Editing Modernism in Canada


Posts Tagged ‘dhsi’

June 8, 2010

EMiC Love at DHSI

EMiC has been getting some real love in the #dhsi2010 stream on Twitter. For those of you not using Twitter, here are some of the major observations about EMiC that you’ve been missing:

We’re here, and we’re a force:

chrisdoody: Which is more prevalent at #dhsi2010: bunnies or EMiC participants? #emic_project

We’re modelling an approach to pedagogy in the digital humanities:

sgsinclair: #emic exemplary 4 training students & new scholars using experiential-learning pedagogies http://bit.ly/dBPjS9 (expand) #dhsi2010

Our grad students are doing work that is unique and “ambitious”:

jasonaboyd: Hannah McGregor talks about first stages of author attribution study of Martha Ostenso’s work (co-authored with husband?) #dhsi2010 #emic

jasonaboyd: Emily Ballantyne talks about creation of an ambitious critical & interactive digital ed of P.K. Page #dhsi2010#emic

We’re assembling a rich tool kit, an extensive list of partners, and honing our approach:

irvined: A New Build: EMiC Tools in the Digital Workshop http://ow.ly/1VgkZ #emic #dhsi2010

And most importantly, we’re building a community:

irvined: Good luck Emily Ballantyne & Hannah McGregor at #dhsi2010 grad student colloquium. Mila says, “break a leg.” Or “feed me.” Your pick. #emic

isleofvan lunch-hour #dhsi2010 musings on modernism, descriptive markup, and typographic codes http://ow.ly/1VR8P#emic

isleofvan: EMiCites get on the sushi boat in Victoria #dhsi2010 #emic http://yfrog.com/6d4tqoj

MicheleRackham: Great night with #EMiC_project participants last night. Looking forward to a great first day of class. Ready to learn TEI at #dhsi2010

reillyreads: finished orientation sess of #emic @ #dhsi & feel the community vibe growing.

mbtimney: Had a great dinner with the folks from #emic. Hurray, it’s time for #dhsi2010!!

gemofanm: very much enjoyed the non-mandatory “preparatory session” at the Cove at #dhsi2010 with #emic tonight!

Finally, if that’s not enough to get you on Twitter, how about this:

baruchbenedict: I am now doing my first tweet. I owe it all to Meagan.

Yes kids, that’s Zailig Pollock, on Twitter.

June 8, 2010

IMT and the P.K. Page Digital Edition

Well team, I tried to give us a good plug at this morning’s talk.  Given the large size of our contingent this year, I thought it was important to let people know a bit about the project as a whole.  And, it also gives us a chance to define ourselves for ourselves, and remind us of who we represent while we are here.

Though I don’t know how to do it, I am going to attempt to post some of the sections from my talk today on the blog.  They provide a taste of the IMT, which we will get a bigger helping of on Friday when Zailig & Meg give us a quick peek into the project in its current development.  This also helps follow in Dean’s footsteps in the reconfiguration of his talk as a blog post.


Read the rest of this post »

June 8, 2010

To infini-TEI and beyond

Jetlag keeps knocking me out before I can write anything on this beautiful new version of the EMiC community site, but I’ve finally managed to get my act together to post something …

Ever since reading about DHSI in the Chronicle of Higher Ed as “Summer Camp for Digital Humanists”, I’ve wanted to come here and hang out with a community of people who not only have the sharp critical intelligence borne of literary and humanistic training, but who can also do neat stuff with machines, and who don’t see an entrenched opposition between humanistic and computational analysis. To be able to attend DHSI with many of the other EMiC-ites makes the experience even richer. Working on Canadian material across the Atlantic, I rarely get the chance to be in the same room with more than two people who have even heard of the writers I study. It’s a rare pleasure to spend a week with people who have not only heard of the obscure authors whose work and lives fascinate me, but who are also enthusiastic about the potential of digital humanities tools to discover new things about this period of literary history that would be harder to find with the conventional analytical tools of literary analysis.

So far, DHSI has delivered on all my expectations and more. By the end of our first day of Text Encoding Fundamentals we’d already started to mark up our texts with XML. I launched merrily into letter #1 from the collection of correspondence I’ve begun to gather from archives around Canada, and immediately ran into half a dozen problems. How do you encode a date when you can’t be sure of the exact year? What if there is a paragraph break in the middle of the address from which the letter was sent? But Julia and Syd sorted most of them out. It’s exciting to finally get the encoding underway, and also reassuring that using Oxygen turns out to be as easy as falling off a log.

This morning I am looking forward to hearing Emily’s paper on the P.K. Page digital edition, and Hannah’s on attempting to unravel the authorship of Martha Ostenso’s works using stylistics analysis. If I had another research life to live over I would be a forensic linguist. (Why aren’t there CSI-style TV shows about forensic linguists? There really should be.)

Side project, if I can stay awake long enough in the evenings: learning Python from the Programming Historian site Dean told us about at TEMiC. Anyone want to join me?

June 7, 2010

My New Word of the Day: Prosopography

Yes, my friends, I have learned a new word this afternoon.

Prosopography.  Check it:


June 7, 2010

Initial Reflections from Day One: Lunch

Here it is, lunchtime on day one of the DHSI.  As I happily munch on lunch with my fellow roommates, I feel a tinge of jealousy that I can’t retake the TEI Fundamentals course.  This year, we are lucky enough to have 14 of the 19 EMiC participants enrolled in that class.  Having that large a group to commiserate with is very helpful at the early stages of learning a new language.  As P.K. Page struggles and goes silent because of the overwhelming nature of learning Portuguese in Brazil, so I too struggled with learning a language of angle brackets and abbreviations that has been a bit suppressed since my last visit to Victoria.

