[Department of Digital Humanities]

Willard McCarty

Professor of Humanities Computing,
Department of Digital Humanities,
King's College London [X];
Research Group in Digital Humanities,
School of Humanities and Communication Arts,
University of Western Sydney [X].

Manly, near Spit Bridge,
Sydney, August 2013

  1. Current research interests
  2. My work is centred on computing across the arts, humanities and interpretative social sciences. Because computing is a techno-scientific activity this work is also concerned with and looks for collegial help from the sciences. Hence it leads to questions of interdisciplinary research as a whole, especially how such research is to be understood and done.

    Computing in the humanities is nowadays usually known as the "digital humanities", which seems to be a collective term for the various disciplinary practices in the humanities that computing informs and from which it learns. Apart from but symbiotic with the digital humanities is observation and reflection on the present, past and possible futures of computing in the disciplines. This observation and reflection is what I do. Its basic purpose is to open up the possibilities of the interdisciplinary common ground where computing and disciplinary research affect each other. My work is philosophical and historical in character. For the last few years I have been working on a history of literary computing, ca. 1949 to 1991, when the Web was released to public use. Most of my historiographical work is concerned with the contexts in which literary computing arose. I am seeking to understand how it came to be as it was -- and largely remains, despite the great changes brought about by the growth and development of the Web. From its trajectory I am attempting to say something about its possible and most promising futures, and its most pressing responsibilities.

    I am an active member of the Dictionary of Words in the Wild project [X].

    As time, energy and native ability permit, my research spans or at least touches on most disciplines sufficiently mature to provide the outsider with clear explanation of their methods, materials and purposes. All of them have something essential to contribute to an understanding of what the computer might be able to do that is currently in doubt or unknown.

  3. Other appointments present and past
  4. Honours and awards
  5. Supervision & and related responsibilities
  6. Publications and invited lectures

  7. The Analytical Onomasticon (no longer in development; see [X]).
Rev 15 December 2013.