EMDA2013 Curriculum

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The following outlines the curriculum for the "Early Modern Digital Agendas" institute convened in July 2013.

Week One: The Digital Corpus for Early Modernists

Day 1: Monday, 8 July 2013

Welcome and Introductions

Morning (9:30 to 11:30): Orientation to the Folger Shakespeare Library including reader registration, an introduction to the rules and regulations of the Reading Room, a tour of the Library, and a brief orientation to the Folger Library’s online catalogue, Hamnet. Participants will confer with the summer institute’s Technical Assistant to configure wireless password protocols on their personal laptops.

Lunch (11:30 to 1:00): Director Jonathan Hope (Professor of Literary Linguistics, University of Strathclyde) and participants convene at an introductory lunch.

Afternoon (1:00 to 3:00): Professor Hope and the participants begin building a supportive scholarly community and set the intellectual tone for the program. Professor Hope will divide participants into four sub-groups of five each for introductions, and each group will meet separately for 40 minutes. In the sub-groups, each participant will take 5 minutes to describe: (1) their three ‘greatest hits’ in research; and (2) the DH research problem they have brought to EMDA and for which they will develop a solution, visualization, guided approach, or list of resources over the course of the coming weeks. The whole group will then reconvene and each person will introduce (in no more than three minutes) the work and research project of another member of their sub-group. Professor Hope will also outline plans for the digital footprint of the Institute: live tweeting of presentations and discussions; private wiki-sites to record ongoing work and allow sharing between participants; and a public website to present the participants’ work that will serve as an ongoing hub for DH work in early modern studies.

Post-Tea (3:30 to 4:30): Professor Hope will lead discussion of the first set of assigned texts. There are many collections of essays introducing, surveying, and championing Digital Humanities. Most of these are freely available on the web, and participants may find it useful to scan through the contents lists: in particular the two early Blackwells anthologies (see ‘background reading’) provide good introductions to specific fields you may need to know about. Some of the later anthologies suffer from the twin evils of much DH debate: self-congratulation and endless circular navel-gazing. In our discussion this afternoon, we will therefore focus on Matthew Jockers’ recently published Macroanalysis, the early chapters of which provide a trenchant overview of DH. We will pair this work with artist Grayson Perry’s set of six tapestries, The Vanity of Small Differences.

Day 2: Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Theoretical Discussions on the History and Culture of Technology and Human Interaction

Morning (9:30 to 11:30): Professor Jonathan Sawday (Saint Louis University) guides discussion of some key theoretical ideas associated with interactions between human beings and technologies. The purpose of this session is to help us to frame some of our specific work in the Digital Humanities within a wider cultural discussion of what Heidegger (in a famous 1954 essay) termed “The question concerning Technology” (Die Frage nach der Technik) – an essay which was itself originally termed (simply) “The Framework.” Although we shall not be discussing Heidegger’s essay directly in the session, those unfamiliar with this notoriously difficult piece can find an electronic version here:

Lunch Break (11:30 to 1:00)

Afternoon (1:00 to 3:00): Professor Wendy Hui Kyong Chun (Brown University) will examine the importance of networking technologies to the scholarly imaginary and vice versa. Professor Chun will help the participants think through the ways in which the conceptual power of networks stems from their alleged ability to bridge unbridgeable scales: the micro and the macro, the molecular and the molar. Throughout preceding discussions, participants will relate these issues to the larger aims of the institute. They will focus on the allure of technology, the dangers of uncritical approaches to it, and the extent to which researchers need to take ethical responsibility for the tools and protocols they employ.

Post-Tea (3:30 to 4:30): Exercises will be assigned introducing the most widely used digital corpus in early modern English studies, Early English Books Online (EEBO). Participants will be given a range of tasks, depending on their familiarity with the resource. They should make notes about aspects of EEBO they find unusual or surprising, and prepare to discuss how intuitive and user-friendly the interface is.

Day 3: Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Digital Books: Working with Early English Books Online

Morning (9:30 to 11:30): Professor Ian Gadd (Bath Spa University) and two Folger librarians, Goran Proot (Mellon Curator of Rare Books) and Deborah J. Leslie (Senior English Rare Book Cataloguer), join the institute to discuss the scope and organizing principles of online catalogues like the Folger’s Hamnet and online bibliographies like the English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC), whose catalogue data provides the underlying parameters for EEBO. The ESTC is a comprehensive, international union catalogue, listing some 470,000 catalogue entries for letter-press books, serials, newspapers, and selected ephemera printed before 1801 in Britain, Ireland, overseas territories under British colonial rule, and the United States.