Returning now with a fresh face, I feel re-engaged with the digital tools.  My new course, Transcribing Primary Sources, is much more invested in the bibliographic and social text features of the text.  Matt just spent half an hour talking about all the ways you can describe the scribes who wrote the text and how to mark specific regional geography to “map” the transmission of the text.  How awesome is that?

Because lunch is fast wrapping up, the last piece of news I want to share is about our afternoon project.  I am doing digital mark-up fill in the blank!  This guy definitely understands my abilities.  I get to go hunting for the right information, but I also have the safety blanket of knowing that in this case there is a “right answer” which I can try to find.

Back to work, and I can’t wait to talk (and read!) about your experiences at DEMiC today!

June 7, 2010

A New Build: EMiC Tools in the Digital Workshop

DEMiC +1

On the occasion of our 2010 DEMiC summer institute I’d like to present an interim report on EMiC’s major digital initiatives, our new institutional partnerships, and our four streams of collaborative digital-humanities research: (1) digitization, (2) image-based editing and markup, (3) text analysis, (4) and visualization.

Last June I trekked out to Victoria to attend the Digital Humanities Summer Institute with a group of graduate students, postdocs, and faculty affiliated with the EMiC project. There were a dozen of us; some came with skills and digital editing projects in the works, others were standing at the bottom of the learning curve staring straight up. Most enrolled in one of the two introductory courses in text encoding or digitization fundamentals. Meagan Timney, who is our first EMiC postdoctoral fellow, and I enrolled in Susan Brown and Stan Ruecker’s seminar on Digital Tools for Literary History. They introduced us to a whole range of text-analysis and visualization tools. I started to pick and choose tools that I thought might be useful for the EMiC kit. These tools have been principally intended for the analysis of text datasets, either plain vanilla transcriptions of the kind that one finds on Project Gutenberg or enriched transcriptions marked up in XML. The common denominator is obvious enough: these tools are designed to work with transcribed texts. But what if I wanted tools to work with texts rendered as digital images? What if I didn’t want to read transcribed texts but instead use tools that could read encoded digital images of remediated textual objects? What kind of tools are being developed for linking marked-up transcriptions to images? How can these tools be employed by scholarly editors?

Read the rest of this post »

June 7, 2010

REMINDER: Friday Lunch Meeting

Just a friendly neighbourhood reminder that this Friday we have another EMiC meeting and lunch. Details to follow!

June 7, 2010

The First Meeting

It is finally here!  The bunnies are hopping, the sky is grey, and the sleep-deprived, jet lagged EMiC contingent finally comes together.

After a bit of a rough start with no A/V and an unexplained lost pizza order, when I arrive on scene forty minutes before the meeting, my confidence is slightly shaken.  I dig through my backpack for my “backup” laptop and USB key, and  I interrupt a lady in a chef’s hat.

“Excuse me, but do you know if this room is equipped with A/V?”

Blank stare.

“I apologize, but do you know where I could set up a power point presentation?”

Blink, blink.

“I need to use a computer for this meeting and I need a screen to project the image on.  Do you have any idea who I might contact?”

Mouth starts to fall open.

“Can you tell me where our pizza is?”

“OH!  It’ll be here just after seven.  Sorry about that!”

It’s all good.  I can work with this.

I survey the room, note the large amount of M&M cookies, and I breathe a sigh of relief.  People like cookies.  And, these tables move.  We are good to go.  When Zailig arrives, the number of laptops double.  Megan comes, and now we have three.  From this point forward, it is smooth sailing.

As the participants trickle in, my heart is filled with joy.  They are here, they are happy, and everyone has a bed to sleep in.  My work here (in this regard) is complete.

As we set up “viewing stations” and plug in the presentation on each laptop, I realize that this is a far more communal experience than watching a powerpoint on the big screen.  People huddle together, talking and laughing as the set-up process takes place.  Happy visions of networking and collaboration are made tangible.

Zailig brings the meeting to order after intros have taken place.  He clarifies he is reading Dean’s paper, and then goes straight into it.  Dean’s personal anecdotal remarks are not altered.  Zailig uses Dean’s personal pronoun, much to my delight.  As he regales us as “Dean”, I remember listening to this talk two weeks ago.   Then, I flash back to meeting Dean for the first time at DHSI last year.

What an impressive learning curve this project has experienced in the last year.  If it wasn’t clear before, it is definitely clear now:  Dean is a super-human.  I can’t believe all the work (and heart) he, Megan, Zailig, Vanessa (… and all of you!) have put into bringing Editing Modernism in Canada into its second year, and its second DEMiC.  It is such an exciting time.

Though I have plenty more I could say, I just want to express my delight that you are all here.  It is going to be a great week, and I look forward to visiting with all the DEMiC participants throughout the week.

Goodnight, friends.  I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

June 7, 2010


Tonight we had a dinner gathering for EMiC participants at the Digital Humanities Summer Institute in Victoria, BC.  Zailig Pollock did a great impression of our fearless director, Dean, and discussed some of the digital humanities initiatives with which EMiC is involved. After Zailig’s presentation, I showed off the new (in-progress) website.

I encourage our EMiC contingent to blog and tweet while at the DHSI. I’ve now created user accounts for everyone, and you should receive an email with your login details. If you haven’t received an email, please let me know by posting in the comments, or sending me a message (mbtimney.etcl@gmail.com). I also encourage everyone to use twitter in conjunction with our hash tag, #emic (and #dhsi2010).

It was wonderful to see old friends, and to meet new ones, too. We’ve got a great group of folks who comprise a strong EMiC team. I am really looking forward to this week at the DHSI!