Humanist’s editorial intent

The best way to understand what Humanist is about, what it is for, is to subscribe and participate. Looking through the archives may help. But a few words concerning what it does and how it goes about doing that will fill in the gaps.

The subjects discussed on Humanist are determined entirely by its membership within the broad interdisciplinary scope of computing in the human sciences and, when needed, the sciences beyond them. Postings are sent out unaltered except for grouping with others on the same topic and the occasional reformatting to improve legibility. Although exchange of information relevant to digital practices is a regular feature, the aim is to do scholarly research by means of conversation, asking and responding to questions, discussing problems, opening them up to new contexts. Perhaps the best description is Nick Sousanis’ provisional definition of ‘unflattening’ in his book of that title: “a simultaneous engagement of multiple vantage points from which to engender new ways of seeing” (2015: 32).

Humanist has a very sparse editorial policy that has remained unchanged since 1987 but is spelled out here for the first time to avoid any misunderstandings.

For practical reasons born of experience, the Editor, with support of the Editorial Board, reserves the right to stop a debate or hold back a posting when in his opinion the posting is insufficiently focused on the primary subject matter of Humanist or is likely to provoke unresolvable conflict. When the Editor intervenes in that way, the author or authors are consulted immediately, but the Editor's decision is final. It should be noted that such holding back has in the history of Humanist been exceedingly rare thanks to the governing communal spirit of this seminar.

The one other related change since the move of Humanist to its present home in late 2020 is appointment of an Editorial Board to guide Humanist’s growth and development and to signify the seriousness of its playful intent as a form of scholarly interchange and publication.

Membership of the Editorial Board is as follows:

Enquiries are always welcome.

Willard McCarty
January 2021