The Work of Classical Studies in a Digital Age

Gregory Crane
[Draft as of July 20, 2015]

Alexander von Humboldt Professor of Digital Humanities
Leipzig University

Professor of Classics
Winnick Family Chair of Technology and Entrepreneurship
Tufts University

[This is hopefully the last essay, at least for a while, in a series that I have published on Digital Classics.]

Abstract: Who is the audience for the work that we professional researchers conduct on Greco-Roman culture? Frequently heard remarks, observed practices and published survey results indicate most of us still assume that only specialists and revenue-generating students really matter. If the public outside of academia does not have access to up-to-date data about the Greco-Roman world, whose problem is it? If we specialists do not believe that we have a primary responsibility to open up the field as is now possible in a digital age, then I am not sure why we should expect support from anyone other than specialists or the students who enroll in our classes. If we do believe that we have an obligation to open up the field, then that has fundamental implications for our daily activities, for our operational theory justifying the existence of our positions, and for the hermeneutics (following a term that is stil popular in Germany) that we construct about who can know what.

The full text is here.

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