Workshops 2012


A Digital Humanities workshop, HUMlab, Umeå University, Sweden. 10 May 2011.

When: Tuesday 27th March 2012

Where: Australian National University, Canberra

Cost: $25 for half-day workshops; $50 for full-day workshops

Workshops precede the conference and will be facilitated by leading Australian and international scholars and practitioners in prominent areas of digital humanities research and development. The workshops can help you get involved in the dynamic field of digital humanities, learn new skills in this field, or hone and extend skills you already have.

A: Full-day Workshops:

1) Digitising the Book

2) Introduction to Computational Stylistics

3) Introduction to Document-based Encoding in TEI

4) Introduction to Mapping and Spatial Visualisation

B: Half-day Workshops:

5) Fundamentals of Data Management for the Humanities [AM]

6) Collaboration and Challenges in Digital Scholarly Editing [PM]

A: Full-day Workshops

1) Digitising the Book 9AM-5PM (max 15)

Led by: Dr Peter Stokes (King’s College London)

Duration: Full day

Cost: $50 (includes morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea)

This workshop focuses on the potentials and challenges of digitising the book as a material object. Digital Humanities projects often focus on the text outside its material context, or represent the book simply as a sequence of photographs of disembodied pages. Both approaches are entirely valid and useful for many purposes such as making the content accessible, providing the text in different forms, image enhancement for recovering damaged passages, and so on. However, there are other fields of study which they do not address. What about the binding, the codicology, the paper? The book’s history, its readership and cultural value? Some of these material aspects cannot be captured in digital form in the foreseeable future, but an informed understanding of the potentials and limits of digital technology is necessary both for those digitising books and for those using the digitised objects: the former to ensure that they respond to the needs of their intended targets, and the latter so that the results are used to their potential but not misused by those who fail to understand the limitations of such objects.

The workshop will concentrate on modelling and representation of the book in digital format. As such, the target audience is scholars looking to design digital resources for academic research, but the content will also be of interest to other groups such as librarians or archivists. If the latter is expected to be a large part of the audience then the content could be adjusted accordingly. Participants are also encouraged to bring their own examples of challenging or problematic material for discussion.

Equipment requirements:

  • Laptop

Peter Stokes is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Digital Humanities (DDH) at King’s College London. He has held research positions at DDH and Cambridge, including a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship in Palaeography, and has lectured in palaeography, digital humanities, medieval history and digital publishing in London, Cambridge and Leicester. He received a major grant from the European Research Council for his Digital Resource for Palaeography, Manuscript Studies and Diplomatic project, of which he is Director and Principal Investigator. Other professional positions include Associate Editor of Digital Medievalist and Principal Coordinator of the intensive training course Medieval Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age (MMSDA).

2) Introduction to Computational Stylistics 9AM-5PM (max 20)

Led by: Professor Hugh Craig (University of Newcastle

Duration: Full day

Cost: $50 (includes morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea)

This one-day workshop is designed as a practical introduction to the principles and methods of computational stylistics. After a brief preamble participants will be guided through their own Principal Component Analysis of Shakespeare plays using PCA Online. We will then work through adding pre-prepared texts to an instance of the Intelligent Archive, forming text sets, finding word frequencies and running simple Iota and Zeta experiments. We will also explore some of the possibilities of measures like Shannon Entropy and Jensen-Shannon Divergence. By the end of the day participants will have hands-on experience with some of the main techniques and will be equipped to start designing and carrying through their own projects. No knowledge of computational stylistics will be assumed.

Equipment requirements:

  • Laptop with Java installed (http://www/
  • NOTE: USB drives with a copy of the Intelligent Archive and sample texts will be provided

Hugh Craig succeeded John Burrows as Director of the University of Newcastle Centre for Literary and Linguistic Computing in 2001. The Centre is the world leader in computational stylistics. Craig is also currently Director of the Humanities Research Institute at Newcastle. His research applies statistics and computer science to literary language, especially in drama. He co-edited Shakespeare, Computers, and the Mystery of Authorship (2009) with Arthur F. Kinney and is now working with Dr Brett D. Hirsch on a corpus study of Early Modern English theatre.

