24. May 2015 · Comments Off on My Day of DH 2015 – Recap · Categories: Digital Humanities · Tags: , , , , , ,

Puh! DayofDH2015 is long over now – thank goodness! That day was crammed with non-work related stressful appointments and my neat schedule eventually turned into a chaotic mess…

Well! In the meantime, I made some progress regarding the projects I had to-do-listed for Day of DH 2015:

  • I edited the #NordicDH conference call for papers; the program committee is about to finalize it and we hope to get it out by end of May / start of June 2015. Time schedule and budget are also in their final editing stages!
  • I outlined the Ph.D. seminar Academic Blogging for Early Career Researchers. An Introductory Seminar and Hands-on Workshop, including a budget, schedule etc. and submitted it to the Ph.D. program board. Hopefully, I’ll get funding from the Faculty of Humanities at UiO to do the one and a half day seminar. If so, it will be a great learning and teaching experience and there will be awesome academic bloggers who ‘talk out of school’ and do the practical, hands-on intro! The seminar will also be part of the Digital Humaniora Forum seminar series at the University of Oslo and is (roughly) scheduled for mid-September 2015.
  • Unfortunately, I couldn’t attend the #DHOslo steering committee’s monthly meeting, however, there will be another course of seminars in the DH forum series in the fall semester 2015 (probably monthly, on Tuesdays) at UiO. I prepared an internal report on DH Forum; in my judgement, the series went really well, we covered a broad spectrum of topics and humanities disciplines and attracted a diverse audience (and a small group of hardcore DHers who attended almost all of the seminars, regardless of topic and specialization). Audience sizes varied between 15 and 40, which is quite large, considering that the series is a local, small-scale initiative, held on a weekday between 2-4pm.
  • I accepted the invitation to the Wolfenbütteler Arbeitsgespräch and hinted a topic I would like to tackle (and that the ones who invited me would like me to elaborate on). If everything goes well, I’ll be re-visiting the wonderful Herzog August research and special collections library in Wolfenbüttel, Germany, in November 2015. It would also be great to spend some additional days there to do some critical editing and descriptive bibliography for the Ethica Complementoria-edition in my digital edition of the works and writings of baroque poet, journalist, historian, and entrepreneur Georg Greflinger (1620-1677).
  • I successfully transferred my old MS-Word project bibliography into Zotero. It was, however, more manually than semi-automatically. A very common (and very frustrating) characteristic of my field of research is, that a lot – if not most! – of the articles are not journal articles but articles in collections, conference proceedings, anthologies etc. And since my work – at least partially – deals with (modern) history of philology, they are also OLD, but, unfortunately, not old enough to be already out of copyright, digitized, and neatly catalogued with clean metadata, so that ‘picking’ them with the Zotero-button in the browser is easy done in 2 seconds. What adds to the frustration is that Zotero, unlike Citavi (and maybe other reference databases, I don’t know), is designed for disciplines that heavily rely on (digital) journal articles and for some reason does not feature an in-built connector for single articles in collections and the collection (and its editors, publisher, place, date…) itself! Which basically means that one has to type all the crucial information for each and every article of the same collection every single time. (OK: if you already know there is more than one you want to add, you can use the “duplicate this entry”-function. However, if you’re adding a lot of entries this is prone to failure (page ranges get duplicated as well as tags and other stuff you don’t want to have…) which leads to still a lot of manual editing and typing (or in my case: dictating & spelling… oh, those names and those fancy titles… how I hate them!)) – I did it, though, and will transfer some other MS-Word bibliographies as well as a number of pdf-scanned ones when I feel up to it ;)
  • Apart from this: I really, really love Zotero! I will probably teach another Zotero intro course in the fall semester at UiO and try to convince my humanities colleagues of the many advantages of using a database instead of text-file bibliographies.

So, even though my (first) Day of DH wasn’t very representative of my usual days at work and also not very DH-ey, at least I got some work done afterwards and a couple of DH-projects are on their way! Looking forward to the fall semester at UiO!

19. May 2015 · Comments Off on Day of DH 2015 – Getting Ready · Categories: Digital Humanities · Tags: , ,

(Since the official DayofDH2015 website is was down due to traffic I’ll posted this one instead here and reblog later…)

Today is #DayofDH2015 – and I’ll be blogging and tweeting along…!

