Connection among disciplines focuses on the border between Information system (IS) and the humanities. It is evidenced that information technology has often been used as a tool for scholarly humanities research in areas of consulting, technical support, applications development, and networked publishing facilities. Production work of humanities such as writing, reading, and browsing now depends on the propriety Information system platforms and applications.
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The increasing adoption of open source programs of IS has facilitated the true function of IS as a speculative mirror allowing whole new ways of distribution, decentralization, networked and team-worked organizations.
The research presented here are the products of a unique collaboration between humanities and computer science faculty. It clarifies the relationship two disciplines of information system and the humanities and explains the core issue, namely Humanity computing and Humanities-informed computing which reveals a mutual relationship between the two disciples. Both sides of the mutual relationship are discussed in detail, and suggestions for the way forward suggested.
Since the presentation uses an interpretive approach, references to the existing endeavours of humanities-enriched Information System studies are used to provide evidence ideas and suggestions expressed. Its unique focus will be literature work of; The Dead Men’s Path by Chinua Achebe , two non-literacy works; The Grateful Dead “China Cat Sunflower film by Jerry Garcia, and The Beatles-Love me Do.
Much attention has over the years been given to IS as a social science, and much has been published on the application of IS in the humanities, however, the gap in the reflection and theory has often been neglected hence the focus of the rest of the paper.
We provide a list of theoretical constructs published in the Information Systems Journal and their direct relationship to the humanities, such as narrative thinking and theories of meaning in literature languages, video editing in films and synchronization of sounds in music such as the ‘The Beatles-Love me Do’ website.
Discussion and evaluation of studies that implement theoretical constructs borrowed from humanities in various aspects of IS, as well as film industry and music regarding the application of I.T in the Humanities are analysed.
The paper explores the nature of the relationship between the study field of IS and the humanities using objective and subjective analysis approaches at literature and non-literature levels of humanities. It suggests that, by building on the foundation of existing information system platforms, pre-disciplinary enrichment endeavours, a new paradigm of IS research may be acknowledged and nursed in order to facilitate further growth of the humanities.
In this regard, IS should be studied as a relevant contributor to the foundation of humanities. In website development for example, artists inputs are necessary to maximise the visual impact to establish the sender’s message. In music presentation for example, the new media art installed in a Website instantiation, dynamic organized scanned images based on the ensemble of their shared and invincible conceptual resemblances such as the ‘The Beatles-Love me Do’ is a perfect example of IS-humanities relationships.
Finally, a video mural displayed the unexpected, emergent, and changing affinities among the total sets of pictures and instruments in the ‘The Grateful Dead “China Cat Sunflower’ film by Jerry Garcia.
Faith is used in groups to reaffirm itself periodically and becomes potential bond when the integration is disrupted. Its evident that The Grateful Dead “China Cat Sunflower” symbols and totem are tied to one another by beliefs structure.
Therefore social groups formed as a result of religion are very important in any given society as they offer protection against destruction. This relationship implies a commensalistic relationship rather than mutualistic one.
The study reveals a theoretical constructs borrowed from IS in various aspects of the humanities. This is to conclude that IS looks at ways to facilitate people’s connectedness with each other by drawing attention to essential items by building networks facilitated by computer software like e-mail, social sites, discussion groups, e.t.c.
This is to say that more recognition should be given to the pre-discipline of Humanistic-enriched IS.
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As we seek to integrate information technology in the works of the humanities, the best test, and yet difficult to administer, is: does technology while being applied, more likely to educated workers in contemporary information technique such as collection of data, synthesis, attribution of sources, use of media to produce, manipulate and circulate results and in archaic and historical knowledge technique (e.g..music and film), result to fostering a richer, more diverse modern technical identity?
Literature: The Dead Men’s Path by Chinua Achebe
Michael Obi’s ambition to change the local people’s narrow views and ways is what Chinua, (1953) quotes as “Superannuated people in the teaching field” by planning to institute modern methods and high standards of teaching. Gives the protagonist an exciting chance to fulfil his dreams (was backward in every sense, turn into a progressive one. Obi displays his ardent desire (p.331).
Literature contributes to the existing body of knowledge of the domain in terms of theory and practice. The Dead Men’s Path by Chinua Achebe presents its literacy works in form of a dialogue as a process of communicating to the reader. IS have been widely used in Computation Linguistics to enhance the quantity and quality of explorations conducted.
Computer is often used to find themes and patterns that would be difficult for people to find. The Dead Men’s Path by Chinua Achebe provides some examples and guidelines for the use of the electronic texts enrich grammatical and literacy studies.
Conclusively, access to old literature also becomes much easier and helps in building repositories of historical knowledge for future generations much more encompassing than ever before.
