It’s been 4 years since my last annual international DH conference (in Hamburg), so it was about time! Kraków seemed reasonably close and affordable, and even though I had not submitted a proposal for a presentation myself, the preliminary programme and this year’s ‘hot topics’ were intriguing enough to give it a ‘participation only’ go! Also, a DH international conference is a great way to meet all the people I usually interact with online only live and in person!

Even though I had been entertaining the idea of immersing myself in stylometry and computer aided/assisted textual analysis, I ended up with a different choice of topic: High End Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality / 3D Modelling – with a number of sessions spread over 2 days on a variety of projects. Since I am planning a large(r) scale project in VR/AR myself, it seemed wise to check out the field and see what others are up to, what tech they use and have experience with, and how their projects are and were received by the DH and non-DH scientific community.

I was most impressed by the following presentations:

  • The Evolution of Virtual Harlem: Bringing the Jazz Age to Life (presented by Brian Wilson Carter) – more about the project, that has been started in 1998 and is constantly being developed, here.
  • Contested Memories: The Battle of Mount Street Bridge. Problems, Perspectives, and Challenges (presented by Susan Schreibman and Constantinos Papadopoulos) – their project can be viewed here.
  • OVAL: A Virtual Ecosystem for Immersive Scholarship and Teaching (presented by Bill Endres, Matthew Cook, Will Kurlinkus).
  • Using Computer Numerical Control Techniques to Prototype Media History (presented by Tiffany Chan)
  • An Augmented Reality Mobile Application for Intergenerational Learning and Critical Connection (presented by Tamar Gordon)

The most impressive, I have to say, was the Virtual Harlem Project! I will review this project thoroughly as well as take a closer look at the different approaches and alternative solutions to problems of visualization in other projects when I map out my own ideas.

Apart from the engaging content, I had the opportunity to catch up with old friends and colleagues as well as meet new ones, make plans for collaborations and pitched some DH ideas, promoted the upcoming DHN conference in Gothenburg and gathered people for an informal lunch meeting of friends and members of DHN!

And since the DH conference was going on in the same week the now viral augmented reality game Pokemon Go was released, of course me and a couple of friendly technophiles teamed up to ‘catch ’em all’ – right in the foyer of the venerable Jagiellonian University, our most hospital and welcoming host institution :)

Rare Appearance of Three Digital Humanists Trying to Catch a Drowzee That Spawned in the Foyer of the Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland

Rare Appearance of Three Digital Humanists Trying to Catch a Drowzee That Spawned in the Foyer of the Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland

25. April 2016 · Comments Off on New Publication: Paratext & New Media – A Conceptual Transfer · Categories: Research Dissemination · Tags: , ,

I am happy to announce that my article ‘Paratext’ und Neue Medien. Probleme und Perspektiven eines Begriffstransfers (Paratext and New Media. Problems and Perspectives of a Conceptual Transfer) has been published with the online journal PhiN – Philologie im Netz. It is my first open access publication which makes me especially proud!

You can read the complete article for free here: http://www.phin.de/phin76/p76i.htm. It is in German, though.

Are there paratexts in the realm of new (audio-visual, digital) media; and, if so, which? Focusing on conceptual analysis and terminological clarification, I try to show that any answer to these questions will depend on the underlying definition of the pivotal term ‘paratext’. Someone simply assuming the definitional criteria originally suggested by Gérard Genette will end up with a different answer (and a different set of ‘media paratexts’) than someone putting forward their very own stipulative definition of the term. I argue that, for the sake of communicative clarity and mutual understanding, it is crucial to explicitly bring to mind the correlation between terminological determinations, practical deliberations and empirical research, and to map the prospects of and limits to the conceptual transfer in question.

I have elaborated on the concept of ‘paratext’ in earlier articles, namely the 2009 journal publication Typographie als Paratext? Anmerkungen zu einer terminologischen Konfusion (Typography as Paratext? Remarks on a Terminological Confusion), co-authored with Per Röcken and more recently the 2014 book chapter Video Game Framings. In: Examining Paratextual Theory and its Applications in Digital Culture. Edited by Nadine Desrochers & Daniel Apollon. ()

18. March 2016 · Comments Off on Digital Humanities in the Nordic Countries – 1st Conference, Oslo, March 15-17, 2016 · Categories: Conference Report, Digital Humanities · Tags: , ,

DHN2016_bag

I am exhausted but ever so happy that the first conference of the Digital Humanities in the Nordic Countries Association (DHN), held at the University of Oslo and the Norwegian National Library from March 15 to 17, 2016, was such a great experience and success at various levels! Let me say – again – a big THANK YOU to all the busy organisers and assistants, to my colleagues in the program committee and fellow board members of the DHN, to the keynote speakers and panelists, and not least to all of the 232 (!!!) participants that made this event into a truly memorable ‘kick-off’ of our Nordic collaboration and cooperation in the “meeting place” that Digital Humanities can and shall be.