On the agenda today are:

  • polishing the Call for Papers for the upcoming, 1st Nordic Digital Humanities conference and constitutive meeting of the association for Digital Humanities in the Nordic Countries in Oslo, March 15–17, 2016
  • outlining (and budgeting) a one-day (or one and a half day) hands-on workshop on academic blogging for (early career) researchers at the University of Oslo, Faculty of Humanities in September 2015
  • preparing an application for the ‘Norwegian Academy for Young Researchers’
  • ordinary monthly meeting of the steering group of the Digital Humanities research network at the University of Oslo. Today’s topics: #1 DH forum seminar series (recap of spring semester, plans for the fall semester), #2 founding of DHN and DH conference in Oslo 2016, #3 general information and discussion
  • lunsj with fellow PhD candidates at the Department for Literature, Area Studies and European Languages
  • responding (positively) to an invitation to join the famous “Wolfenbütteler Arbeitsgespräche” on a topic that might also include DH
  • semi-automatically transferring my older (but substantial) MS Word-bibliography on my dissertation topic into my newer Zotero-bibliography (estimated items when done: 7000)
  • interacting with DHers around the globe!
24. April 2015 · Comments Off on Digital Humaniora i Norden – Digital Humanities in the Nordic Countries (DHN) · Categories: Conference Report, Digital Humanities · Tags:

I am very happy to announce the foundation of the association for Digital Humanities in the Nordic Countries (DHN)!

On April 23, 2015, a group of people representing all Nordic countries (Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland & Finland) met and after several hours of intense discussion and negotiation agreed on a preliminary version of the statutes and an interim council. For the time being (2015–2017), the association will be based in Gothenburg, Sweden. The name is Digital Humaniora i Norden (and its various translations into the other Nordic languages), the English name is Digital Humanities in the Nordic Countries. DHN is planned to be an associated organization of the European Association of Digital Humanities (EADH). We will hold our first annual meeting, which will also be the official constitutive meeting and members meeting, in Oslo/Norway, March 14–16, 2016 March 15–17, 2016. There will be a nomination and presentation of candidates for the board and an election as well as the approval (and discussion and negotiation) of the statutes. As a member of DHN, you can nominate and be nominated as a candidate for the board.

In the meantime, the interim council will set up an official website, including a newsletter and a mailinglist as well as a social media presence. There you will find information about the preliminary statutes, the minutes of the founding meeting, information on DH-related activities in the Nordic countries and much more. The organizers and the program committee for the upcoming conference in Oslo will publish a call for papers in mid-May. The conference aims to be as open and as inclusive as possible and wants to cover all humanities and arts disciplines as well as neighboring disciplines, e.g. social sciences, anthropology, computer & information science. We invite proposals from all Nordic countries, in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, and English. Early career researchers and ‘Alt-Acs’ are especially encouraged.

This article will be updated – stay tuned!

03. March 2015 · Comments Off on Video Game Framings – Examining Paratextual Theory and Its Applications in Digital Culture · Categories: Game Studies, Research Dissemination · Tags: , , ,

Finally!!

My chapter contribution to the anthology “Examining Paratextual Theory and Its Applications in Digital Culture“, edited by Nadine Desrochers (Université de Montréal, Canada) and Daniel Apollon (University of Bergen, Norway) has been published by IGI Global (promised for April 2014, actually accessible since January 2015). The book which contains 16 chapters and an introductory part by the editors tries to cover a broad variety of disciplines (mostly in the humanities with some social sciences and information science) and tackles the often rather vaguely employed concept of paratext or paratextuality, respectively, in ‘digital culture’, meaning anything from electronic literature, to new media, from video games to online pornography platforms and from digital ‘objects’ to fanfiction in online forums.

Here’s the original abstract to my 35 pages long chapter titled “Video Game Framings

This chapter discusses the applicability of the concept of ‘paratext’ (as coined by Gérard Genette) to audio-visual media in general and to video games in particular. In the first section, some potential elements of a video game’s ‘paratext’ are singled out by means of ‘auto-ethnographic’ description of the introductory sequence(s) of the first-person shooter game BioShock Infinite. Several segments of the game’s ‘threshold’ are differentiated employing a rather tentative ad-hoc terminology. In the second section, Genette’s definitional stipulations, posing the point of reference for everyone actually using the term ‘paratext,’ are reconstructed, clarified and constructively criticized. Here, the author also discusses potential objections to Genette’s definitional criteria and briefly touches upon some media-theoretical constraints of his approach. Ensuing from these meta-terminological considerations, the author turns to the questionable use of ‘paratext’ in video game studies. As critical examination reveals, the terminology in this field of research is rather vaguely connected to, and sometimes even completely detached from, Genette’s definition. As an objection to such redefinitions of the term, the chapter suggests (1) that its use be restricted to communicative signals meeting the following criteria only: (a) functionally subservient to (which obviously implies specifically referring to) ‘the game proper,’ (b) authorized by entitled members of the game’s production collective, (c) verbal, (d) (at least partly) extra-diegetic. Additionally, (2) the chapter proposes supplementing ‘paratext’ as an analytical tool with the higher-order umbrella term ‘framings’ (as coined by Werner Wolf).

