Finally, my busy day is over and I am looking forward to an evening with friends. Tomorrow is another day and another possibility to promote what digital humanities are and why we need them.
I must admit that I am rather proud to present our reading group to our university today. It is an initiative by our new colleague Dr Silvia Stoyanova. She is our scholarship holder and joined us last December from Princeton University with her research project on Giacomo Leopardi’s Zibaldone (read about her Day of DH here). The idea of the reading group is to discuss recent articles from various digital humanities journals and books, digital humanities project websites and initiatives. It started three weeks ago within our center, but today we are about to announce it to the whole university because we would like to invite scholars from across the university community to participate in the discussion.
At 1 p.m. we head for lunch. While enjoying fresh vegetables and refilling our batteries, we finally get some time to chat. Theresia Biehl is reporting about her experiences at the DHd conference in Passau two weeks before. I am pleased to hear that our projects performed well and that the project poster received an award in the poster presentation. Our designer Michael Lambertz did a very good job! She is telling me that at the moment her work for the Epistolary Networks is to create an inventory of letters by authors forced into exile by the Nazi empowerment. At present, she is tagging authors, places and other things so that first networks can be created by the meta data. Since she is using our software FuD she is in permanent contact with our programmer Radoslav Petkov who optimizes the workflow and generates new features. The project will also participate in the event “Science Year 2014 – The Digital Society” which is organized by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. I make a note to myself that I have to discuss with our Academic Director Claudine Moulin what we want to contribute to the event after she returned from Vienna, where she gives a lecture on annotations this evening.
In Trier we have a special event called “City Campus” where scientific research gets in contact with the town community. It is a night where the University of Trier and the Trier University of Applied Sciences tell about and especially show their projects. I have to organize some interesting presentations, so I talke d to Hannah Busch and Philipp Vanscheidt. Their project focuses on valuable medieval scriptures located at Trier’s public library and town archive. Probably, you can imagine how wonderful and precious some of these are. It is quite a good starting point to participate in this night and a great opportunity to explain to a broader audience what we do at Trier Center for Digital Humanities. Check out eCodicology’s blog to learn about their work.
Since, I have just finished a news article about the Day of DH for our website, I am about to head for one of my most important tasks now: Our new image brochure. Why is it so important? Was it easy for you to fill in the required “How do you define DH?” I suppose not, and neither was it for me. How would you explain to your friend, your neighbor or your grandma what Digital Humanities are? Surely, you know how widespread digital humanities are as they bring in contact language and literature researchers, historians, scholars of religious studies, musicologists, archaeologists and many others, with computer scientists, web designers, and other technologists. Where these scientific groups meet each other, DH arise. Today, the scholars often have different backgrounds and so they have to develop an understanding of their colleagues’ specifical research interest but very soon a new generation of digital humanists will be born that combines these skills. In Trier, we are about to initiate a new master’s degree “Digital Humanities”. I have just talked to our Professor Caroline Sporleder about it (read about her Day of DH and her HERA-project ASYMENC here). So how do you attract students to a master’s degree of studies you can hardly define?
Thus, I decided to explain Digital Humanities and show their variety by what we do. Let me give you some examples.
Our first projects derived from lexicology when we digitized dictionaries, encoded them and developed problem solving software for an electronic publication. We uploaded various dictionaries into a network so that you can easily search them altogether. Thereby, for example, you can make user-friendly comparisons of expressions of different dialects (Sounds interesting? Take a look here). Still on the same subject, today our director Dr Vera Hildenbrandt is at an editorial meeting for a handbook of internet lexicography to determine certain standards – that is also part of a Day of DH.
To give you only a small insight into our versatile projects let me shortly introduce you to two more projects. “SeNeReKo – Semantic and Social Network Analysis as an Instrument for Research into Inter-Religious Contacts”. Its aim is to find out how religions influence each other. Therefore, semantic and social network analysis is used. Right now, the researchers are working on part-of-speech tagging for the language Pali which is quite challenging. Read about our scholar Jürgen Knauth’s Day of DH on the SeNeReKo blog. Another long term project is “Arthur Schnitzler: Digital Historical-Critical Edition”, which we are developing in cooperation with international partners. To transcribe Schnitzler’s manuscripts electronically we invented a special software called Transcribo which is optimized continuously by one of our programmers. You can find out more about the daily tasks of the project at their blog.
My day at Trier Center for Digital Humanities begins with sunshine in the morning. Early birds start working at 8 a.m., and so do I.
I check my mails for urgent tasks to tackle. Today is Day of DH 2014, and as I am responsible for public relations and scientific communication, I want to tell the DH community about my day at the Trier Center for Digital Humanities. First, I will introduce some of our projects to you but you also will find links to our scholar’s blogs below.
Our center was founded in 1998, and since the term “Digital Humanities” was not yet actually in use it could be seen as a pioneer for digital approaches to conventional material. As a part of the Department of Language, Literature and Media Studies at the University of Trier we employ more than 40 people of a broad range of scientific backgrounds: Computer scientists, humanists, web designers and students. One can say that informatics and humanities actually collaborate in Trier and we are glad to cooperate with a lot of German and international universities and institutions to spread our concept of fruitful interaction between techologists and humanists.
Learn more about us on our website: http://kompetenzzentrum.uni-trier.de/en/
Visit our scholar’s blogs:
Caroline Sporleder (Professor for Digital Humanities): http://dayofdh2014.matrix.msu.edu/csporled/
Hannah Busch & Philipp Vanscheidt (eCodicology): http://dayofdh2014.matrix.msu.edu/ecodicology/
Silvia Stoyanova (Post Doc scholarship holder): http://dayofdh2014.matrix.msu.edu/sms116/
Joshgun Sirajzade (Arthur Schnitzler edition): http://dayofdh2014.matrix.msu.edu/criticalapparatus/
Jürgen Knauth (SeNeReKo): http://dayofdh2014.matrix.msu.edu/senereko/
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