Editing Modernism in Canada


June 17, 2010

Summary of EMiC Lunch Meeting, June 11, 2010

On the final day of DHSI, EMiC participants gathered for an informal meeting to discuss their summer institute experiences and to plan for the upcoming year. Dean and Mila attended via Skype (despite some technical difficulties). We began by going around the table and talking about our week at DHSI. We reviewed the courses that we took, discussed our the most helpful aspects, and least. The participants who had taken the TEI FUNdamentals course agreed that the first few days were incredibly useful, but that the latter half of the course wasn’t necessarily applicable to their particular projects. Dean made the comment that we should pick the moments when we pay attention, and work on our material as much as possible. Anouk noted the feeling of achievement (problem-solving feedback loop), and her excitement at the geographical scope involved in mapping social networks and collaborative relationships as well as standard geographical locations. It sounds like everyone learned a lot!

We also agreed that there is a definite benefit in taking a course that also has participants who are not affiliated with EMiC; the expertise and perspective that they bring to the table is invaluable.

After our course summaries, we began to think about the directions in which we want to take EMiC. We discussed the following:

1. The possibility of an EMiC-driven course at DHSI next year, which I will be teaching in consultation with Dean and Zailig
a. The course will likely be called “Digital Editions.”
b. It will be available to all participants at the DHSI, but priority registration will be given to EMiC partipants.
c. It will include both theoretical and practical training in the creation of digital editions (primarily using the Image Markup Tool), but also including web design and interface models.
d. We will develop the curriculum based on EMiC participants’ needs (more on this below).

2. Continued Community-Building
The courses provided us with ideas of what we want to do as editors, and allowed us to see connections between projects. The question that followed was how we will work with one another, and how we sustain discussion.
a. We agreed that in relation to the community, how we work together and what our roles are is very important, especially as they related to encoding and archival practice.
b. We discussed how we would continue to use the blog after we parted ways at the end of the DHSI. Emily suggested that we develop a formalized rotational schedule that will allow EMiC participants at different institutions to discuss their work and research. We agreed that we should post calls for papers and events, workshop our papers, and use the commenting function as a means of keeping the discussion going. (Other ideas are welcome!)
c. We discussed other ways to solidify the EMiC community, and agreed that we should set up EMiC meetings at the different conferences throughout the year (MSA, Congress, Conference on Editorial Problems, etc).

3. What’s next?
a. For those of you who are interested in learning more about text encoding, I encourage you to visit the following sites:
• WWP Brown University: http://www.wwp.brown.edu/encoding/resources.html
• Doug Reside’s XML TEI tutorial: http://mith2.umd.edu/staff/dreside/week2.html
b. We are hoping that there will be an XSLT course at the DHSI next year.
c. Next year’s EMiC Summer Institute line-up will include 3 courses: TEMiC theory, TEMiC practice, and DEMiC practice.
d. Most importantly, we determined that we need to create a list of criteria: what we need as editors of Canadian modernist texts. Dean requested that everyone blog about next year’s EMiC-driven DHSI future course. Please take 15-20 minutes to write down your desiderata. If you can, please come up with something of broad enough appeal that isn’t limited to EMiC. (Shout out to Melissa for posting this already!)

As a side note, I spoke with Cara and she told me that there is indeed going to be a grad colloquium next year, which will take place on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoon during the DHSI. Look for a call for papers at the end of summer.

It was lovely to meet everyone, and I am looking forward to seeing you all soon!

**Please post to the comments anything I’ve missed. kthxbai.

2 Responses to “Summary of EMiC Lunch Meeting, June 11, 2010”

  1. langa says:

    The course on Digital Editions sounds fabulous, and I’m hoping very much to be able to attend. Including web design and interface models is a great idea, and you’re clearly exactly the right person to teach it, given how beautiful this new EMiC site is!

    A small side note, to put the breadth of EMiC’s digital projects in a little bit of context: This week I was at a conference in London on Patrick White (Australian modernist novelist) for whom there was very little archive material until just recently, when some new papers of his came to light. (He claimed to have destroyed them all, then years after his death his editor revealed that he had given some to her. Immensely exciting.) At the conference, a handful of images from his archive – pages of notebooks etc – were flashed briefly up onto the screen, to the delight of everyone who had not yet been to see them at the National Library of Australia. These few images generated so much talk and excitement, and it made me realise how extraordinary the scope of EMiC is, when an even wider and broader range of material will be made available in digital format, with some of it marked up in ways that will facilitate modes of analysis that we might not even have imagined yet. (Sadly I do not think the SSHRC-equivalent in Australia could be persuaded to spend this kind of money on an equivalent project to EMiC … but if and when that happy day comes, at least there’ll be a Canadian model of how to go about it!)

    Now to the question of criteria, and what we need as editors of Canadian modernist texts:

    Melissa’s and Zailig’s posts below cover much of the territory. I’ve already mentioned wanting a set of personographies and placeographies, so that we don’t duplicate each other’s labour, and so we’re alert to the people and places of interest to other projects besides our own. Other –ographies which the various projects have in common will emerge more gradually as our work goes on (little magazine-ographies? institution-ographies? coterie-ographies? following on from Vanessa’s post about Grand Central Station, allusion-ographies and/or theme-ographies?).

    Thinking some way down the line, it would also be great to have POS-tagged texts that have been generated from finalised editions. It is always more interesting to work with corpora that are marked up with parts of speech than with plain text alone (given that grammatical + lexical analysis provides a much deeper level of analysis than just lexical analysis). This doesn’t mean that we should all begin tagging our text with parts of speech on top of TEI-tags, but it’s just to say that if there’s a way to provide a POS-tagged version of each edition down the line, that would provide some wonderful material for stylistic analysis, which is apropos given that breaches of stylistic and syntactic conventions are one of the reasons why modernist writing is so interesting to work with. After some hours spent unsuccessfully attempting to get the Stanford Tagger to work I can confidently say that I’m not yet at the point of being able to install a POS-tagger – only how to do linguistic analysis on the corpus that results – but I’ll keep at it.

  2. Bart Vautour says:

    I agree that a Digital Editions course sounds fabulous…I’ll be there with bells on! There are a few broad issues I’m interested in addressing (though they need not necessarily be addressed within the rubric of DEMiC):

    1) I am extremely interested in broader issues of how to structure digital editions. I am also interested in questions of how best to create, present, and sustain hybrid editions: editions that are both print and digital. Would this DHSI course be an appropriate place to work through some of those issues?
    2) During DEMiC/DHSI there was some talk of standardization of editorial practices within the EMiC project. It seems to me, that those standardization practices will be built into the functioning of the mark-up tool: just by using the mark-up tool we will be subscribing to a set of editorial practices. I think this is a good thing (I think). I find myself wondering about the “front” and “back” matter more than the body of the texts that will be processed through this tool. More specifically, I am wondering if we should think collectively about a sort of standardization of our principles of bibliographic description. Should we focus on the thick descriptions of traditional literary/bibliographic description? Should we comply with the Canadian Committee on MARC (CCM) or the Book Industry Communications/Bibliographic Standards Technical Subgroup (BIC/BSTS)?
    3) I think a low student/teacher ratio is really important.

    That is all for now… any thoughts?

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