The Year’s Work in Critical and Cultural Theory: new Digital Humanities section

Beginning in the 2016 volume, The Year’s Work in Critical and Cultural Theory has a new section on the digital humanities. Written by Anthony Mandal:

"The digital humanities continue to grow within the academy, moving from earlier concentrations on tools development towards more sustained conceptual encounters with our increasingly digital culture. A number of recent publications have introduced the key terms of reference for digital humanistic practice to those unacquainted or uninitiated with current developments in the field. Nevertheless, the longstanding paucity of engagement with theory in the digital humanities has been critiqued as constructing a field that is fundamentally instrumental and un-self-reflexive. This chapter considers seven publications from 2015 that go some way to addressing this lacuna in their demonstration of digital humanities scholarship as not only open to, but capable of, persuasive and nuanced explorations of theory. This manifests itself in various ways: presenting the digital humanities as an inter- or transdisciplinary practice that reconfigures and replenishes the broader traditions of studia humanitatis; in the form of a new ‘digital rhetoric’ that brings production and usage ever closer; or as part of an emergent ecology of ‘knowledge machines’ that draw on the ‘mathematization’ of information. The chapter also considers works that analyse the role of digital media in wider culture, particularly through the affordances and constraints of the social media platforms of Web 2.0."


CONFERENCE: Digital Infrastructure for Named Entities Data

Digital Infrastructure for Named Entities Data
Leipzig, Alexander von Humboldt Chair for Digital Humanities, January
11-13, 2017

The Leipzig Humboldt Chair for Digital Humanities and Pelagios Commons,
within the Global Philology Project and with the support of the BMBF, are
offering a conference to make the point about existing infrastructures and
needs in the field of Named Entities Data.

We use “Named Entities” in a larger sense than usual, not just in terms of
simple “proper names”, but as real expressions of cultural/cognitive
patterns in the representation of geospatial and social information as they
appear in premodern sources. The discussion will include spatial
descriptions as community knowledge, graphic representations of the world,
prosopographies, social networks, movements of people across time and
space, classification and relations of toponyms and personal names. We will
focus on several language domains, including Ancient Greek and Latin,
Arabic, Chinese, Syriac and Hebrew.

Our aim is to make the point about what has been done in this field and to
discuss common issues and opportunities of developing an infrastructure
that is shared across historical languages.


Venue: Bibliotheca Albertina Conference Hall, Beethovenstrasse 6, 04107

January 11

Research area 1: “Representing Named Entities”

9:30-10:00: Welcome and opening remarks: Chiara Palladino (Universität
Leipzig and Bari)

10:00-10:30: Mark Depauw (University of Leuven), Trismegistos and the
complexities of Named Entities of the Ancient World

10:30-11:00: Sergio Brillante (Università di Bari and Reims), Reading a
Greek Periplous: between lexicon, toponymy and space representation

11:00-11:15: coffee break

11:15-11:45: Ryan Horne (University of North Carolina), People, Places,
and Time: Representing Entities In the Big Ancient Mediterranean Project

11:45-12:15: Yanne Broux (University of Leuven), TM Networks: visualizing
relations in Trismegistos

12:15-12:45: Chet Van Duzer (University of Mississippi), Why do we have
no classical mappaemundi? Some thoughts by way of mosaics

12:45-14:15: Lunch

14:15-14:45: Kurt Franz (Universität Tübingen), Obsessed with Names?
Hodology and Topology, Vision and Factualism in Arabic Geographies

14:45-15:15: Alexandr Podossinov (Russian Academy of Sciences – Institute
of World History), Sprachliche Repräsentation des geographischen Raums in
der Antike

15:15-15:45: Guenther Goerz and Martin Thiering (Universität
Nürnberg-Erlangen), Spatial Cognition in Historical Geographic Texts and
Maps: Methodologies and Theories

15:45-16:00: coffee break

16:00-16:30: Veronica Bucciantini (Università di Firenze), FGrHist V:
Editorial and Conceptual problems of a geographical Project

16:30-17:00: Thomas Carlson (Vanderbilt University), Named Concepts
Between Reality and Imagination:’s Approaches to Historical
Places and Persons

January 12

Research area 2 : “Classifying and linking Named Entities”

9:30-10:00: Opening remarks: Maxim Romanov (Universität Leipzig)

10:00-10:30: Maurizio Lana (Università del Piemonte Orientale), The narrow
and the wide gate: why we must enter both. or: why to blend automatic
parsing and annotation with ontology-based annotation

10:30-11:00: Vincent Razanajao (Université de Liège), Egyptian places and
place names in a digital world: a framework for modelling and analysing an
ancient space

11:00-11:15: coffee break

11:15-11:45: Francesco Mambrini and Wolfgang Schmidle (iDAI Berlin), Persons
and Places in the iDAI.publications

11:45-12:15: Stuart Dunn (King’s College London), Inscriptions engraved on
the soil: Digital approaches to place in Cyprus

12:15-12:45: Lukas Müller (Universität Erlangen), Prosopography and its
Problems in the Digital Edition of the Inscriptions of Metropolis in Ionia

12:45-14:15: Lunch

14:15-14:45: Neven Jovanovic and Alex Simrell (University of Zagreb), Digital
commenting on place names in early modern Latin texts

14:45-15:15: Valeria Vitale (ICS London), Named entities for cross
cultural places: languages, boundaries, identities. The case of CALCS and
the Arabic place-names of classical sites

