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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, the HathiTrust, Google Books, or Europeana. For now, we make the working XML metadata document available on an as-is basis.

More info:

Near Eastern Studies and Historical Philologies in a Digital Age

Near Eastern Studies and Historical Philologies in a Digital Age
December 8-9, 2014
University of Leipzig
Paulinum, Augustusplatz

[Preliminary Schedule for Public Presentations]

This workshop will follow-on a more extended four day conference on “Greek and Latin in an Age of Open Data,” (Dec. 1-4, 2014). This conference has been held in a hybrid format  that includes video-conferencing as well as face-to-face discussion. The discussions on Near Eastern Studies will build upon on-going conversations about not only a shift to a digital environment, but an accompanying shift to the exchange of open data, that is becoming prominent in Greco-Roman studies.

Presentations will take place on the 5th floor of the Paulinum, Augustusplatz.

Monday, December 8 (Felix Klein Hörsaal, Paulinum 501)

15:00-15:15: Welcome and Introduction

15.15-16.15 Gregory Crane: Introduction — What are the challenges and opportunities for historical philologies when scholarly information is produced and consumed in increasingly intelligent systems linked by increasingly powerful global networks?

16.15-17.15: Gernot Wilhelm: Hethitologie Portal Mainz

17.30-18.30: Steve Tinney: Digital Methods for the study of Cuneiform Languages

Tuesday, December 9 (Paulinum 502)

9.00-10.00: Nathan Wasserman: The Sources of Early Akkadian Literature Project

10.15-11.15: Manfred Krebernik and Heiko Werwick: The Etymological Dictionary of Akkadian Project

11.30-12.30: Reinhard Foertsch: The IT Strategy of the DAI and the challenge of putting textual data in its archaeological context.

Research Data, the Humanities, and the First Four Centuries of Print

Research Data, the Humanities, and the First Four Centuries of Print
Gregory Crane (
(Alexander von Humboldt Professor of Digital Humanities at Universität Leipzig & Professor of Classics and Winnick Family Chair of Technology and Entrepreneurship at Tufts University)

November 2014

I am writing about the critical importance of research data as a topic for humanists — we cannot flourish in a digital age unless we are able to understand and to manage the data that we need for our research, our teaching and our overall contributions to intellectual life of society as a whole. My ultimate goal is to analyze, as precisely as I can, what infrastructure has been developed in Europe and North America, especially from the large European projects and upon which humanists can actually build — when projects set out to produce infrastructure, it can be difficult to distinguish the language of the proposed infrastructure from the infrastructure that has actually been produced. The use case for this exploration will be the challenge of moving not only the Perseus Digital Library but also more than a dozen other established projects on Greco-Roman culture, from both Europe and North America, into a shared, computational space that can support hundreds of thousands of users and analysis of Greco-Roman cultural influence in millions of digitized sources.

I have chosen, however, to publish this essay first, because I think that, before getting into the details of particular infrastructure projects in both sides of the Atlantic, I would like to consider the potential benefits that the transnational Research Data Alliance (RDA) offers humanists and to suggest  a concrete, tangible, practical and transformative effort that RDA could foster: creating a transatlantic collection of scanned books printed through c. 1875 (and thus clearly in the public domain) and then placing this collection in at least one computational space in both Europe and North America.

For the full essay, see

So you want to become a professor of Greek and/or Latin? Think hard about a PhD in Digital Humanities

So you want to become a professor of Greek and/or Latin? Think hard about a PhD in Digital Humanities
Gregory Crane
(Alexander von Humboldt Professor of Digital Humanities at Universität Leipzig & Professor of Classics and Winnick Family Chair of Technology and Entrepreneurship at Tufts University)
November 2o, 2014

I decided to write this piece because this is the time of year when those who wish to become professional students of Greek and Latin are deciding where they should apply for graduate schools. I am now starting to see that the most interesting Phd projects on Greek and Latin are taking place in PhD programs for the Digital Humanities and I think that anyone who wishes to develop a career of sustained satisfaction needs to think carefully about how they move forward. At the present time, I am not aware of any traditional program in Greek and Latin that prepares students for satisfying and sustainable careers.