3) Introduction to Document-based Encoding in TEI 9AM-5PM (max 15)

Led by: Dr Elena Pierazzo (King’s College London)

Duration: Full day

Cost: $50 (includes morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea)

In the past twenty years the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) has established itself as the de facto standard for the representation of digital texts and the fundamental basis for each digital scholarly edition of historical documents and literary manuscripts. Yet the TEI model has been criticised by many scholars for privileging the textual, linguistic aspects of the primary sources with little awareness of the complexities of the layout and structure of the original supports other than for their description. During the past four years, the TEI’s Special Interest Group on Manuscripts (chaired by Elena Pierazzo, teacher of this workshop) has elaborated a new proposal. This revolutionary new approach allows for the encoding of texts from a documentary point of view: that is, page by page and line by line rather than (or alongside) chapter by chapter and paragraph by paragraph. This new approach also includes support for the encoding of genetic criticism and is particularly well suited to modern, draft manuscripts. This new way of encoding has become an official part of the TEI since December 2011 and represents its most substantial innovation since the introduction of the P5 version of the Guidelines in 2007.

The workshop will introduce participants to the transcription of primary sources (draft manuscripts, correspondence, diaries) from the genetic criticism and documentary points of view. It will consist of an introduction to the new elements and of ‘hands-on’ sessions where the participants will be able to put them to use by encoding both their own material and that provided by the instructor. As the new elements include a way to encode the documentary view of manuscripts and not only genetic criticism, it is expected that the workshop will be of interest to anyone with an interest in editing manuscripts, not only to modernists. The workshop assumes a general knowledge of XML and the TEI.

Equipment requirements:

  • Laptop
  • Ideally participants should have their own material at hand for practicing

Software requirements (preinstalled):

Elena Pierazzo gained a PhD in Italian Philology from Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa in 2001. After a few years at the University of Pisa, where she worked as Research Assistant and lecturer, she moved in 2006 to the Department of Digital Humanities (formerly Centre for Computing in the Humanities), King’s College London, where she is now Chair of the Teaching Committee and Director of the MA in Digital Humanities. At King’s she has played leading roles in major research projects such as Jane Austen’s Fiction Manuscripts, CHARM – AHRC Research Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music, and the Jonathan Swift Archive. She has been chairing the TEI SIG on Manuscripts since 2004 and an elected member of the TEI Council since 2006; from 2012 she serves on the TEI Board.

4) Introduction to Mapping and Spatial Visualisation 9AM-5PM (max 20)

Led by: Neil Jakeman and Paul Vetch (King’s College London)

Duration: Full day

Cost: $50 (includes morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea)

Max: 20 people

The transformative potential of mapping and spatial visualisation for the Digital Humanities has long been recognised, and indeed web-based map technology already offers a mature and striking way of presenting data. The rapid development and pace of change in geospatial technologies is evident not only in the ubiquity of the web-based map but also in the increasing sophistication of software such as Google Earth, and the vast number of Open Source software packages and web-based services which enable not only visualisation, but the querying and manipulation of spatial data.

Although the existence of major toolkits and APIs have made web-based mapping readily accessible for simple visualisations, in order to understand the possibilities and challenges, and achieve more ambitious research outcomes (both for the analysis and presentation of geospatial data), it will increasingly become necessary to understand the underlying principles of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in order to be able to make effective use of the current and next generation of visualisation and analysis tools. This workshop is aimed at students and researchers in the humanities who are interested in exploring the potential of spatial technologies, and learning about the underlying principles in GIS and methods that can aid their research projects.