15:15-15:45: Masoumeh Seydi Gheranghiyeh (Universität Leipzig), TBA

15:45-16:00: coffee break

16:00-16:30: Dagmar Schäfer (Max Planck Institut, Berlin), Local Gazetters
and named entities recognition. Grand corpuses of Classical Chinese

16:30-17:00: Johan Åhlfeldt (Lund University), The Digital Atlas of the
Roman Empire (working title)

January 13

Research area 3: “Towards a cross-disciplinary infrastructure for Named
Entities in historical languages”

9:30-10:00: Keynote: Gregory Crane (Universität Leipzig / Tufts University)

10:00-10:30: Sinai Rusinek (Van Leer University), Kima: Places in a

10:30-11:00: Elton Barker (Open University), Investigating place:
annotation, links, transformation

11:00-11:30: coffee break

11:30-12:00: Hilde De Weerdt (University of Leiden), Named Entity
Recognition for Classical Chinese: Issues and Prospects

12:00-12:30: Brady Kiesling (Laskaridis Foundation), ToposText: Toward an
Ecosystem of Free-Range Big Data in the Classics

12:30-13:30: Lunch

13:30-17:00: Round table and report (with coffee)

Attendance is free and very much welcome.

For further information please visit: http://www.dh.uni-leipz





 The redefinition of humanities scholarship has received major attention in higher education over the past few years. The advent of digital humanities has challenged many aspects of academic librarianship. With the acknowledgement that librarians must be a necessary part of this scholarly conversation, the challenges facing subject/liaison librarians, technical service librarians, and library administrators are many. Developing the knowledge base of digital tools, establishing best procedures and practices, understanding humanities scholarship, managing data through the research lifecycle, teaching literacies (information, data, visual) beyond the one-shot class, renegotiating the traditional librarian/faculty relationship as ‘service orientated,’ and the willingness of library and institutional administrators to allocate scarce resources to digital humanities projects while balancing the mission and priorities of their institutions are just some of the issues facing librarians as they reinvent themselves in the digital humanities sphere.


College & Undergraduate Libraries, a peer-reviewed journal published by Taylor & Francis, invites proposals for articles to be published in the fall of 2017. The issue will be co-edited by Kevin Gunn ( of the Catholic University of America and Jason Paul ( of St. Olaf College.

The issue will deal with the digital humanities in a very broad sense, with a major focus on their implications for the roles of academic librarians and libraries as well as on librarianship in general. Possible article topics include, but are not limited to, the following themes, issues, challenges, and criticism:

  • Developing the project development mindset in librarians
  • Creating new positions and/or cross-training issues for librarians
  • Librarian as: point-of-service agent, an ongoing consultant, or as an embedded project librarian
  • Developing managerial and technological competencies in librarians
  • Administration support (or not) for DH endeavors in libraries
  • Teaching DH with faculty to students (undergraduate and graduate) and faculty
  • Helping students working with data
  • Managing the DH products of the data life cycle
  • Issues surrounding humanities data collection development and management
  • Relationships of data curation and digital libraries in DH
  • Issues in curation, preservation, sustainability, and access of DH data, projects, and products
  • Linked data, open access, and libraries
  • Librarian and staff development for non-traditional roles
  • Teaching DH in academic libraries
  • Project collaboration efforts with undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty
  • Data literacy for librarians
  • The lack of diversity of librarians and how it impacts DH development
  • Advocating and supporting DH across the institution
  • Developing institutional repositories for DH
  • Creating DH scholarship from the birth of digital objects
  • Consortial collaborations on DH projects
  • Establishing best practices for dh labs, networks, and services
  • Assessing, evaluating, and peer reviewing DH projects and librarians.

Articles may be theoretical or ideological discussions, case studies, best practices, research studies, and opinion pieces or position papers.

Proposals should consist of an abstract of up to 500 words and up to six keywords describing the article, together with complete author contact information. Articles should be in the range of 20 double-spaced pages in length. Please consult the following link that contains instructions for authors:

Please submit proposals to Kevin Gunn ( by August 17, 2016; please do not use Scholar One for submitting proposals. First drafts of accepted proposals will be due by February 1, 2017 with the issue being published in the fall of 2017. Feel free to contact the editors with any questions that you may have.

Kevin Gunn, Catholic University of America

Jason Paul, St. Olaf College

Mapping the United Swears of America

Strong Language

Swearing varies a lot from place to place, even within the same country, in the same language. But how do we know who swears what, where, in the big picture? We turn to data – damn big data. With great computing power comes great cartography.

Jack Grieve, lecturer in forensic linguistics at Aston University in Birmingham, UK, has created a detailed set of maps of the US showing strong regional patterns of swearing preferences. The maps are based on an 8.9-billion-word corpus of geo-coded tweets collected by Diansheng Guo in 2013–14 and funded by Digging into Data. Here’s fuck:

Jack Grieve swear map of USA GI z-score FUCK

View original post 366 more words

Where are the Books? It depends…..

Great article in today’s Washington Post (Where are the Books? Libraries under fire as they shift from print to digital) about the competing pressures on librarians in servicing the needs of the community while juggling fiscal restraints, the shifting needs of patrons from using print books to digital books, and the challenges of supporting digital formats.  I was struck by the phrase ‘print purists.’ If you consider yourself a ‘print purist,’ are you not admitting that you have not kept up with the times or have made the conscious decision to eschew electronic formats? Anyway, the article is set up as an ‘us vs them, ‘ ‘either/or’ scenario when in fact the scenario can be described as ‘both, depending on your individual needs.’