[Oa-italia] Academic Commons e le discipline umanistiche

Susanna Mornati mornati a cilea.it
Lun 17 Dic 2007 13:14:40 CET

E' appena uscito il numero di dicembre di 
Academic Commons, dedicato alle discipline umanistiche:

La cyberinfrastructure e' la risposta a quanti 
pensano che la vita sia fatta di metadati e per i 
full-text basti avere i soldi per acquistarli dagli editori..
Un po' come comperare servizi di piatti sempre 
piu' pretenziosi ma non avere i soldi per 
riempirli di cibo... per non parlare di text 
mining e altre simpatiche cosette che si 
potrebbero organizzare se gli open archives 
fossero pieni, un primo passo verso la 
"data-driven scholarship" di cui parlano i contributi qui elencati.

Riporto di seguito il sommario.

Saluti a tutti,
Susanna Mornati


Cyberinfrastructure and the Liberal Arts
A Special Issue, edited by David L. Green

Cyberinfrastructure for Us All
By David L. Green, Knowledge Culture
Made possible by dramatic advances in networking 
technologies, cyberinfrastructure promises to 
combine new computing capabilities, massive data 
resources and distributed human expertise to 
enable qualitatively different creative product 
from new generations of "knowledge environments." 
Introducing this timely collection of 
observations on how this will affect liberal arts 
disciplines and institutions, David Green reviews 
the distance we've come in the last 15 years and 
identifies the main themes of the essays, interviews and reviews that follow.

(Uncommon) Challenge of the Cultural Commonwealth
By Gary Wells, Ithaca College
In reviewing Our Cultural Commonwealth, the 
report on cyberinfrastructure and the humanities 
commissioned by the American Council of Learned 
Societies (ACLS), Gary Wells notes "both the 
allure and anxiety of radical and disruptive 
change," and wonders if the academy and the 
broader public will be up to the cultural and financial challenges.

the ACLS Report: An Interview with John Unsworth
By Kevin Guthrie, Ithaka
John Unsworth chaired the ACLS Commission that 
authored Our Cultural Commonwealth. In a 
conversation with Kevin Guthrie, he offers his 
own well-developed definition of 
cyberinfrastructure, talks about why and how the 
needs of the humanities should be considered 
separately, and explains how the report's 
framework has been useful already in developing new implementation strategies.

Will the resources and the power of advanced 
networked computing affect the methodologies of 
the sciences and the humanities differently?

Data to Wisdom: Humanities Research and Online Content
By Michael Lesk, Rutgers University
This computer-scientist champion of digital 
libraries and humanities computing provides an 
overview of paradigm changes in the sciences; a 
similar review of humanities achievements show 
that they still stop short of developing a new kind of scholarship.

Virtual Observatory and the Roman de la 
Unexpected Relationships and the Collaborative Imperative
By Sayeed Choudhury and Timothy Stinson, Johns Hopkins University
Scientists were not always good collaborators. In 
pondering the "unprecedented convergence of 
interest across C.P. Snow's Two Cultures in the 
promise of cyberinfrastructure and of data-driven 
research," the computer scientist/digital 
librarian Sayeed Choudhury and medieval scholar 
Timothy Stinson propose a new relationship 
between humanities scholars, their resources and their colleagues.

A review, an essay and a roundtable discussion on 
the new kinds of scholarship and teaching that cyberinfrastructure might bring.

the Infrastructure for Cyberscholarship
By Gregory Crane, Tufts University
Greg Crane shares his insights in a review of an 
important report on data-driven scholarship and 
the supportive infrastructure it requires.

as Cognitive Scaffolding: The Role of Genre Creation in Knowledge Making
By Janet Murray, Georgia Institute of Technology
This gripping account describes what the process 
and products of a new cyberscholarship might look 
like in the age of the Semantic Web, in which 
cyberinfrastructure’s potential as a "facilitator 
of a vast social process of meaning making" might be further developed.

and the Future of Art History
A Roundtable Discussion
By Amelia Carr, Allegheny College; Guy Hedreen, 
Williams College; and Dana Leibsohn, Smith College
Three art historians discuss how their most 
urgent needs might be addressed by 
cyberinfrastructure. While they hold themselves 
responsible for fostering new forms of 
scholarship as they appear, the bottom line, they 
agree, is that CI will be useless if it can not 
revolutionize image access and metadata 
management, and cannot help us think differently 
about vision and objects: "what kind of image 
work is the work that matters most?"

INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE: Colleges and Museums
Interviews with two key figures who hold out for 
radical change in university and museum 
settings--while grappling with institutional 
complexity and inertia--are followed by a 
proposal to extend the function of the college 
museum into the curriculum, locally and globally.

Institutional Change: An Interview with James J. 
O'Donnell, Georgetown University
By David Green
Provost O'Donnell, author of Avatars of the Word, 
is fascinated by how "institutions full of 
creative, innovative, iconoclastic people" are 
paradoxically "bastions of conservatism." Guiding 
us through the texture of change since the 
Internet hit 15 years ago, O"Donnell posits that 
incremental change is perhaps the best we can do 
until the fundamental instruments of scholarly 
communication and the academic reward structure 
change: "until the problem we have to solve is 
defined persuasively enough that we get enough 
people interested in solving it."

Cataloging & Content Infrastructure: An Interview 
with Kenneth Hamma, The Getty Trust
By David Green, Knowledge Culture
The architect of digital policy at the Getty 
Trust shares his conviction that building the 
digital "content infrastructure" depends on the 
contributions of thousands of smaller 
institutions that individually lack human and 
technological resources necessary for the task. 
Cyberinfrastructure could facilitate distributed 
cataloging and much wider distribution of museum 
holdings that would have a major impact on 
scholarship and teaching. However, a significant 
challenge remains that of the muddying of 
museums’ educational mission with notions of 
gatekeeping and income generation from the objects in their care.

Museums in a Networked Era--Two Propositions
By John Weber, Skidmore College
The director of Skidmore College's Tang Museum 
proposes a dynamic new relevance for the college 
museum, whose tasks of addressing students' 
visual literacy and in more effectively deploying 
the multisensory exhibition in global curricula 
could be dramatically facilitated through cyberinfrastructure.

INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE: Where the Rubber Hits the Road
Three essays that examine the details of building 
cyberinfrastructure at the campus level.

Cyberinfrastructure for the Sciences at Liberal Arts Colleges
By Francis Starr, Wesleyan University
Access to cyberinfrastructure will be provided 
through your campus computer infrastructure: 
working out from department to cross-department 
to campus-wide. Physics professor Francis Starr, 
experienced in deploying the latest "Beowulf 
clusters" in Wesleyan University's 
infrastructure, discusses the necessary balance 
between technical prowess and effective 
educational outreach to ensure best deployment of 
a college’s computing assets.

Cyber Services as a Cyberinfrastructure Strategy 
for Smaller Institutions of Higher Education
By Todd Kelley, NITLE
Todd Kelley takes Francis Starr's recommendations 
for pooling computing resources across campuses 
one step further by discussing the advantages of 
outsourcing managed cyber services: "Bringing 
institutions with common needs together in a 
shared organizational network and aggregating 
many of their common technology needs through 
cyber services [is] a powerful idea."

Sciences, Cyberinfrastructure and the Liberal 
Arts: The Case of the Bates College Imaging Center
By Matthew Coté, Bates College
Many themes of this collection are encapsulated 
within this new facility in an old library at 
Bates College. Blending a 21st-century 
codification of Liberal Arts Education, with 
cyberinfrastructure-ready facilities, the Bates 
Imaging Center, in Professor Coté’s words, 
"presents the campus hub for collaborative and 
interdisciplinary projects, especially those that 
are computationally intensive, apply 
visualization techniques, or include graphical or image-based components."

Descriptions of some key organizations and 
networks whose missions include leveraging cyberinfrastructure.

Susanna Mornati, CILEA
Project Leader AEPIC, www.aepic.it
+39 02 2699 5322, +39 348 7090 226,
mailto:mornati a cilea.it, skype: susanna.mornati

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