This essay falls into three parts. First I suggest some words of caution, including the well-known challenges about actually landing a permanent faculty position, the amount of work that you will need to commit if you want to maximize your chances for success and then, more substantively, something about the actual work that supports faculty Greek and Latin faculty positions in the United States and (much of) Europe. The second section briefly touches upon some fundamental topics that we must resolve if we are to rethink the study of Greek and Latin (as I think we must if we are to survive, or perhaps even flourish): the information that we produce, the knowledge that we internalize, the values that we advance and the basis for the survival of our field. The third section describes some topics that you will probably not find in a standard program for Greek and Latin but that would greatly enhance your ability to develop a sustainable career.

Full text can be accessed here

The German Science Foundation leads the way in the transition to Open Access

The German Science Foundation leads the way in the transition to Open Access
Gregory Crane
October 28, 2014

At Leipzig we are participating in a couple of proposals for the German Science Foundation Open Access program. Anyone interested in the future of academic publication might read through the request for proposals to see where Germany is going.
This sort of activity makes it a real pleasure to be a professor here in Germany.

The RFP as a whole can be accessed here.
The opening paragraph reads:

By providing this funding, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Re-search Foundation) aims to establish workable business models for the publication of academic and scientific Open Access monographs and series of monographs (individual works, collections and dissertations). Funding these formats in particular will help to ensure the more effective introduction of Open Access publication in those subject areas that tend to publish important research results in book form.

The conditions for project implementation and the requirements for project results are well worth reading — they really point the way forward for those who wish to create a sustainable infrastructure for open publication.

a) Conditions for project implementation

The funding is intended for projects designed to develop, pilot and document in detail reusable and workable business models for the publication of Open Access monographs by individual researchers or groups of researchers.  Proposals must include an outline of the concrete collaboration between information institutions (libraries, data centres, media centres, etc.), authors and possibly also pub-lishers or similar organisations. This should involve the development of workable and efficient concepts for the publication of Open Access monographs or monograph series, documented for reuse by others and immediately applied for the purposes of publication.

The concept and documentation must above all provide details of the individual phases in the publication workflow that enable the conditions for Open Access publication through effective collaboration between the various actors and must also outline the principles for costing and pricing that will help ensure that the individual contributions to the workflow are organised transparently. The knowledge and models developed in the funded projects must be published in such a way that they may be reapplied freely by third parties. The application must also show how the possibility of the Open Access publication of academic monographs will be actively made available to the academic/scientific community.

b) Requirements for project results

The following framework conditions apply to the Open Access monographs and monograph series that result from funded projects:

  • in the event of a hybrid publication, the publication of the Open Access monograph may coincide with, but must under no circumstances postdate that of the printed version;
  • the quality assurance of the publication must be guaranteed in accordance with the applicable standards for the specialist discipline or based on new high-quality methods to be developed within the framework of the programme;
  • the production workflow must enable prompt publication of the book and incorporate the effective inclusion of both the metadata and the publication in international discipline-specific and information verification systems (e.g. OAPEN Library, DOAB);
  • the publication must be compiled, indexed and promoted in a way that guarantees maximum findability on the internet. The publication metadata must meet library standards;
  • the development of innovative electronic formats and additional functionalities desired by researchers and academics is possible;
  • it must be possible for authors easily and clearly to verify requests for and the use of the publication and to measure this by means of a standardised method, for example one that corresponds to the current COUNTER Code of Practice for E-Resources;
  • the legal status of the publication and individual parts of it must have been cleared and the type of licensing must enable maximum reuse by the scientific and academic community, for example by means of CC-BY or CC-BY-NC licensing;
  • the long-term availability of individual titles must have been accounted for and guaranteed organisationally.

The processes and business models developed in the project must be transparent and documented in a way that may be used by third parties. The detailed description of the results will include at least the following aspects:

  • a description of the workflow and the distribution of tasks, possibly also including information on the contribution made by a publisher or similar organisation;
  • information on a transparent cost model, for example in the form of a checklist for services and their prices, including a transparent description of how these costs were derived and details of the discount and refund models that would apply to any retrospective recalculation. For hybrid models, this will also include the calculation for printed versions offered in parallel with the Open Access publication;
  • information on quantities and the specific profile of the monographs, as well as sales and usage figures;
  • ideas on transforming existing printed series into an Open Access model;
  • strategies for branding, marketing and incorporating the publication in web-based specialist information services and for maximising internet findability;
  • strategies for advising academics and scientists on licensing their work and documentation on types of licensing used;
  • information on the distribution of tasks for long-term archiving.