Historical Social Research

Tessa Gengnagel: The Discourse about Modelling: Some Observations from the Outside. [Abstract] 

This article presents some observations about the modelling discourse in the Digital Humanities from the perspective of an early stage researcher. It touches briefly on issues of interdisciplinarity and disciplinary discontinuity. Specifically, it questions the shared basis of the discourse in terms of the terminology that is used and the research literature that is commonly drawn upon. By way of example, the article calls attention to the seemingly forgotten and in any case neglected literature concerned with the conceptualization of models and modelling in science and the humanities that was produced by cyberneticists and philosophers of science in the GDR and the USSR, especially in the 1960s and 1970s. It may be argued that in order to advance the discourse about modelling in the Digital Humanities, the discourse about modelling in the humanities would have to be unearthed and considered first or at least as well, particularly where it already crossed paths with disciplines adjacent to computing.

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