Aiming to avoid technical jargon as far as possible and to demystify common terminologies (such as projections and spatial metadata) the workshop will start by covering first principles for a firm basis on which to introduce more advanced concepts. Examples from the work at DDH, and other institutions will be used to demonstrate the potential of interactive map visualisations in published research. Additionally, case studies of desktop techniques will also be discussed from the Humanities and other fields to demonstrate the potential for time saving and for informing the direction of study that GIS can help with. Techniques such as interpolation, tabulation, spatial correlation which are widely used in sciences and demographics will be covered.

The core technologies will be introduced; both proprietary and open source, and data formats, standards and interoperability will be covered as well as methods for employing ubiquitous non-spatially specific tools such as spread sheets for the capture of spatial data. Resources discussed will vary from simple and easily available to complex and highly expensive, but the aim will be to provide attendees with practical knowledge and advice that can quickly be put into practice by providing worked examples and direction toward resources for further reading.

Equipment requirements:

  • Laptop

Software requirements (preinstalled):

Neil Jakeman is a Research Developer at the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London with particular responsibility for mapping and spatial data. A recent addition to the development team, he has come from a commercial GIS background, consulting on the spatial data requirements of the environmental industry and planning sector. Since joining KCL he has worked on several projects incorporating spatial technology including the Gough Map of Great Britain, Mapping Medieval Chester and the Public Monuments and Sculptures Association web site.

Paul Vetch is Head of Research Development & Delivery, Senior Lecturer, and King’s Business Innovation Fellow in the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London. He is Co-Investigator or Technical Director of numerous major research projects with a focus on user engagement and innovative web interfaces; these include the Cambridge Edition of the Works of Ben Jonson and the Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music. Paul’s business innovation work focuses on Collections Management Systems and the effective and strategic use of the web in the Museums, Libraries and Archives sector. He regularly acts as a consultant for cultural heritage institutions, most recently Tate Britain and the Dulwich Picture Gallery.

B: Half-day Workshops

5) Fundamentals of Data Management for the Humanities 9AM-1PM (max 30)

Led by: Dr Adrian Burton, Margaret Henty, Karen Vissar, Stuart Hungerford (Australian National Data Service), Gavan McCarty (University of Melbourne), Professor Richard Maltby and Liz Milford (Flinders University)

Duration: Half day (morning)

Cost: $25 (includes morning tea)

Max: 30 people

As technology has enabled new levels of sophistication in the handling and creation of research data, the issue of managing that data has become more prominent. All disciplines are engaged in new kinds of research, involving different kinds of data and different means of analysis. Researchers in the humanities are increasingly involved with text analysis, the use of image, film and sound files or other forms of data. Some of this data may be confidential and/or subject to ethical requirements. Some research projects involve a number of partners, all of whom need to have access to the data in ways that are straightforward and secure. Research funders typically require that data be made available for subsequent sharing and use. The use of Digital Object Identifiers applied to datasets can ensure that your role in their creation is recognised and rewarded. All of this means that maintaining data integrity is critical at all points throughout the data lifecycle.

This workshop will use the development of a data management plan as the basis for looking at the different issues which have to be considered in the context of data management. Creating a data management plan provides a means of bringing a systematic approach to managing your data and ensuring its longevity and potential reuse. Such a plan typically includes: defining what file types are to be used; where the data is to be stored; by who and how the data can be accessed during and after the project; anonymising personal data; looking after third party data; the use of digital object identifiers (DOIs) to identify data sets; licensing; applying standard descriptions of the data and so on. Thinking through all of these issues before starting the research project can save you time and effort along the way and ensure that the data is managed both efficiently and effectively for the duration of the project and into the future.

Equipment/software requirements:

  • None

Richard Maltby is Executive Dean and Associate Dean (Research) of the Faculty of Education, Humanities and Law in addition to being a Professor of Screen Studies. He is currently working on a history of regulation and the politics of Hollywood in the 1920s and 1930s, to be called Reforming the Movies: the Governance of the American Cinema, 1908-1939.

