[globaloutlookDH-l] Monocultures of the (digital) Humanities

Noiret, Serge Serge.Noiret at EUI.eu
Thu Jul 23 04:58:27 MDT 2015


Dear all,



In 2013 Marin Dacos (director of the Center for open electronic publishing (Cléo<http://cleo.openedition.org/>) in France) wrote an interesting essay offering I think -when dealing with the question of which language using in conferences- the only realistic proposal as far as globalized scientific contexts and conferences are concerned. (http://bn.hypotheses.org/11138 archived here https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00866107).



This proposal was quite simple and based on a mutual understanding of our linguistic differences and of the need for reaching a fair compromise: we all have -there's no doubt anymore about this- to use English worldwide. BUT we -different people of the world- have to oblige explicitly who is mother tongue English speaker to make a real effort when speaking to become really understandable by global publics.  Mother tongue speakers have to speak clearly, slowly and avoiding the use of complicate sentences and words: he/she should be aware that an international public is made of different people speaking very different languages and pronouncing English words sometimes differently. Furthermore, English native speakers are coming from many countries and are speaking in English differently. They should be aware of these differences too.



Elika Ortega, in a December 2014 essay on multilingualism, quoted Marin's essay (here http://www.disruptingdh.com/multilingualism-in-dh/), an essay now available in Spanish too here: http://humanidadesdigitales.net/blog/2013/08/12/estrategia-sauna-finlandesa/). I am convinced that there's nothing more to do in international conferences (of course when not willing to provide translations, etc..).



We all have to study better English but our native English colleagues should really understand that their language has become the only possible linguistic compromise globally. The best way for them to understand linguistic diversities is also to start studying, speaking, understanding and writing in another language.

Marin did not mentioned this last condition but I think it is not only fair recommendation but also a way for reaching a better mutual understanding of what does practically mean "multi-linguistic settings" and the difficulties arising when using other languages in international contexts.


Serge Noiret

European University Institute
Florence, Italy


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Envoyé : mercredi 22 juillet 2015 22:20
À : globaloutlookdh-l at uleth.ca
Objet : Re: [globaloutlookDH-l] Monocultures of the (digital) Humanities




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Øyvind Eide <lister at oeide.no> wrote:
Dear Domenico, Alex, and all,

I think this is exactly the point. Many (all?) of us have experienced situations where multi-linguality led to ghettoisation — not the least at conferences.

If working models of real time translation can be shown — and I believe we now have the tools and ideas making that quite likely — then those experiences can be countered by different ones.

It will be extremely interesting to see what the call for papers for the first Nordic conference next year will lead to. Five countries, five currencies (of which one suspended from international trade), a population of some 25 million all together. A lot of diversity — but everybody (at least in academia) speaks and understands English. Will there be non-English papers? If so, can we make it worthwhile for international participants to attend them?

Best,

Øyvind

13. juli 2015 kl. 17:50 skrev Alex Gil <colibri.alex at gmail.com<mailto:colibri.alex at gmail.com>>:

Dear Domenico,

Just read your article and Crane's + the comments on Humanistica. Agreed on SCOPUS. Self fulfilling prophecy material at the behest of business interests.

Very related to this conversation, I've been involved in heavy duty conversations these past few weeks on the oddly named MLMC and to a lesser extent the PC about language diversity, and I'm happy to report that we're making slow progress. Little by little we convince others that, and I quote the wonderful Glenn Worthey here, "we don't need to fight for the lingua franca." The lingua franca fights for itself. I know so many well meaning folks from outside and inside Europe and the US who defend the lingua franca model because they've had bad experiences with multi-lingual conferences or journals, or because they believe in a global community and think this is the only way to achieve one. We have to work with these folks to get them to see that we are talking about learning how to do translation right, and that true globality in the humanities is by definition, a new Babel--uncomfortable, but not crippling... Little by little. Your work with citations here is enormously helpful in this regard. Looking forward to your full article!

a.

On Mon, Jul 13, 2015 at 11:01 AM, Domenico Fiormonte <domenico.fiormonte at gmail.com<mailto:domenico.fiormonte at gmail.com>> wrote:
Thanks Dan and Frédéric.

Scopus is to non-Anglophone Humanities like a pusher that keeps selling cocaine arguing that the best way to detox is an overdose.

2015-07-13 15:55 GMT+02:00 Daniel O'Donnell <daniel.odonnell at uleth.ca<mailto:daniel.odonnell at uleth.ca>>:

Just quickly, a really interesting paper, Domenico.

On Sun, Jul 12, 2015, 18:57 Domenico Fiormonte <domenico.fiormonte at gmail.com<mailto:domenico.fiormonte at gmail.com>> wrote:
Hi everybody,

Apologies for cross-posting.
I think people on this list could be interested in this reflection -- with some anticipation of a forthcoming study:
http://infolet.it/2015/07/12/monocultural-humanities/
I started to write it as response to Gregory Crane's article ("The Big Humanities, National Identity and the Digital Humanities in Germany"), but it came out too long, so I decided to make a blog post.

It would be great if a discussion here and in institutional places would produce some new proposals for changing this discouraging scenario (starting with the DH).

All the best

Domenico

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