Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Digital Humanities

I am Day 2 of the Digital Humanities Summer Institute. Prior to this workshop, I had no inkling of what was digital humanities. Not anymore. The Digital Humanities, also known as Humanities Computing, is a field of study, research, teaching, and invention concerned with the intersection of computing and the disciplines of the humanities. It is methodological by nature and interdisciplinary in scope. It involves investigation, analysis, synthesis and presentation of knowledge using computational media. provides an environment ideal to discuss, to learn about, and to advance skills in new computing technologies influencing the work of those in the Arts, Humanities and Library communities.

I'm currently taking Text Encoding Fundamentals and their Application at the University of Victoria from May 26–30, 2008, taught by Julia Flanders and Syd Bauman experts in using the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) an XML language which collectively develops and maintains a standard for the representation of texts in digital form in order to specify encoding methods for machine-readable texts. And it has been a blast. This has been the seventh year of its existence, and already it has gained the attention of academics and librarians across the world.

The DHSI takes place across a week of intensive coursework, seminar participation, and lectures. It brings together faculty, staff, and graduate student theorists, experimentalists, technologists, and administrators from different areas of the Arts, Humanities, Library and Archives communities and beyond to share ideas and methods, and to develop expertise in applying advanced technologies to activities that impact teaching, research, dissemination and preservation. What have I learned so far? Lots. But most of all, just how much XML plays in the Semantic Web. But more on that in the next posting . . . stay tuned.

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