AIMs is generously funding major initatives in Miami University’s Digital Humanities Program. I will be posting about these initatives in detail over the next few weeks, but a quick note about some exciting events. Miami is home to 18thConnect, a scholarly community devoted to shaping the cyberinfrastructure of the University as well as the Digital Archive. We have had two meetings of major importance: Laura Mandell (Miami) and Brad Pasanek (UVA) attended the IBM Workshop on Grid Computing for the Humanities and have a plan for creating the digital archive of 18th-century texts in a form that will allow us all to find what we want to know, and to save very important literature from oblivion, our biggest challenge as the world goes digital. Second, Cynthia Wall, Brad Pasanek, John O’Brien, and the NINES Directors met with Gale Group at the University of Virginia to discuss the future of the digital archive, in particular, how to better preserve and disseminate 18th-century texts:
We are partnering with Gale to develop OCR software adequate to the task which we will be doing with Robert Markley and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois. Among the questions that can be asked a properly coded digital archive, complete with software adequate to the task of exploring it: how has the printed book shaped our understanding of literature, and how might the disciplines of literary and cultural studies change if our “primary facts” came to us in a new array of forms?
To summarize where we are in the Digital Humanities Program here at Miami, here follows a list of “firsts” that we hope to achieve in 2009:
Miami’s Digital Humanities Program is accomplishing a few firsts in 2009:
1) We are among the first universities to grant promotion on the basis of a digital archive (Kerry Powell and I are writing an article about this for the ADE Bulletin, 2009).
2) In 2009, we will be the first English Department to approve as a dissertation a digital edition that will be published by Rice University Press, print-on-demand.
3) In 2009, we will be the first English Department to take TEI/XSLT as satisfying the foreign language requirement for the Ph.D.
4) In 2009, we will be the first to publish Open Source software for use in the Digital Humanities, NA-P developed by student Holly Connor and CSA Professor Gerald Gannod. “Na Pwon Dyon Gay” means “we learn together” in the Miami language; this suite of tools will revolutionize the creation of digital archives.
5) In 2009, we will be the first university to partner to host a digital resource for a university press, a database that can be upgraded by scholars.
6) In 2009, we will be the first university to make high-quality, peer-reviewed scholarship available on Facebook.
7) In 2009, we will be among the first universities to use high-performance computing to create new research possibilities in a humanities discipline.
8) In 2009, we will be the first to develop a Digital Humanities Specialization in the Computer Science and Systems Analysis Program.
That’s all for now: I begin an in-depth look at Digital Humanities Research, same bat time, same bat channel, next week. Laura Mandell
P.S. Shakespeare at Miami