Monday, October 22, 2007

I've been at the Chicago Colloquium on Digital Humanities and Computer Science since yesterday, presenting on the Colonial and State Records project (available soon at

Interesting themes that have emerged:
  • The importance of Not Reading, i.e. how to use computational tools to investigate textual spaces when there is more text than you can digest by reading cover-to-cover.
  • Going beyond search: Discovery is an important task, but it's one we do quite well now, how do we go beyond just finding stuff and start to explore the data spaces that digital methods make available? Visualization tools are going to be an important component of this exploration. Digitization and search hasn't changed the nature of research. It has improved the speed with which research is done (nobody spends years producing concordances anymore), but it hasn't changed the questions we ask.
  • The dawn of Eurasian scholarship (this from Lewis Lancaster's talk): the divide between Occidental and Oriental scholarship no longer makes any sense (well, it never really did) and is probably over.