File /Humanist.vol22.txt, message 77

Date: Fri, 20 Jun 2008 09:09:09 +0100
From: "Humanist Discussion Group \(by way of Willard McCarty              <>\)" <willard-AT-LISTS.VILLAGE.VIRGINIA.EDU>
Subject: 22.075 case studies and how they're done?
To: <humanist-AT-Princeton.EDU>

                Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 22, No. 75.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to:

         Date: Thu, 19 Jun 2008 14:25:14 +0100
         From: Willard McCarty <>
         Subject: case studies?

I am wondering how commonly in the digital humanities practitioners
respond to the demand that they justify their work by doing case
studies. Is the use of this term well understood? How are case
studies conducted so that they avoid being merely anecdotal? Are
these studies followed up by the attempt to extract from them common
principles, or is it (do we believe it to be) too early in the
development of the digital humanities to be in a position to draw
conclusions from these studies? Those who would argue the latter
should consider, I would think, that the humanities have been digital
for half a century. If this half century isn't enough time, why not?
Also they should consider the fact that throughout this last half
century, beginning in the 1960s, people have been saying, as Anthony
Kenny did in 1992, "the testing time has now arrived" (Computers and
the Humanities, British Library).

There are a number of essays on case studies in Critical Inquiry 33.4
(, which offers the
introductory essay by Lauren Berland for free, and 34.1
(, which contains
marvellous essays by Ian Hacking and Carlo Ginzburg among others.


Willard McCarty | Professor of Humanities Computing | Centre for
Computing in the Humanities | King's College London | Et sic in infinitum (Fludd 1617, p. 26). 


Humanist Main Page


Display software: ArchTracker © Malgosia Askanas, 2000-2005