AT-louisiana.edu
http://johnlaudun.org/
Twitter/Facebook/Flickr: johnlaudun


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