The chapter is a close reading of Genette’s main terminological contributions to the concept of ‘paratext’ and an in-depth, analytical discussion of it and it’s appropriation, especially in new media studies. It will thus, hopefully (I dare say!), be an incentive to a discussion that is notably absent but necessary nonetheless. – If you’re only interested in the terminological clarifications and the discussion of the concept and its appropriation, you can skip the first part. However, if you want to follow me along entering the video game world of Bioshock Infinite™ in an auto-ethnographic narrative, you should definitely immerse yourself in part 1!

You can purchase the article or the complete book at IGI Global’s webshop. But I suggest that if you’re interested in my contribution and don’t want to or simply cannot afford to purchase it, to ask me and I will gladly provide you with a personal copy! Just send me an email!

03. March 2015 · Comments Off on A New Digital Humanities Center at Gothenburg University · Categories: Digital Humanities · Tags: , ,

Another short note:

The Faculty of Humanities at Gothenburg University, Sweden, founded a Digital Humanities Center that began operation in January 2015. Last fall, the DH people at Gothenburg started a seminar series in digital humanities that continues in 2015. So far, there have been two seminars/lectures this year, the opening one delivered by Julianne Nyhan (University College London) on “Digital Humanities: Origins and Future Possibilities” on Feb 4. Joseph Trotta (Gothenburg University) presented his interdisciplinary work in the second talk “The Empirical Strikes Back: Corpus Linguistics, Stylistics & Literary Analysis” on Feb 26. There are four talks on a variety of humanities topics to come (the programme can be found here).

The Gothenburg DH-center works on a DH curriculum (BA, MA, perhaps even Ph.D.?) and seeks to establish new and strengthen already existing networks within the Scandinavian and Nordic region and to the European and International DH community. Gothenburg University and the University of Oslo will collaborate as much as possible in fostering the Nordic Digital Humanities Network.

03. March 2015 · Comments Off on The New Faculty Board at the Faculty of Humanities · Categories: General · Tags:

This will be a quick one!

As of Jan 1, 2015, the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Oslo has a new Dean and Faculty Board. I ran – for the first time in my career! – for faculty board as representative for fixed-term (academic) staff and was elected 1. vice representative, that means: I’m ‘on duty’ when the elected representative cannot partake in the official meetings and take a vote. Although the election period for the dean and faculty board is four years, the fixed-term staff and student representatives only sit for one year. I’m very much looking forward to working with the new faculty board – be it as an observer or (occasionally) acting representative –, and already had the pleasure of doing so at the first official meeting of the board on Feb 27, 2015.

Since I am the only Ph.D. fellow on the board, I am automatically one of the appointed representatives at the Ph.D. programme board at the Faculty of Humanities. The Ph.D. programme board is headed by the vice dean for research and consists of the heads of research of the seven departments at the faculty and two Ph.D. representatives. It’s in charge of the Faculty’s joint Ph.D. programme, the mandatory seminars and the training and career building components. Unfortunately, the Ph.D. programme board only meets a couple of times during the academic year, however, I aim for representing my peer group and their needs, wants, and suggestions for improvement as good and as considerate as possible!

02. March 2015 · Comments Off on What Do You Do With 375.000 Digitised Norwegian Books? · Categories: Conference Report, Digital Humanities · Tags: , ,

On 24. and 25. February, the Digital Humanities Forum at the University of Oslo hosted two half-day seminars focussing especially on digital textual studies. The first instance was a joint seminar with the newly established Digital Humanities Center at Gothenburg University and the Digital Humanities Lab Denmark. Gathered under the topic “litteraturforskning og digitale verktøy” (literary studies and digital tools), Jon Haarberg (University of Oslo), Jenny Bergenmar, Mats Malm and Sverker Lundin (Gothenburg University) shared their experiences with digitisation, digital editing, electronic literature and textual analysis. Among the presented projects were the digital edition of Petter Dass’ catechism songsSpråkbanken and Litteraturbanken (Swedish), the Women Writers Network and poeter.se, the largest Swedish online platform and archive for modern poetry and writing. Bergenmar and Malm also presented the new DH center at Gothenburg University and their future plans for a master programme in DH. The Swedes startet a seminar series on DH in the fall semester 2014 that will continue in 2015.