Gavan McCarthy is a leader in the field of cultural informatics with emphasis on the building of sustainable information resources and services to support research. McCarthy is noted in Australia and overseas for his innovative and research-driven approach. McCarthy was amongst the first humanities scholars to receive ARC funding to support information infrastructure development. He is currently working with the National Library of Australia on the People Australia project.

Adrian Burton, Stuart Hungerford, Karen Visser and Margaret Henty hold key positions in ANDS. The Australian National Data Service (ANDS) is leading the creation of a cohesive national collection of research resources and a richer data environment that will make better use of Australia’s research outputs, enable Australian researchers to easily publish, discover, access and use data and enable new and more efficient research.

6) Collaboration and Challenges in Digital Scholarly Editing 1PM-5PM (max 30)

Led by: Professor Paul Eggert (Australian Defence Force Academy, University of New South Wales), Professor Peter Robinson (University of Saskatchewan, Canada), Dr Desmond Schmidt (Queensland University of Technology), Professor Jane Hunter (University of Queensland)

Duration: Half day (afternoon)

Cost: $25 (includes afternoon tea)

Max: 30 people

This workshop offers an introduction to some recent developments in what has now been two decades of efforts to create a sustaining digital environment and tools for the building of scholarly editions of literary, biblical and other works. Aims have evolved over the years but they include: providing archives of the documentary tradition of variant versions of works in textual and visual form, producing and displaying collations of the textual variation, and facilitating ongoing collaborative interpretation of the stored texts and images. The two presenters will report on alternative solutions that have been emerging: Desmond Schmidt, on ‘XML-free Digital Editions’ and Peter Robinson on ‘Collaborative Models for Textual Editing’. Paul Eggert will introduce the workshop with some historical background and, after the coffee break, invite the two speakers to comment on one another’s proposals, including the issue of the advantages and disadvantages for digital editions of TEI encoding. Finally Jane Hunter will give an overview of the successful NeCTAR eResearch Tool Aust-ESE proposal – tools to support the collaborative authoring and management of electronic scholarly editions.

Equipment/software requirements:

  • None

Paul Eggert (ARC professorial fellow at UNSW Canberra) wrote Securing the Past: Conservation in Art, Architecture and Literature (2009) and has prepared scholarly editions of works by D. H. Lawrence, Henry Kingsley and Rolf Boldrewood. He is director of the Charles Harpur Critical Archive project and was general editor of the Academy Editions of Australian Literature.

Peter Robinson is Bateman Professor of English at the University of Saskatchewan. He is developer of the texual-editing program Collate, used by many textual editing projects worldwide, and of the Anastasia electronic publishing system. He is active in the development of standards for digital resources, formerly as a member of the Text Encoding Initiative and as leader of the EU funded MASTER project, and currently as a member of the InterEdition project.

Desmond Schmidt has a BA from the University of Queensland (1980) in Classical Greek language and Ancient History, a PhD from the University of Cambridge UK, in Classical Greek papyrology (1987) and a PhD in Information Technology from the University of Queensland on ‘Multiple Versions and Overlap in Digital Text’ (2009). From 1989 until 2005 he worked for the Cambridge Wittgenstein Archive making an edition of Wittgenstein. He has practical experience as a software engineer designing security systems (at XtreamLok and the ISI, Brisbane), and in developing the text mining application Leximancer. Since 2002 he has collaborated with Digital Variants at the University of Roma Tre, Italy, and for the past two years with the HRIT group at the University of Loyola, Chicago, on new ways to edit and visualise digital editions.

 Jane Hunter is the Professor of eResearch and Director of the eResearch Lab at the University of Queensland where she leads a team of post-docs, PhD students and software engineers who are developing innovative software tools for many disciplines including the humanities. She was the technical lead of the Aus-e-Lit project which developed the LORE (compound object authoring) tool, is a CI on the Open Annotation Collaboration (OAC) project and is the lead of the NeCTAR Aust-ESE eResearch tool proposal – which will develop tools to support the collaborative authoring and management of electronic scholarly editions.



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