Through the example of the ESTC, participants will learn the “logic” of the online catalogue: the ESTC has enhanced scholarly access to the metadata produced by cataloguers and provides a multitude of new ways to search for relevant texts and to distinguish between editions and even individual copies. Discussion on the principles of Short-Title Catalogues will examine those aspects of early modern print culture that digital resources such as EEBO do not adequately capture. The difficulties of reliably searching for printer and publisher information, publication dates, and other elements of imprint data via ESTC and EEBO will be considered, and some possible solutions will be offered.

Goran Proot will raise some quantitative questions with a statistical analysis of how representative the existing corpus of early English titles is. Participants will have an opportunity to discuss with the presenters how the migration of catalogues and bibliographies online modifies the nature of scholarly research.

Lunch Break (11:30 to 1:00)

Afternoon (1:00 to 3:00): Professor Gadd leads discussion of EEBO as a search tool, drawing on the previous day’s assignment and the participants’ own prior experiences with EEBO. Discussion will focus on EEBO’s “boundaries” as a data-set, and its strengths and weaknesses as a research tool.

Post-Tea (3:30 to 4:30): Participants will complete in-session assignments focusing on the relationship between ESTC and EEBO, and will discuss their findings. Participants will also locate EEBO examples for which there is a Folger copy available in preparation for the following morning’s session in the reading room.

Day 4: Thursday, 11 July 2013

Digital Pictures: Facsimiles and Remediation in Early English Books Online

Morning (8:45 to 11:30): In the Folger Reading Room, participants compare the EEBO version of a selected book with originals paged from the Folger collections and note interesting discrepancies. This will lay the groundwork for the afternoon’s discussion on “remediation.”

Lunch Break (11:30 to 1:00)

Afternoon (1:00 to 3:00): Professor Gadd discusses these EEBO-to-original comparisons with participants. He will demonstrate the different ways in which EEBO presents and characterizes the images it shows. The history of these images from microfilm to digitized image will be explained. The considerable variation in procedures and techniques will be demonstrated through examples from EEBO.

Digital words: EEBO-TCP

Post-Tea (3:30 to 4:30): Professor Gadd discusses the Text-Creation Partnership aspect of EEBO, by which a growing proportion of EEBO’s books are available by institutional subscription in manually keyed, full-text, searchable form. Following his presentation, participants will break into sub-groups to find examples and discuss applications of EEBO-TCP for research and classroom use.

Day 5: Friday, 12 July 2013

Morning (9:30 to 11:30): Professor Gadd leads discussion drawing on the sub-groups’ findings from the previous session. A summary discussion follows on applications and consequences of using EEBO-TCP as a research tool. Participants will have an opportunity to discuss with Professor Gadd what they learned during the first week and pose questions to each other about larger issues involving digital facsimiles and the current possibilities for searching them.

Lunch Break (11:30 to 1:00)

Beyond EEBO-TCP: Using large, well-structured corpora to study a wide range of linguistic and cultural changes in English

Afternoon (1:00 to 3:00): Professor Mark Davies (Brigham Young University) will provide a hands-on demonstration of three large corpora of Early Modern and Late Modern English: the 400 million word Corpus of Historical American English (COHA), the 155 billion word (BYU/Advanced) Google Books Corpus, and an “alpha” version of a 400 million word EEBO Corpus. The two main questions we will consider are: 1. How can large historical corpora provide insight into language change (e.g. lexical, syntactic, semantic), as well as changes in society and culture? 2. What are some of the challenges and limitations in using data from large historical corpora?

Post-Tea (3:30 to 4:30): Discussion continues. At its conclusion, readings for Week 2 will be distributed, assignments outlined, and the Technical Assistant will support the installation of Week 2 software on personal laptops as needed.

Week Two: Extending the Early Modern Textual Corpus and Organizing Major Digital Projects

Day 6: Monday, 15 July 2013

Hands-On Introduction to TEI and Digital Tools for Transcribing Manuscripts

Morning (9:30 to 11:30): Alan Galey (University of Toronto), Julia Flanders (Northeastern University) and Heather Wolfe (the Folger Curator of Manuscripts) will introduce the theory and practical issues concerning editing in the digital realm. Dr. Wolfe provides an introduction to the semi-diplomatic transcription of manuscripts, including the current standards governing transcription and the potential challenges of encoding them. Professor Flanders discusses key questions that confront the scholarly community when editing manuscripts, especially the ways different communities of users (documentary editors, literary scholars, genetic editors, curators, etc.) conceptualize the modeling and representation of manuscript materials differently. Examples of early modern manuscripts will be introduced through a transcription exercise using http://paleography.folger.edu, followed by a discussion of diplomatic transcription as a form of data modeling. Readings will include the TEI Manuscripts Special Interest Group’s draft version of “An Encoding Model for Genetic Editions,” and Dino Buzzetti and Jerome McGann’s “Electronic Textual Editing: Critical Editing in a Digital Horizon.”