Coyne (1998) provided that the symbiotic relationships between IS and Linguistics is mutualistic with a remarkable statement: “ In fact, it is equally valid to say that information technology is the product of the working of language and texts…”. (p.11).This statement does provide an interesting example insight that IS does really exists in the humanities.
The use of a linguistic approach to The Dead Men’s Path by Chinua Achebe from simplified texts containing narratives to conceptual analyses of the information systems to be created is magnificent. He combines morphological and syntactical analyses to understand and represent business rules.
Semantic roles, identified in functional grammars, may provide a logical alternative for the more formal syntactic analyses such as uses of pragmatic concepts to sketch a holistic picture of the context of information systems, forming a bridge as informative acts between ICT systems (formative acts) and activity systems (per formative acts).
IS in this regard is a plead for a shared sense of history and collective accomplishments that creates a sense of belonging and also as a way of orientation and seeing the bigger picture. Literature like any other discipline, tried to influence the development of IS by enforcing its approaches on the literature reviews. Pragmatic concepts that clearly define a holistic picture is one of the cognate fields that provided momentum to the growth of the IS discipline and the related area which is used to find source material for literature reviews.
Integrating literature into web-based readable platforms
The four elements of artistic composition presented in the paradigmatic identities are informed around differing constellations of beliefs concerning the nature of reality. IS has enhanced the study of disciplines in humanities, such as language and literature, music and the arts. These constitutes valid knowledge of humanity-enriched IS including principles and values that should guide proper academic inquiry such as research methods and ethics.
Song: The Beatles-Love Me Do
The non-literacy work; The Beatles-Love me Do first performed in October 7, 1962 presents a music presentation with a new media art installed in a Website instantiation in a dynamic organized scanned images based on the ensemble of their shared and invincible conceptual resemblances. This simply implies that without website presentation records of the song could not be easily accessed by viewers whenever they felt like (The Beatles , 1962).
IS assists art in the visual and audio presentation in editing, improving and increasing the speed of their creative work. Use of visualization tools and the visualization of color in art. Murray (2009) refers to the creation of visual worlds to augment the teaching of Art History.
Such an example as ‘The Beatles-Love me Do’ is a brilliant view of the creativity of web presentation that drawing attention to essential items works of IS, in which we concluded that, IS is very much still captured in information system inspired by the humanities. Arguments that information systems (IS) may be regarded as an agent of postmodernism is, however, an excellent example of postmodernism. The exact reciprocal nature of these two concepts needs more in-depth study.
‘The Beatles-Love me Do’ gives recognition to IS using insights and approaches from humanities. This could indicate a reciprocally beneficial relationship and synergy between these two groups of disciplines. Embracing conceptualizations borrowed from the social and human science could be the only way to embrace IS applications. Inspirations from arts to help IS scholars to come to terms with the pluralism that is inherent in the field is of paramount importance.
Film: The Grateful Dead “China Cat Sunflower” by Jerry Garcia
Another field of humanity where IS is used to make research more efficient is the film industry. IS has been created in abundance to help movie directors and to study and analyse their sources, including texts and libraries of commentaries and reflective work.
These ideas are some pointers that may be used to direct future studies to uncover the bi-directional relationships in more detail. Example of these works include the film, ‘The Grateful Dead “China Cat Sunflower” by Jerry Garcia’, first performed on January 22, 1968.
With reference to the IS application, themes such as adaptation of totems and taboos in the film and how they can combine to justify a particular approach from borrowed concepts of Humanities-enriched IS illustrate the type of video casting, while creating huge virility and awareness of what is happening around us (Durkheim, 2001). The Grateful Dead “China Cat Sunflower” song does not only base on illusions but about religion and its influence in shaping society’s every day lives and opinions.
The Grateful Dead “China Cat Sunflower” film justifies the theory of cinematic elements of maximising the visual impact to establish the sender’s message by applying basic ethnographic approach to explain how social integration was formed and how religious practices and beliefs of different tribes came into being.
This art-work is an emblem of what humanities and IS commit to scientific progress by ushering new theatre of technical skills, human possible to perceive, understand an artwork. By self-organizing images, humanities and IS can refresh our organizational imagination by suggesting emergent structures of interdisciplinary collaborations.
The new media art installed at the ‘The Grateful Dead’; “China Cat Sunflower, in a Web instantiation, is a dynamic organized scanned images based on the ensemble of their shared and invincible conceptual resemblances. Finally, a video mural displays the unexpected, emergent, and changing affinities among the total set of story lines images.
The Grateful Dead “China Cat Sunflower film is a perfect example of how humanities embrace the poetic power of IT. Tasks such as searching the video clip on the internet, queries sampling, selecting, scanning, filtering, sharpening, blurring, cut pasting, inserting, encoding, mark up, uploading, downloading, attaching, exporting, importing, configuring, installing ,saving, creating and finally the viewer being able to watch, read and write.
