Seven reasons why we need an independent Digital Humanities

Gregory Crane Professor of Classics and Winnick Family Chair of Technology and Entrepreneurship Tufts University Alexander von Humboldt Professor of Digital Humanities Open Access Officer University of Leipzig April 28, 2015 Draft white paper available at http://goo.gl/V9Ddjq This paper describes two issues, the need for an independent Digital Humanities and the opportunity to rethink within a digital space the ways in which Humanists can contribute to society and redefine the social contract upon which they depend. The paper opens by articulating seven cognitive challenges that the Humanities can, in some cases only, and in other cases much more effectively, combat insofar as we have an independent Digital Humanities: (1) we assume that new research will look like research that we would like to do ourselves; (2) we assume that we should be able to exploit the results of new methods without having to learn much and without rethinking the skills that at least some senior members of our field must have; (3) we focus on the perceived quality of Digital Humanities work rather than the larger forces and processes now in play (which would only demand more and better Digital Humanities work if we do not like what we see); (4) we assume that we have already adapted new digital methods to existing departmental and disciplinary structures and assume that the rate of change over the next thirty years will be similar to, or even slower than, that we experienced in the past thirty years, rather than recognizing that the next step will be for us to adapt ourselves to exploit the digital space of which we are a part;...

Getting to open data for Classical Greek and Latin: breaking old habits and undoing the damage — a call for comment!

Gregory Crane Professor of Classics and Winnick Family Chair of Technology and Entrepreneurship Tufts University Alexander von Humboldt Professor of Digital Humanities Open Access Officer University of Leipzig March 4, 2015 Philologists must for at least two reasons open up the textual data upon which they base their work. First, researchers need to be able to download, modify and redistribute their textual data if they are to fully exploit both new methods that center around algorithmic analysis (e.g., corpus linguistics, computational linguistics, text mining, and various applications of machine learning) and new scholarly products and practices that computational methods enable (e.g., on-going and decentralized production of micro-publications by scholars from around the world, as well as scalable evaluation systems to facilitate contributions from, and learning by, citizen scientists). In some cases, issues of privacy may come into play (e.g., where we study Greek and Latin data produced by our students) but our textual editions of, and associated annotations on, long-dead authors do not fall into this category. Second, open data is essential if researchers working with historical languages such as Classical Greek and Latin are to realize either their obligation to conduct the most effective (as well as transparent) research and or their obligation to advance the role that those languages can play in the intellectual life of society as a whole. It is not enough to make our 100 EUR monographs available under an Open Access license. We must also make as accessible as possible the primary sources upon which those monographs depend. This blog post addresses two barriers that prevent students of historical languages such as Classical...

Join us for Sunoikisis DC 2015

Sunoikisis is a successful national consortium of Classics programs developed by the Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies. The goal is to extend Sunoikisis to a global audience and contribute to it with an international consortium of Digital Classics programs (Sunoikisis DC). Sunoikisis DC is based at the Alexander von Humboldt Chair of Digital Humanities at the University of Leipzig. The aim is to offer collaborative courses that foster interdisciplinary paradigms of learning. Master students of both the humanities and computer science are welcome to join the courses and work together by contributing to digital classics projects in a collaborative environment. Sunoikisis DC will start in the SS 2015 with a Digital Classics course at the University of Leipzig. Faculty members of participating institutions will gather at the University of Leipzig on February 16-18 for a planning seminar in order to discuss course topics, schedule the academic calendar, and construct the course syllabus. The seminar is organized by the Alexander von Humboldt Chair of Digital Humanities at the University of Leipzig in collaboration with the Center for Hellenic Studies and Perseids. Sunoikisis DC Planning Seminar 2015 February 16-18, 2015 (full program) Felix-Klein-Hörsaal (5. Etage) Paulinum, Hauptgebäude Universität Leipzig Augustusplatz 10-11 – 04109...

A Tenure Track Job in the US, Anti-Islamification Demonstrations in Germany, and the Redefinition of Classics

Gregory Crane Perseus Project and the Open Philology Project The University of Leipzig and Tufts University The Department of Classics at Tufts University is looking at candidates for a tenure track assistant professor who works on Greco-Roman and Islamic Cultures. Since the demonstrations against Islamification in Germany became prominent in Dresden and now have cropped up at Leipzig, my German home, I thought about the connection between the two. This position can do a lot more now if it properly exploits digital media and helps to change the public understanding of what we in Europe and North America already owe to the achievements of Islamic culture. A draft of a blog on this topic is available at...

Help sought with Metadata for the Open Patrologia Graeca Online

Gregory Crane Perseus Project and the Open Philology Project The University of Leipzig and Tufts University We are looking for help in preparing metadata for the Patrologia Graeca (PG) component of what we are calling the Open Migne Project, an attempt to make the most useful possible transcripts of the full Patrologia Graeca and Patrologia Latina freely available. Help can consist of proofreading, additional tagging, and checking the volume/column references to the actual PG. In particular, we would welcome seeing this data converted into a dynamic index into online copies of the PG in Archive.org, the HathiTrust, Google Books, or Europeana. For now, we make the working XML metadata document available on an as-is basis. More...