With the support of EMiC I have attended DHSI as a student from the very beginning and have learned an enormous amount – only part of my huge debt to EMiC over the years.
In the course of my years at DHSI, I believe I have set two precedents: I am the first person to have retired since joining EMiC and I am the first EMiCite to have graduated from the status of student to instructor.
Previous to teaching this year’s DHIS/DEMiC course I had taught TEMiC in Peterborough, but while that course dealt to some extent with digital editing its primary focus was editorial theory. The course this year grew out of a text/image tool for genetic editing which Josh and I are in the process of developing (see Chris Doody’s post, The Digital Page: Brazilian Journal ). The course did not focus on this tool, however: its focus was on the XSLT which is the backbone of the tool, and the collaborative process that went into developing it.
We had originally intended to call the course Every Batman Needs a Robin (a bow to another, very successful digital humanities collaboration involving Mike DiSanto and Robin Isard) but we soon realized that this would misrepresent the true nature of our non-hierarchical working relationship. We considered Every Batman Needs an Alfred but that seemed a bit esoteric.
Although Josh and I worked very closely together in planning the course, I was very much his assistant in teaching it, since his mastery of XSLT far exceeds mine. But this was a central thrust of the course. If digital humanists are to succeed in their projects, unless they are highly experienced programmers themselves – which few are, or have the time or inclination to become – it is necessary to establish a strong, personal, longstanding relationship with a developer. Our experience, and the experience of other digital humanist/developer teams, is that the project will take shape as a result of this collaboration, and the shape that it will take is often very different than what the digital humanist who initiated the project had in mind.
My role in the course was twofold: to help students out with the numerous hands-on exercises which we had devised for them (I wasn’t nearly as good at this as Josh) and to act as a kind of stand-in for the students, asking for clarification or repetition of points that were blindingly obvious to Josh but perhaps less so for the non-programmers amongst us. I was obviously much better at this than Josh was.
We had a very wide range of students in the course – from Master’s students to a Professor Emeritus – with a similarly wide range of projects, skills and aptitudes. But, judging by our interactions with the students and the student evaluations we struck a pretty good balance.
Certainly, from my point of view teaching such a committed and intelligent group of students who seem to have genuinely appreciated the work we put into the course, and doing so with my son (we didn’t fight once!) was a great experience – a real high point of my career and life.
I was very pleased to hear, then, that we have been asked to return with the course next year. So one of my many debts to EMiC, as it comes to its appointed end, is that my association with it has marked a new beginning for me – as a DHSI instructor.
The Editing Modernism in Canada Project has awarded the following students PhD Stipends for 2014-2015. Congratulations to this year’s winners!
1) Michael Nardone
Project Title: PHONOTEXT.CA
Phonotext.ca is a project initiated for the creation of a comprehensive open-access digital index of sound recordings related to modernist and postmodernist Canadian poets and poetry. The site will index recordings in all available formats, document any relevant bibliographic information, list where recordings are physically located, and provide links to access recordings that have been made digitally available.
In addition to providing a platform for listening to Canadian poets and poetry, phonotext.ca will serve as an important tool for preserving and accessing phonotextual materials, acting as a hub to catalyze future research and critical study. Funds from Editing Modernism in Canada support developing the site’s indexing and metadata protocols, the initial compiling of resources, and outreach to acquire additional resources among communities of poets, scholars, researchers, librarians and archivists.
2) Carl Watts
Project Title: Laura Goodman Salverson’s The Dove
In addition to works of autobiography and realist fiction, Laura Goodman Salverson published a little-known novel called The Dove (Ryerson Press, 1933), in which a group of Icelanders is kidnapped by corsairs and sold as slaves in Algiers. While much has been written of the arrangement of realism and romance that informs Canada’s modernist literature, The Dove is unique in that its peculiar historical romance registers a radical inversion of commonly expressed relationships between Europeans and non-Western peoples. It is for this reason that I am proposing a digital edition of the long-out-of-print novel. Based on the first edition as well as the novel’s typescript at Library and Archives Canada, this edition will also include an introduction and notes that draw from archival materials and critical work on Salverson’s corpus.
