TEI and {Wikisource} / Doubt and Imperfection

TEI and WikiSource

Taking on the responsibility of a work through TEI markup is daunting because a detailed markup can yield so much information about a text and a basic markup proves, largely, irresponsible.

Wikisource Proofread

It was odd using TEI Markup language to reinterpret the English language.  Firstly, I was learning a new language.  That was humbling.  Here I am, an English student and would-be writer attempting to do all I can to improve my manipulation of the English language and suddenly another language is required of me?  My immediate response: I am too old for this!  But of course this is completely untrue.  What really helped with learning TEI Markup was beginning with WikiSource.  Although TEI is more detail oriented, the foundations of the language can be learned through WikiSource.  Proofreading/Validating is the most logical move from print edition to digital edition.  The two are literally side by side and all you have to do is make one edition look like the other while paying attention to the medium you are operating in (for instance, reading WikiSource’s proofreading guidelines is helpful).  Transclusion provides you with the necessary shock.  A lot of anxiety comes with working with digital editions and the act of taking all that you have done and doing it all over again definitely punches you in the face with ephemerality.  Because you are forced to guess who your readership is, annotation continues this feeling of uncertainty and introduces the important tag brackets: < and >!

My initial resistance to learning the TEI language leads me to: secondly, Continue reading


Solitary Genius

Authorship in digital humanities brings to light just how wrong Roland Barthes was in his essay “The Death of the Author”.  I would argue the title should be “The Death of the Engaging Third Person Omniscient Narrator”, but that is a matter for another day.

The “solitary genus” of the author has not gone out of fashion only into question with the emergence of digital technologies.  Reading through what my peers have discussed in the earlier posts I wholeheartedly subscribe to the importance of collaboration, as well as making collaboration visible.  Collaboration has always been a part of print technology, but this collaboration is left to the imagination when faced with a material item that states a singular author on its cover.  Seeing how many people are involved in a work and opening a work (an example of opening a work is Fitzpatrick‘s suggestion that scholars should publish first and peer-review later) to as much collaboration as possible destroys the notion of the solitary genius and encourages further collaborative and even interdisciplinary scholarship.

Another issue that is being discussed is the increase in the responsibility of the reader and the lack of “justification for editorial conflation” in digital publications.  In digital editions editors are intruding less on the text leaving the responsibility of sorting through the material largely to the reader.  This means that “a broader spectrum of institutional relations, and widening networks of production” has evolved.  A broader spectrum of relations that disadvantage those with “traditional” modes of education or degrees (discussed here). Continue reading

Text, Wiki, Hypermedia and…Icebergs?

Ed Folsom, in his article, discusses databases, but his argument fits more comfortably within the hypertext debate.  Interestingly, as George P. Landow explains, “[h]ypertextuality, like all digital textuality, inevitably includes a far higher percentage of nonverbal information than does print.”  Hypertext and text are not equivalent, then.  A new interaction of information such as that found in hypertext does not conform with the old print technology jargon.

Hypertext in Practice

Let’s assume your research question involves researching The Wikimedia Foundation and Wikisource.  If you search Wikimedia in the Bing search bar the internet page “Wikimedia Foundation” is the second result.  You click on it.  You may or may not read the entire page before moving onto the next research question topic: Wikisource. Continue reading

The Social Edition: Old and New Not Necessarily Something Blue

The social edition—combining social media, scholarly production and the “electronic form”–for example The Devonshire Manuscript—sits among the same chaos, uncertainty and ineffective censoring plaguing all the World Wide Web.

Ray Siemens et al. in “Toward modeling the social edition: An approach to understanding the electronic scholarly edition in the context of new and emerging social media” (as well as in Pertinent Discussions Toward Modeling the Social Edition: Annotated Bibliographiesbring some strong, rational points to the pro-social edition debate.  Social editions offer tools that make,

  • text fluid,
  • collective,
  • include “many readers/editors” instead of “a single editor”,
  • and all together “broaden the editorial lens as well as the breadth, depth, and scope of any edition produced in this way.” Continue reading