Lunch Break (11:30 to 1:00)

Afternoon (1:00 to 3:00): Introduction to XML and TEI encoding through group exercise (using custom TEI schema and template that will be provided, as well as the oXygen XML editor [www.oxygenxml.com], which participants should bring installed on their own computers). Professors Flanders and Galey introduce the participants to some of the underlying principles of the Text Encoding Initiative guidelines. They will trace the ways text encoding has developed in recent years. The focus will be on eXtensible Markup Language (XML), but the lesson will be that encoding is not simply the application of a technical skill or technology to a problem, but rather is an intellectual exercise that must address the constraints of digital representation. Participants will gain a sense of how various technologies work in concert, as well as an idea of what level of expertise would be required to undertake certain types of digital editing projects and where they might obtain those skills.

Post-Tea (3:30 to 4:30): Discussion of readings in relation to broader questions raised by the day’s activities, particularly in relation to Willard McCarty’s “Introduction” from Humanities Computing and Johanna Drucker’s “Humanities Approaches to Graphical Display.” Participants will be asked to situate new concepts in relation to discussions from previous week.

Homework assignment: Find a manuscript in Dromio and transcribe it.

Day 7: Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Digital Editing, Modeling, Visualization, and Speculative Computing

Morning (9:30 to 11:30): Students work in sub-groups in hands-on experimentation with TEI and Dromio. Through group discussion of transcription decisions, participants approach questions of digital representation including appropriate levels of precision and granularity, the interpretive processes involved in representing details of both text and layout, and the question of how digital representations might serve future analysis.

Lunch Break (11:30 to 1:00)

Afternoon (1:00 to 3:00): Professors Flanders and Galey lead a discussion of how manuscript data is used in various digital projects and publications, considering questions of data modeling and interface design. Examples will be drawn from various manuscript-oriented digital editing projects, as well as the Versioning Machine, Juxta, and Galey’s Visualizing Variation project: [www.visualizingvariation.ca].

Post-Tea (3:30 to 4:30): Further discussion of projects mentioned in previous session, as well as framing questions arising from readings and from previous day’s activities.

Assignment: Participants locate a Folger manuscript that raises specific challenges for electronic editing.

Day 8: Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Digital Project Design, Research Question Formation, and Matters of Scale

Morning (8:45 to 11:30):Flanders, Wolfe, and Galey lead discussion of challenges and questions arising from team projects. Topics will include tagging decisions for large-scale projects, particularly those that would generalize across manuscripts, as well as the formation of research questions in relation to digital tools and materials. Wolfe will lead the group in experimenting with EMO, and the resulting discussion will focus on how we can move from the specificity of individual projects and their representation of manuscript materials to the more general case required by a large-scale research environment. How can we form intelligent research questions that take advantage of a digital research environment, and how might such questions help us design intelligent tools to address them?

Lunch Break (11:30 to 1:00)

Afternoon (1:00 to 3:00): We have set aside time in this session for more discussion or additional topics as needed.

Post-Tea (3:30 to 4:30): In this final session, we will look ahead to the next portion of the institute and ask participants to consider how the topics we have been covering might inform their approach to the upcoming practical and theoretical work.

Day 9: Thursday, 18 July 2013

Organizing Digital Projects

Morning (9:30 to 11:30): Katherine Rowe (Bryn Mawr College), Gabriel Egan (De Montfort University), and Eric Johnson (Folger Director of Digital Access) will provide overviews of the most interesting projects with which they are familiar. They will focus on the practical and theoretical issues these projects raise. They will also suggest networks that offer assistance and training in specific tools and applications, including Commons, [1], and centerNet

Working Lunch (11:30 to 1:00): Michael Poston and Rebecca Niles of the Folger Digital Texts team discuss the challenges they have faced in creating a highly articulate indexing system that gives unique identifiers to every word, space, and piece of punctuation. This provides users of the Folger Digital Texts (which are based on the Folger Shakespeare Library Editions) the means to navigate the texts with pinpoint precision, and researchers can build their own digital projects on top of the Folger Digital Texts infrastructure. Afternoon (1:00 to 3:00): Martin Mueller (Northwestern University) and Michael Witmore (Folger Shakespeare Library) will join Jonathan Hope to present very different projects. Professor Mueller will discuss the “Shakespeare His Contemporaries” experiment (and possibly introduce WordHoard and MorphAdorner), Dr. Witmore will present the “Folger Digital Folio of Renaissance Drama for the 21st Century” (F21), and Professor Hope will focus on TransVis.

Post-Tea (3:30 to 4:30): Participants reconvene to ask questions of the presenters in light of their own projects and concerns.