These are some of the verbs on the top-level menu of technical skills that business works, common protocols of knowledge, now need to command. Expressed in literature classrooms; read, write, contextualise, interpret and critique are some of the basic artistic compositions used in this non-literacy work as illustrated below.
Literature: The Dead Men’s Path by Chinua Achebe. Subjective Analysis
Based on the factors that are currently very subjective and beyond the scope of a reasonable analysis of the humanities-IS relationship, its quite evident from our analysis that humanity informed IS can only give students necessary skills and impart the uniquely humanistic imagination of such skills capable of envisioning a more humane world of global competition. Some borrowed from other science, is a conscious effort to share interest and useful research.
The paper gives some recognition to the humanities-informed work already done and being done by highlighting some of the research endeavours discussed in available literature. When new theoretical gaps in the field of IS are identified, which may be filed by approaches in the humanities, research should integrate these concepts into existing IS theories and test and refine the combined models.
By having established that there is a symbiotic relationship between the humanities and IS, we should also ask ourselves of what nature the symbiosis is. Symbiosis describes the reflective relationship that may or may not be beneficial to both disciplines. It’s a mutualism where both parties benefit, or a commensalism where only one party benefits.
Well, in this regard, the relationship between IS and literature should, in general, be mutually beneficial, and IS could especially obtain fresh new insights in connection with fields that bring in notions yet unexplored in information systems theorizing. This is to imply that IS is “permeable” in its relationship to social and humanistic disciplines.
This brief overview is not sufficient to appreciate the a mountain of work that has gone into the toil. Proper work of humanities and IS has to be done to attain this goal, and one could only hope that a scholar would like to take on this challenge in the near future. Ideally, such a research will already have both the necessary backgrounds of training in IS and literature.
Song: The Beatles-Love Me Do
Thinking about the conscious and purposeful adoption of constructs of the humanities in IS requires an epistemological conversion to help IS researchers and practitioners make sense of the multiple socially constructed word-views they deal with to provide building blocks which they could use to create legitimate, realistic and coherent worlds.
Conversion may be a strong concept to use in this context, but one has to admit that it is difficult to change the fundamental assumption on which different software development approaches are founded. The wider trend towards multi-disciplinary between IS and the humanities make this process more acceptable and easier
In a sub-discipline like human-Computer Interaction, principles from the arts have been used to make systems more user-friendly and submit protocols to interpretive artistic form.
Film: The Grateful Dead “China Cat Sunflower”
In website development, the art inputs used to upload the film for example are necessary to maximise the visual impact to establish the sender’s message and draw attention to essential items. It is argued that e-commerce sites should build “human universals” in designing their personalized interfaces for diverse audiences. These human universals should not be limited to social sciences, but should include inputs from the arts and other humanities
Editors and reviewers should embrace the concepts of new comers in IS in order to further build the discipline. In this regard, IS should be inclusive in the humanities development-which is a conscious effort to share interest and build useful research to further advance the discipline.
A guide to Humanities-enriched IS research could make a significant contribution to IS if they could act on these suggestions to purposefully investigate and explore new avenues for the enrichment of the discipline. In this case, the discipline should incorporate insights of the humanities that may help to deepen the understanding of IS research problems
Relationship Among the Disciples
The humanities must begin to teach the technical skills needed to flourish in today’s society, such “competence” is most valuable, both to individuals and society, when will it lead to a full technical relationship between contemporary knowledge and learning?
All of these humanity disciplines use applications of “Office” to write “files”, indicates the sway-subtle yet tidal relationship that uses business protocols. The collaborations features in Microsoft’s Word, for example and XML features tie documents into institutional databases that can be used by users whenever needed.
Such a community of practice and knowledge with a main focus on the humanities discipline already exists in the humanities (humanities Computing), and one can only hope that a parallel community will grow within IS with its main focus on IS issues because this could provide impetus and direction to humanities-informed research.
The relationship between humanities and IS also known as Digital humanities has enhanced the study of disciplines in humanities, such as Language and literature, cinematography in films and music. Disappointingly few studies are available that purposefully reflect on the other direction of the synergy. This situations creates the impression that only one partner in the symbiotic relationship (the humanities) receives all the benefits of the symbiosis, using Computing to ‘refurbish’ the humanities.
When we dig deeper into the other side of symbiotic relationship, we are quite surprised to find that IS are very often informed and enriched with humanities too. Although one can not go far by saying that IS is the science of humanities, I try to correct the imbalance in the reflection on the topic by exploring existing research for solid examples of Humanities-enriched IS. In order to be regarded as a discipline, Humanities-enriched IS should refer to a coherent body of topics that are unique and typical of the subject matter.
