Humanities Computing



Humanities computing is an academic field concerned with the application of computing tools to arts and humanities data or to their use in the creation of these data. It is methodological in nature and interdisciplinary in scope. It works at the intersection of computing with the arts and humanities, focusing both on the pragmatic issues of how computing assists scholarship and teaching in the disciplines and on the theoretical problems of shift in perspective brought about by computing.

It seeks to define the common ground of techniques and approaches to data, and how scholarly processes may be understood and mechanised. It studies the sociology and epistemology of knowledge as these are affected by computing as well as the fundamental cognitive problem of how we know what we know.

Its tools are derived from practical work in computer science, but like that work its application of them uses models of intelligence developed in cognitive science and philosophy of mind. It tests the utility of these models to illuminate particular objects of study by direct involvement in the fields of application. Its object of knowledge is all the source material of the arts and humanities viewed as data.

Like comparative literature it takes its subject matter from other disciplines and is guided by their concerns, but it returns to them ever more challenging questions and new ways of thinking through old problems.*



*Dr. W. McCarty
Centre for Computing in the Humanities
King's College London