As part of the CCC conference, Jerome McGann will present “Exceptional Measures: The Human Sciences in STEM Worlds.” McGann is perhaps the leading figure in English-language textual scholarship and a critic who bridges the fields of book history, digital media, and archival studies. McGann’s current work broaches the value of arts and humanities inquiry in our moment. His prospectus for the talk puts it plainly: “Humanist studies focus primarily on phenomena that is singular, idiosyncratic, and – in a word – personal. As such, they can appear to lack the procedural rigor that we rightly associate with STEM disciplines: Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics. But the rigor of humanist studies is not STEM-deficient, it is just STEM-different. We can see the difference most clearly if we seek a philological rather than a philosophical view of the humanities. The truth of the humanities is not an idea but a practice, not a theory but a method.” As a long-time friend of the UICB, his appeal to rigor overlaps with the habits of mind and hand at work in the Center.
Jerome McGann is the John Stewart Bryan Professor of English at the University of Virginia. His most recent book, A New Republic of Letters: Memory and Scholarship in the Age of Digital Reproduction, focuses on philology as it informs the digital humanities.