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Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH) is a research unit of the University of Virginia, USA. Its goal is to explore and develop information technology as a tool for scholarly humanities research. To that end, IATH provide Fellows with consulting, technical support, applications development, and networked publishing facilities. It cultivates partnerships and participate in humanities computing initiatives with libraries, publishers, information technology companies, scholarly organizations, and other groups residing at the intersection of computers and cultural heritage.

The research projects, essays, and documentation are the products of a collaboration between humanities and computer science research faculty, computer professionals, student assistants and project managers, and library faculty and staff. In many cases, this work is supported by private or federal funding agencies. In all cases, it is supported by the Fellows’ home departments; the College or School to which those departments belong; the University of Virginia Library; the Vice President for Research and Public Service; the Vice President and Chief Information Officer; the Provost; and the President of the University of Virginia.

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The more people know about the humanities, the more they can understand about the world around them. Why the world happens in a certain way, how do people relate to each other, what sort of problems can be addressed through the common cultural currency of the arts and music or literature. Those are the things that help us understand who we are as a people, who we are even as a nation. How do we build the democracy that we are in the process of building? How do we understand what social justice is? One of the really wonderful things that humanities can bring to bear is to make us understand that there were other paths to get to where we are today. It frees up the imagination to think about other possibilities. Humanities research is really the inquiry into any realm of the human experience, especially in literature, history, art, music, and philosophy. Since 1982, the Stanford Humanities Center has been bringing together scholars and graduate students, and even undergraduates to have wide ranging conversations about every aspect of the human experience. We also support interdisciplinary research, and, in fact, research across the schools at Stanford. What the Humanities Center does is it gives a center to the university. Without it, I think we would be simply a conglomeration of many different voices speaking in our own particular locales. A lot of what I do as a philosopher is use my imagination, think really hard, read and criticize other philosophers, but it takes a lot of time to think through these things. That's the first gift of the humanities center, is it just gives you time. The second gift that the humanities center gives is opportunities to build communities. The 30 fellows who come to the Stanford Humanities Center every year come to do intensive research on their own various projects. But, every day at lunch, they get together for casual, but also very serious conversations about their research and about the place of their research in their own lives as human beings. Lunch conversation is really highly valuable. You get a lot of kind of sense of what's working, what isn't working. We get to see how somebody who's a linguist or somebody who's an historian or somebody who's a philosopher might be thinking about things differently. Fellows and other members of the Stanford community also participate in our roughly 15 workshops every year, which are organized around a theme proposed by a group of faculty, such as capitalism or antiquity in the modern world. Also every year the Stanford Humanities Center, in some form or fashion, stages about 50 events that are related to the humanities. Many of those have an open invitation to the general public to attend and to participate in person. The kinds of questions that we ask, as professors, are not that different from the kinds of questions that people out there in the world ask. You know, who am I? Why am I here? What does it mean that I believe this or that I think that? We're today worried about very much the same kinds of problems that Aristotle was concerned with or Thucydides was concerned with or Hobbes was concerned with. Just as a literary text, for example, ought to survive its present moment, so too, the ideal piece of humanistic research ought to be something people can go back to. Stanford and the Stanford Humanities Center are really at the forefront of digital humanities. The lab model that we are providing here re-imagines the way that humanists talk to each other by encouraging collaboration from the very earliest stages of the project. When one pays attention to human culture, certain questions and problems rise to the fore and one needs to draw from advanced understandings of those complications to be able to deal with human culture as it manifests in medicine, in science, in politics. I kind of think of the humanities as this very important fellow traveler with the sciences, and the social sciences in making the world better. Studying literature, reading literature, reading works of the past, gives us kind of retrospective purchase on life, its most crucial conflicts and emotional tensions. Yearnings, fears, it's all there. I don't think we want to imagine a world without the humanities, without the arts, without history, without literature, without someone able to tell the story. It provides a window into human experience past and present. And research into that helps clarify, outline, remember, those stories, that history. It's critical to us going forward.



The Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities was established at the University of Virginia in 1992, with a major grant from IBM and a multi-year commitment of support from the University.

IATH’s founders are in humanities computing, digital scholarship, and academic administration. Beginning in 1992 a Steering Committee of scholars, including Edward Ayers, Alan Batson, Jerome McGann, Kendon Stubbs and William Wulf managed IATH. A search committee commissioned by the Steering Committee carried out the search for a Director of the Institute. John Unsworth was selected, and his term began September 1, 1993.[1]

IATH has generated over $10.7 million in grant funding and gifts in kind since it began operations. Much of this funding has come from Federal agencies and private foundations, and has gone to support faculty research and teaching across the University.

See also


External links

This page was last edited on 13 November 2017, at 16:43.
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