Classical Intertextuality and Computation

Pramit Chaudhuri, Dartmouth College

This presentation surveys three tools for detecting intertextual parallels focused on Latin literature. Two tools, Diogenes ( and Tesserae (, are publicly available, and one is currently being developed in a collaborative and interdisciplinary project based at Dartmouth College. Attention will be paid to the different methods underlying the tools and their relative aptitudes for detecting various kinds of intertextual relationship: verbal, semantic, aural, etc. We will consider applications of the tools not only within the mainstream of Classics research but also to less well known texts and traditions that straddle conventional departmental boundaries. Finally, the presentation will also include a brief account of the development of the Dartmouth project, which has relied on significant contributions from undergraduate students, and the pedagogical use of all three tools in an advanced Latin course on Vergil’s Aeneid. Throughout the presentation, the perspective taken will be that of a non-Digital Humanist exploring the possibilities for research and teaching enabled by computation and by collaboration with specialists in computation.

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Danteworlds: DHing the Scholar-Teacher in the Piazza

Guy Raffa, The University of Texas at Austin

The complete Danteworlds website, built and hosted by UT’s Liberal Arts Instructional Technology services (LAITS) went on-line in 2005. I will use this ten-year anniversary to reflect on how work in Digital Humanities creates game-changing opportunities to foster the reciprocity and integration of college research and teaching. A much celebrated union in administrative talking points for internal and public consumption, the scholar-teacher often loses its hyphen in practice, the primary functions of academic life going their separate and unequal ways. I will draw on my experience with Danteworlds—its conception, creation, and use—and other web-based Dante projects to show how Digital Humanities honors the interdependence and mutual benefits of academic research and what happens in physical and virtual classrooms. Just as important, it does so by bringing the important work we do as scholar-teachers within the walls and firewalls of our scholastic tower out into the piazza.


Enacting Public Digital History: Stitching History from the Holocaust

Matthew Russell, The University of Texas at Austin

This talk will focus on a collaboration between the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Digital Humanities Lab and the Jewish Museum of Milwaukee to build a digital, participatory extension of their “Stitching History from the Holocaust” exhibit. When the Jewish Museum of Milwaukee first decided to mount an exhibit on the designs of Hedwig Strnad, a dressmaker from Czechoslovakia who perished in the Holocaust, they turned to librarians and scholars in the humanities to provide the broader context needed for understanding the artifacts in their possession: letters and dress designs. The “Stitching History from the Holocaust” digital exhibit creates a new context for the artifacts: one that provides evidence of Hedwig Strnad’s experience and shares those remaining artifacts with the world. Rather than simply creating a website of the exhibit, the Digital Humanities team built the exhibit around a repository structure that affords each artifact its own descriptive information and enables further research and new narratives to grow around them.


Collaborative Story-Telling: “Berliner sehen” and Deep Learner Engagement

Ellen W. Crocker and Kurt E. Fendt, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

In recent years, digital story telling has gained renewed attention as an innovative form of creative expression and user engagement. Advanced web technologies have enabled new contexts for social interaction and collaborative sense making. “Berliner sehen,” an interactive digital story-telling environment for German Studies, has been developed with the pedagogical goal of engaging students of German in the process of collaborative discovery of cultural and linguistic meaning. Featuring life stories of residents from both sides of the formally divided city, the online application comprises a rich archive of 28 hours of live recorded conversations, hundreds of public and private historical images and documents combined with a user interface that encourages students to explore and combine media documents to construct their own stories about the complex recent history of Berlin. The presenters will situate “Berliner sehen” within current Digital Humanities methodologies and foreign language pedagogy, and discuss assignments and resulting classroom interactions.


Digital Social Reading: Textual Interpretation as Collaborative Activity

Carl Blyth, The University of Texas at Austin

Current e-reading devices allow multiple readers to read the same text together, annotate the text, and share their annotations. The resulting practice is referred to as digital social reading. This new literacy practice violates many readers’ expectations of what it means to read based on a shared “print culture” (Baron, 2013). This presentation frames digital social reading in terms of a new “participatory culture” (Jenkins, 2009) in which interpretive practices long associated with the individual become a collaborative, group activity. The impact of digital social reading has stirred much academic controversy. On the one hand, literature specialists claim that it jeopardizes close reading skills long associated with traditional forms of academic literacy (Bauerlein, 2008). On the other hand, new media scholars argue that the real problem comes from equating reading with a narrowly defined and historically situated practice—the close reading of a printed text (Hayles, 2012). Proponents of the pedagogical affordances of digital literacy note that the question is no longer how to teach reading, but rather, which kind of reading to teach. Close reading of printed texts? Hyper reading of digital texts? Or machine reading of databases? Or, put differently, how should we teach the multiple reading skills now associated with digital literacies? In response to these questions, this presentation analyzes some of the perceived pedagogical affordances of a web-based application for digital social reading called eComma (Blyth, 2014). An analysis of the use of eComma in different classrooms suggests how L2 teachers are employing digital social reading as a “bridging activity” (Hayles, 2012; Thorne & Reinhardt, 2008) that partially resolves the reported clashes between print and digital cultures.

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Making Do With arabiCorpus: Getting Past English Corpus Envy and Making the Most of What We Have

Dilworth Parkinson, Brigham Young University

This presentation will begin by detailing the features of Arabic that make what might be called normal corpus manipulation problematic. It will then review ongoing attempts to resolve these problems (i.e. to provide Arabic corpora that can “do what English corpora can do”). A case will then be made for the need for a very large, non-lemmatized corpus of Arabic until such time as the massive resources needed to create a large lemmatized corpus become available in a non-politicized/non-ideological manner. is one attempt to provide this clearly less than adequate, temporary solution.

An overview of arabiCorpus will be given that will highlight both what it does well and what it does poorly. The nuts and bolts behind the ‘magic’ will be explained, and then several case studies will be examined which will demonstrate that although this corpus clearly cannot ‘do’ what English corpora routinely do, creative solutions exist that allow one in many cases to approximate those results, and which provide data for uses in lexicography, Arabic language teaching and Arabic Linguistics that would have been difficult or impossible to obtain before the availability of such online corpora.

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