More »

12. January 2016 · Comments Off on What to Expect in 2016 – a Rough Sketch · Categories: Research Dissemination · Tags: , ,

Neues Jahr, neues Glück!

My last blog post was a while ago and I haven’t been able to stick to my blogging schedule, too. However, since it’s only 12 days in the new year 2016, it’s still fine to make some resolutions. Shall we?!

#1 First of all, I want to update this blog more often, I guess, at least once a month should be reasonably doable. (Also: this post will serve as the once per month for January, unless I decide to create another, more thematic one later.) The main reason I do that for is to keep track of my various academic activities and at the same time tell my audience about what it is I do: too often I found myself taking for granted that people I meet, on-line as well as off-line, know what a humanities researcher does in her day-to-day work. They don’t. So I decided to talk about it more!

#2 Finish THE project aka the doctoral dissertation. I have invested a lot in this project and I am at the point where I want it to be finally done: and out of the way. I will use this year to present my work at a couple of specialist conferences, discuss it with my supervisors and colleagues, but mainly: finish the write-up. The database, which is a pivotal part of my dissertation, will get updated and edited, too; I hope to get all the relevant publications of 2016 in before I deliver the thesis.

#3 Finish a couple of articles that are not related to my doctoral dissertation but I agreed on doing. This will be: an article (comprised of a series of blog posts on my Georg Greflinger project blog) on the Nordischer Mercurius and the spreading of news in C17th Germany. An article on the digital scholarly edition of early modern prints (from the perspective of German edition philology). Additionally, there are three articles in submission/peer review that I hope to get published in 2016.

#4 Publish the inaugural volume of the Georg Greflinger digital edition, the Ethica Complementoria edition. It looks like the edition, incl. studies on the Ethica and its transmission and transformation will be published within a book series as well as (the edited texts) online and open access. A lot of work has gone into making this project happen that has had no and still doesn’t have any funding or institutional affiliation. I am confident that it will see the light of day in 2016. More on this project can be found on the project website blog.

#5 And last but not least: Have the 1st conference and members meeting of the association for Digital Humanities in the Nordic countries (DHN) here in Oslo in March. I am very much looking forward to see the product of our combined efforts and experience a thriving, vibrant DH community in Norway and Scandinavia!

So: stay tuned!

“Textkritik som analysemetod” (textual criticism as a method of analysis) was the title of this years conference of the Nordic Network for Edition Philology (NNE), held in beautiful Gothenburg in the first week of October. The NNE gathers bi-annually editors, edition philologist, book historians and literary scholars from all the Nordic countries to discuss developments in recent research and editorial method, and present scholarly editions.

This year’s conference was the 14th in a row of successful gatherings in the North and the 20th anniversary of the NNE – with 60 participants (and an amazing 50/50 gender distribution!) and 12 talks in three languages (Swedish, Norwegian & Danish) on various subjects more or less closely tied to this year’s topic. The talks will be published in the NNE-book series and made digitally (XML-TEI P5 encoded!) available afterwards.

What became obvious in the discussions and debates not only here at the NNE meeting but generally in edition philology, is, that the scholarly editions we editors prepare in a very sophisticated manner and with a special eye for detail are not really suited for computer aided corpus analysis like topic modeling, text mining, stylistics etc. The issue is not under-complexity of the (digital) scholarly editions, but rather their complexity and depth of encoding and enrichment. In a corpus of 100.000 books, a textual error is statistically insignificant – no need to make the effort of emendation or provide an explanation and possible rectification. – I think it has to ‘sink in’ that especially quantitative (digital) literary or text studies ask very different questions from those commonly anticipated by edition philologists (that is: those of traditional literary studies). And since editions are not an end in itself but user oriented, what do we have to change in order to meet the needs (also) of those literary scholars who are interested in quantitative, corpus-based analyses & distant reading?