Day 10: Friday, 19 July 2013

Morning (9:30 to 11:30): Participants break into their sub-groups to discuss specific ideas of applications of text encoding, digital editions, and the importance of networking and resource sharing in the collaborative DH world.

Lunch Break (11:30 to 1:00)

Afternoon (1:00 to 3:00): The sub-groups report on their discussions.

Post-Tea (3:30 to 4:30): Summary discussion on collaborative avenues and networks available to participants and the issues and challenges that they have noted.

Week Three: New Analytical Approaches to the Corpus

Day 11: Monday, 22 July 2013

Visualization Case Study: “Visualizing English Print”

Morning (9:30 to 11:30): Jonathan Hope discusses how visualization analysis provides a tool that offers serious inroads into scholarly data using new techniques and how it can allow scholars to investigate rather than simply view data. His case study will involve the work of the “Visualizing English Print” project, a major Mellon-funded initiative coordinated by scholars at the Folger, the University Wisconsin at Madison, and the University of Strathclyde. Its team seeks to develop tools and protocols that enable researchers to analyze and visualize the data being made available as part of the Text Creation Partnership through EEBO and other archives.

Lunch Break (11:30 to 1:00)

Afternoon (1:00 to 3:00): Discussion continues as Dr. Hope demonstrates the analysis and visualization tools being developed by the VEP project team, including the comparative rhetorical analysis using Docuscope, which allows scholars to trace the development of genres and modes of discourse through time. There will be an opportunity to run Docuscope and the tools developed by the VEP team. His presentation will culminate with a discussion of the mathematics of comparison: the “spaces” in which scholars project texts in order to compare them.

Post-Tea (3:30 to 4:30): Participants continue discussion.

Day 12: Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Semantics and the Digital Humanities

Morning (9:30 to 11:30): Marc Alexander (University of Glasgow) will lead discussion on through an introduction and demonstration to the Thesaurus of English (HTOED). This session will discuss the possibilities provided by HTOED, by looking at the English language as a whole, and through a narrower exploration of the ways early modern semantic fields change, for instance, for the words meaning man and woman.

Lunch Break (11:30 to 1:00)

Scholarly Investigation through Visualization Tools

Afternoon (1:00 to 3:00): Dr. Alexander will shift to a discussion of visualization methods and their appropriateness to certain types of projects. A semantic arrangement of information about text (rather than, say, an alphabetical organization) lends itself to techniques of displaying and clustering data visually. The participants will compare ways of visualizing data provided from HTOED using the University of Maryland’s [2] software and discuss the [3] tagger available from Lancaster University. He will invite the participants to suggest applications that are relevant to their research goals.

Post-Tea (3:30 to 4:30): Participants divide into sub-groups to conduct HTOED searches relevant to their interests.

Assignment: Participants to familiarize themselves with the USAS tagger and Treemap and Docuscope software.

Day 13: Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Morning (9:30 to 11:30): Participants break into their sub-groups to consider what kinds of projects are best represented with visualization software and for what type of audience. Professor Hope and Dr. Alexander will circulate through the sub-groups.

Lunch Break (11:30 to 1:00)

Evaluating Visualization and Visualization Tools and Participant Presentations

Afternoon (1:00 to 3:00): Professor Hope and Dr. Alexander will guide discussion on how the methods and tools used for the visualization projects to which they have been introduced might be amenable to participants’ own work. Discussion will involve how scholars develop the ability to read, interpret, and evaluate visualizations, and the importance of understanding the statistical procedures that lie behind visual representations.

Post-Tea (3:30 to 4:30): Participants prepare their reports describing their future DH plans and contributions to the continuing Institute digital footprint.

Day 14: Thursday, 25 July 2013

Participant Reports

Morning (9:30 to 11:30): Participants prepare their reports describing their future DH plans and contributions to the Institute website.

Lunch Break (11:30 to 1:00)

Afternoon (1:00 to 3:00): Six participants deliver reports on the themes of the institute and lay out plans and issues for their future research. In ten-minute reports, followed by five minutes of questions, they will discuss what they have learned, speculate on what needs to be done or made available to researchers in the field, and describe what they have been inspired to investigate. They will also indicate what their continuing contribution to the Institute’s digital footprint will be.

Post-Tea (3:30 to 4:30): Two additional participants present reports.

Day 15: Friday, 26 July 2013

Participant Reports

Morning (9:30 to 11:30): Six additional participants present reports.

Lunch Break (11:30 to 1:00)

Afternoon (1:00 to 3:00): Six additional participants present reports.

Post-Tea (3:30 to 4:30): Director leads the final discussion of the three weeks. These culminating discussions mark the beginning of the work participants will continue after the Institute.