3) Graham Jensen
Project Title: The Canadian Modernist Magazines Project
The Canadian Modernist Magazines Project (CMMP) will focus its attention on the digitization and transcription of a limited selection of Canadian “little magazines” so that their constituent poems, essays, and editorials can be read, searched, and analyzed by scholars within EMiC’s Modernist Commons or using a variety of existing third-party digital humanities tools. Following the precedent set by similar projects—such as the Modernist Journals Project (U.S.A.) and the Modernist Magazines Project (U.K.)—the CMMP will attempt to digitize complete runs of two important Canadian magazines of the 1940s: Preview (1942-44) and First Statement (1942-45). Once these initial goals have been met, the CMMP will have established the online infrastructure and editorial processes necessary for the digitization and transcription of additional magazines. Following the initial funding period, Graham hopes to expand the CMMP through other grants or as part of a postdoctoral research position.
4) Alix Shield
Simon Fraser University
Project Title: Curating Digital Aboriginal Orature and Literature
This project will focus on the digitization, editing, and critical analysis of First Nations orature and literature, looking specifically at the collaboration between Chief Joe Capilano (Sahp-luk) and E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake) that culminated in the text Legends of Vancouver (1911). The project will begin with the gathering of versions of the Legends text, and will then move to the digitization stage, where scans of the various editions will be ingested to EMiC’s Modernist Commons repository and web-based versioning platforms will be used to collate variant texts and produce visualizations that highlight exact instances of change across versions. Finally, the project aims to produce a digital scholarly edition of this collaboratively-authored text, and in doing so engage in the process of repatriation by creating an archival space that involves members of the Coast Salish and Mohawk communities and respects cultural codes and protocols.
Does anybody know if there has been much theorization of digital anti-humanism?
Emily, Chris et. al. were gracious enough to welcome us into their home-away-from-home for a little get-together this evening at DHSI. Fun was had – there’s photographic evidence:
The really engaged posts on the EMiC blog have really got me thinking… If we put all this effort into developing the “EMiC” brand of digital mark-up… Would it be possible to create an online graduate journal, or something similar, within which we could publish samples of our projects? Hosted through EMiC, or partnered with EMiC, but a distinct entity?
This way, like Chris suggests, we could develop a “house style” which all our projects could conform to, but also use and develop.
It could be a collaboration, by both humanities scholars, digital humanists and other computer scientists. If we worked with them to develop the tools we’d need to start out and get the ball rolling, then we would be able to self teach through forums like the DHSI summer course.
Some of the small projects we might be interested in pursuing don’t necessarily have a forum for publication. This would give graduate students a chance to learn new technology, and then have an immediate application for it. They would know that their work had a possible “home” within the journal.
Obviously this is looking a little bit longer term, but it would be really amazing if we were able to lay the groundwork for this in the next few years, while we have an EMiC to support and engage us.
Perhaps it could be split into two parts, half scholarly articles about editing in print and online, and half documents or editorial projects that are entirely born digital.
I realize that I am perhaps being a bit over ambitious… But I couldn’t help but take it to the next level. Thoughts??
Did I take it too far?
In the unavoidable absence of Dean, Megan and I did a report on EMiC. The aim of Scaling the Humanities is to explore ways in which the Digitial Humanities can “scale up” to avoid unnecessary duplication, to encourage co-operartive development, and to produce the strongest possible face to granting bodies. The first couple days have consisted of a series of reports from a wide range of projects. Tomorrow we will be pooling our various experiences.
Meagan, who is more knowlegeable about EMiC than I am — or than anyone is except for Dean — did a quick survey of the origins of EMiC and I carried on with a brief version of Dean’s update on recent developments, focussing on:
1. image-based editing and markup
3. text analysis
Response to the report was very positive. EMiC is clearly seen as a model digital humanities project, especially in its flexibility and openness to development in previously unforeseen directions. I will report on the results of tomorrow’s discussions and their relevance to EMiC.
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:
baruchbenedict: I am now doing my first tweet. I owe it all to Meagan.
Yes kids, that’s Zailig Pollock, on Twitter.