Recognizing efforts to enrich IS using humanities-based approaches make IS the perfect adhesive within which to coat any profession to make it adhere to the common knowledge-work model. Consider for example, the fusion of information and knowledge in the The Grateful Dead “China Cat Sunflower, that details an analysis that attempts to uncover the origin true of beliefs and makes us to think more clearly about the society we live in.
The information and the ability to wield (IS) stick to knowledge that connects; The Grateful Dead “China Cat Sunflower” film, The Dead Men’s Path by Chinua Achebe and the The Beatles-Love me Do by using interpretive metaphor, fusion of elements, and networking everything together in the runaway fusion explosion called the web. In our specific context this means that the protocol of knowledge work redefined in IS are one of the main vectors by which information system enter the academy of the humanities.
In summary, IS has a defining role and provides the distinct strength of the humanities that cannot be adequately adapted from the culture of information.
Today we are witnessing the convergence of the professionals in a paradigm of post-industrial “knowledge work”. Ours is the age of the “rise of the symbiotic relationships, which is the new millennium to the work knowledge. The new class to the post-industrial program of efficiency-cum-flexibility perfectly fits the paradigm of IS informed humanities.
As the Kroeze (2008) provides, dominant protocols of knowledge work are those of business. All the humanities sectors, for example the ‘The Grateful Dead “China Cat Sunflower” film, The Dead Men’s Path by Chinua Achebe and the The Beatles-Love me Do have been touched by the logic and discourse of post-industrial corporation.
Information systems is an academic discipline that covers all aspects of information systems, software products, that integrates knowledge from algorithmic perspectives with applications in business, organizations and societies.
The characterization of IS as an interdisciplinary science is quoted by Oates (2006) as “is particularly concerned with real-world social and organization context in which information systems are developed and used” (p.2). Where Computing concentrates more on the technical aspects of software products, the themes of computing as Information and communication technology provides qualitative research methods developed within the humanity sciences often used in the study of the Information Systems.
While examples of IS-humanity relationships, the fundamental and theoretical discussion in this part is necessary, the development of disciplines cannot be predicted or managed but takes place through a process of learning tension and dialogue in an academic community. This indicate that the humanities are as important as the social sciences in the study of Information Systems and that the time has arrived that proper recognition should be given to the symbiotic relationship as a mutualism.
In this regard, its evident that IS bundles together some of the nuggets of Humanities-informed IS uncovered from seas of IS information.
So fully entangled in the humanities as tool, perspective, and a theme, its quite evident that the knowledge of the humanities are valuable in relation to Information System profession. It helps integrate information technology in the work of humanities and proposes theoretical and practical ways to make the field more independent. This aspects fall more within the social sciences than in humanities as they mainly use empirical methods, while the humanities use rational methodologies.
As we seek to integrate information technology in the work s of the humanities, the best test, and yet difficult to administer, is: does technology while being applied, more likely to educated users in contemporary information technique such as collection of data, synthesis, attribution of sources, use of media to produce, manipulate and circulate results and in archaic and historical knowledge technique (e.g..music and film), result to fostering a richer, more diverse modern technical identity?
To answer this question, the analysis provides a distinct differences by stating that natural science mainly use empirical methods, while the humanities use rational methodologies. These findings motivate an invitation to interdisciplinary scholars to look for more possibilities to grow the IS discipline further.
As this research reflected on IS-humanities relations, it was founded that the current status quo to be more type of commensalism since most work focuses on the application of humanities and IS in various humanities disciplines.
Recognition is given, however, to some existing endeavours that enrich IS using humanities insights, for example from The Dead Men’s Path by Chinua Achebe, The Beatles-Love me Do and The Grateful Dead “China Cat Sunflower film pleaded a more mutualistic relationship that benefited both groups of disciplines equally.
It suggested that, by building the foundations of existing, pre-disciplinary enrichment endeavours, a new paradigm of IS research may be acknowledged and nursed in order to facilitate growth of the discipline. Indeed, IS thinks, therefore IS is and grows.
Chinua, A. (1953). Dead Men’s Path. Nigeria: Questia Online Library.
Coyne, R. (1998). Cyberspace and Heidegger’s pragmatics. Information Technology & People, 11 (4), 1-78
Durkheim, Emile. (2001). Elementary Forms of Religious Life. New York: Oxford University Press
Kroeze, J. H. (2008). The mutualistic relationship between Information Systems and the Humanities. A Business Competitive Edge Perspective, 15, 915-927
Murray, S. (2009). Art-history and the new media: Representation and the production of humanistic knowledge,’ Working Together or Apart: Promoting the Next Generation of Digital Scholarship: Report of a Workshop Cosponsored by the Council on Library and Information Resources and the National Endowment for the Humanities, Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR Publication, no. 145), Washington, DC, 57-61.
Oates, B. J. (2006). Researching Information Systems and Computing.
Los Angeles, A: Sage The Beatles (1962). The Beatles-Love me do. Web.