dear alan et al,
i write briefly from london to say that, had i been dante noto, i would have written in approximately the same way to criticize the proposal alan made for funding.
and the issue reflects a disfeature of our current humanities disciplines at large, which labor in an excess of conferencing and shop talk.
to reframe shelley’s practical argument a bit, we need to imagine that which we know.
digital technology for the humanities is now quite well developed. we know enough at this point to be able to develop—to conceive and build—useful online resources of many kinds. better and more useful applications can’t come until we actually start to build what we can now imagine, and use the experience to go further. as we know, interesting resources are already being developed in lots of places. but there’s little coordination (which doesn’t need conferencing to be brought about) and little penetration to humanities educators at large (most still work almost entirely in bibliographical frameworks and traditions).
i think we’d do a good and useful thing if everyone coming to this conference prepared a set of two or three digital applications or initiatives—things actually in development at any stage—that seem important and relevant to digital humanities. and annotate each item on the list with a commentary on why you think its development is important as well as how you think development might be promoted and extended.