DHF_2015-02-24/1 DHF_2015-02-24/2

 

 

 

 

 

The second half-day seminar on 25. February was dedicated to textual analysis, especially topic modeling: “Kulturens tekster som big data. Om å analysere tekster digitalt” (Cultural textual heritage as big data. On analysing texts digitally). Starting with a  presentation by Peter Leonard (Yale University Library & Digital Humanities Lab) titled “Topic Modeling & the Canon. Using curated collections to understand the ‘Great Unread'” that served as a thorough introduction to topic modeling and showed some great case studies in the end (e.g. Robots Reading Vogue). After lunch, Jon Arild Oslen from the Norwegian National Library presented their long-term digitisation project that started in 2006 wherein their complete holdings will be digitised (image & text recognition & text encoding) and made available to the public. This will include ca. 375.000 books (from as early as 1790), 3.2 mio newspapers (i.e. single issues), 42.000 periodicals (summing up to 2 mio single volumes). The project will be finished in 2018. Arne Martinus Lindstad (Norwegian National Library) talked about the library’s n-gram project while Lars Johnsen presented topic modeling with the National Library’s text corpus.

DHD_2015-02-25

 

 

 

 

 

After a lively discussion with the audience, this time’s DH Forum host Anne Birgitte Rønning and I proposed a hands-on workshop for topic modeling to be held at the University of Oslo in the near future, and the current vice dean for research, Ellen Rees, announced the re-animation of the interdisciplinary research group “tekstutgivelse” (text editing & publishing) that will serve as a link between the National Library’s digital corpus and the Department for Linguistic and Scandinavian Languages’ corpus-based research and teaching and hopes to stimulate digital textual analysis endeavours.

I also did some live-tweeting during the seminars: #DHOslo

28. January 2015 · Comments Off on Catching Up · Categories: General

It’s been quite some time since I last updated my blog. Here’s what I will be writing about in the days and weeks to come:

08. November 2014 · Comments Off on Why I Run for Faculty Board at The Faculty of Humanities · Categories: General · Tags:

I have been nominated as candidate for the fixed-term academic staff (incl. PhD fellows) to run for the faculty board at the Faculty of Humanities, University of Oslo

The election platform with more info can be accessed here, the election takes place 17.–23. Nov., electronically.

Norsk versjon

Bakgrunn

Jeg er for tiden stipendiat ved ILOS, på fagfeltet tysk litteratur. Tidligere har jeg studert ved Freie Universität Berlin. Under og etter studietiden har jeg hatt engasjementer ved ulike akademiske institusjoner. Jeg har også hatt styreverv i flere ulike organisasjoner.

Jeg har bred erfaring fra selvstendig akademisk arbeid og fra samarbeid i utvalg og råd. Ved ph.d.-programmet på HF organiserte og ledet jeg i juni 2013 den internasjonale konferansen „What are Digital Humanities“. Jeg er aktiv i styregruppen for forskernettverket Digital Humaniora ved HF og i Steering Committee for den engelskspråklige delen av den akademiske blogplattformen Hypotheses.org og i den sist opprettede Einstein-Zirkel innenfor Einstein-stiftelsen under Berlins Senat.