06. September 2015 · Comments Off on Gender Distribution and Gender Equality in German Literature Studies Journals – Part 1 · Categories: Literary Studies · Tags: ,

Outline

Introduction

This is a work-in-progress, small scale study, inspired by some observations Melissa Terras made in her recent blog post about Frontiers in DH (regarding all-male editorial teams of journals), and a tentative research query of my own that left me baffled. – While I won’t focus on DH journals in particular or the DH community in general (see Scott Weingart’s series of blog posts (parts 1, 2, 3, and 4) on this matter), I will take a look at my own discipline, which is German literature studies, especially, the so called “Inlandsgermanistik” (meaning: German literary studies in the German speaking countries, mainly Germany). I will also draw on my 2014 blog post on gender distribution in German edition philology.

Research questions

(1) I want to know the gender distribution among (senior) editors and editorial boards of the leading contemporary German-speaking, German literary studies journals, especially (1a) how many of the journals have all-male editorial teams (e.g. the editors, if there are more than one) and (1b) all-male or mainly male editorial boards. (1c) I want to know the number (and percentage) of non-male persons in both editorial teams and boards. (2) I then want to compare the gender distribution to the general gender distribution within the Inlandsgermanistik (if I can manage to get recent data).

Expected findings

(1) One could expect the distribution of gender among editors and editorial boards to be more or less the same as the general distribution within the academic field in the respective countries (and Germany is one of the worst when it comes to the ratio of male to non-male tenured (senior) professors in the humanities). While the ratio might not be representative of society as a whole and far from what we as the academic community want, it would at least be representative of the field of German literary studies in the German speaking countries when it comes to gender distribution of senior academics. However, ensuing from my own experiences, I expect (2) the gender distribution to be  to the disadvantage of non-male academics and even lower than the ratio in the field. I further (3) suspect, that the majority of leading journals has all-male editorial teams and mainly male editorial boards.

Method

(1) First, I will compile a list of leading German-speaking, German literary studies journals. “Leading” meaning that the journals are well-known, well-distributed (have a high enough number of subscriptions from libraries) and established (meaning, they cannot be recently founded journals; which excludes almost all digital-only journals, though). I aim at a set of ~100 journals; I take my starting point with the collection of journals on germanistik.net. (2) I will than create an Excel-sheet listing all selected journals where I enter the total number of people in editorial teams and consulting editorial boards (and executive editors) and the number of male and non-male persons each. (3) I will calculate the proportion for each journal and (4) compare it to the general gender distribution in the field. (5) I will then try to provide some explanations for the findings and finally (6) draft some normative suggestions on the matter, namely: what we as the academic community (of German literary studies) could and should do about the status quo in regard to gender equality and representativeness in academia.

Dissemination

I plan to do this small scale study ‘in my free time’, without any funding and without an assignment. I will publish the study and its results as a series of blog posts on my personal private blog under a CC-licence. I might, upon request, publish the findings in a more traditional format in a journal at a later date. All research materials will be published on the way under a CC-licence on GitHub (Excel sheets, graphics, drafts).

Research Ethics

The material I am going to use might contain some sort of personal data as far as it involves names, professions, institutional affiliations, academic titles and the like. All of this data is already published and openly available. I will use this data, and only the data I can get from journal impressa and editorial notes.

P.S. This post will probably be updated later, if so, I will add a version statement & date at the beginning!

Since summer is almost over and the fresh semester in Norway has already started, let’s make a plan for some blog posts I have been drafting during the last couple of weeks. Most likely, I will blog more than what I put on this “to-do-list” here – at least one post per month, additionally to the semi-regulary blogging on the Greflinger archive-edition website.

  • An overview of DH & pedagogy books, articles, and (web) resources – focussing on modern language, literature and cultural studies (Sep 2015)
  • A micro-study on gender distribution in journals (Aug 2015)
  • Textual criticism & (computational) textual analysis – a report of the Nordic Network for Edition Philology-conference in Gothenburg, Sweden (Oct 2015)
  • Die Rückkehr des Werkes (Return of the Work) – report of the symposion at Herrenhausen Palace, Hannover, Germany (Oct 2015)
  • Editing early modern (German) prints in and for a digital environment: conceptual draft and teaser for an upcoming article (Nov 2015)
  • Querying the archive: DH, European enlightenment newspapers, and the Nordischer Mercurius (Dec 2015)