Å være midlertidig vitenskapelig ansatt

  • Fra 2010 av har jeg vært midlertidig ansatt ved ulike institusjoner og har selv erfaring fra denne ofte vanskelige posisjonen, både innenfor forskning, undervisning og privat sektor.
  • Som ph.d-stipendiat fra det europeiske utlandet, som lever og arbeider her i Oslo, kjenner jeg godt til de spesielle akademiske og personlige utfordringene som møter de internasjonale midlertidig ansatte, fremfor alt ph.d.-stipendiatene.
  • Jeg vil arbeide for at disse spesielle utfordringene blir møtt bedre og blir tydeligere kommunisert fra Fakultetets side. Særlig vil jeg bruke mine krefter på å jobbe for en aktiv integrering av de midlertidig ansatte i fagfellesskapet på de enkelte instituttene, men også utover instituttgrensene.
  • Til dette hører, slik jeg ser det, også å ta aktivt del i å utforme og forbedre felles ph.d.-programmer ved HF og være med på å videreutvikle et integrerende miljø.
  • De midlertidig ansatte utgjør et stort vitenskapelig og kollegialt potensial for Fakultetet og Universitetet i Oslo. De bidrar i stor utstrekning både til forskning og undervisning til tross for tidsavgrensede stillinger og usikre utsikter til fast jobb og til en akademisk karriere. Jeg vil arbeide for at de midlertidig ansattes situasjon i enda større grad blir tatt hensyn til i strategiplaner, i budsjetter og i Fakultetets faglige prioriteringer. Samtidig bør det legges større vekt på å forberede ph.d.-stipendiatene og post.doc’ene på karrierer utenfor de nasjonale universitetene og høyskolene. Ett middel vil være et bredere og tettere tilbud av kurs, seminarer og workshops. Etter mitt syn bør disse ledsages av et mer målrettet fokus på forsknings-, undervisnings- og formidlingsformer som går utover de tradisjonelle publikasjonskanalene og mediene.
  • Som representant for de midlertidig ansatte vil jeg gå sterkt inn for en mer aktiv og direkte kommunikasjon mellom oss og Fakultetsstyret. I denne rollen vil jeg ikke bare være de midlertidiges representant i styret, men også deres kontaktperson.
  • Jeg kjenner og setter stor pris på den nåværende representaten for de midlertidig ansatte, Janicke S. Kaasa. Hun har nominert meg, og fra henne har jeg god innsikt i hvordan Fakultetsstyret arbeider og har et meget godt overblikk over oppgaveområdene og gjøremålene, men også over mulighetene som finnes innenfor min valgkrets.
  • Sist, men ikke minst, vil jeg arbeide for at Fakultetets strategiplaner, slik de vil bli satt ut i livet i de kommende årene, ikke kommer i strid med en ansvarlig og fremtidsrettet omgang med miljøet og energi- og råstoffressursene våre.

English version

More »

20. October 2014 · Comments Off on Humanioras framtid er digital! Eller ikke? · Categories: Digital Humanities · Tags: ,

The Future of the Humanities (at the University of Oslo) Is Digital. Or Isn’t It?

A little while ago, I have been interviewed for a piece on digital humanities: at the University of Oslo and ‘in general’. Although I am not a 100% happy with the article, I heard back from a number of people who either liked it and thought it to be informative or thought it would make a good starting point for further discussion. This interview is the latest in a series of articles about dh (here, here and here), and thus gives reason to believe that dh is becoming more and more visible.

The dh network at UiO – founded in June 2013 and officially going public in April 2014 with a wide-range dh project presentation – started a series of events in September 2014: the DHF (dh forum) with bi-weekly meetings, hosted by the university library; a DH Lunsj in the alternating weeks; and a weekly DH reading group, hosted by the Ibsen Centre.

More and more researchers, technical staff, and students enlist in the official mailinglist of the dh network (we are now 2 subscribers short of 100 members), the number of conferences, seminars, workshops, project presentations etc. that are announced and distributed via the mailinglist increases steadily. As does the collection of links to dh projects at UiO and to the people who run them.

With the forthcoming election of the new dean of the faculty of humanities, dh and the possibility of a dh centre is now also a political topic: both candidates, Jens Erland Braarvig and Arne Bugge Amundsen and his team highlighted dh and pointed out that this topic has to be taken seriously if Norway’s largest humanities faculty is to continue to be among the highest ranking, nationally and internationally. UiO and the faculty of humanities have at the moment three dh ‘services’, the EDD group (Unit for Digital Documentation), the DMLF group (a specialised group at the IT-department) and Tekstlab (the Text Laboratory) which very recently have been evaluated – with a very disappointing conclusion. However, the dh network composed a commentary that, among other things, emphasised the need for a dh centre: a waking call to the current and the new leadership.

Even if the notion of the “digital future” of the humanities is disputable – it should go without saying that there will be digital humanities, whether they will incorporate or assimilate the ‘traditional’ humanities, or complement them, or just be an alternative mode of doing humanities research & teaching. One of the many challenges in the next years here at UiO will be the discussion not of the ‘if’, but of the ‘how’ to deal with dh in a future, that will be both, analogue and digital.