Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 3, No. 76. Sunday, 29 Mar 1992.
Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1992 11:37:00 -0500
Subject: Humanities Computing Summer Seminar
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CENTER FOR ELECTRONIC TEXTS IN THE HUMANITIES
Electronic Texts in the Humanities: Methods and Tools
August 9-21, 1992
Summer Seminar, Princeton University, New Jersey
Co-sponsored by the
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, University of Toronto
This first Summer Seminar of the Center for Electronic Texts in the
Humanities (CETH) will address a wide range of challenges and
opportunities that electronic texts and software offer to teachers and
scholars in the humanities. Discussions on text creation, markup,
retrieval, presentation, and analysis will prepare the participant for
extensive hands-on experience with illustrative software packages,
such as MTAS, Micro-OCP, WordCruncher, Tact, Collate, Beowulf
Workstation, Perseus, and CD-Word. Systems of markup, from ad hoc
schemes to the systematic approach of the Text Encoding Initiative,
will be surveyed and considered. The focus of the Seminar will be
practical and methodological, concerned with the demonstrable benefits
of using electronic texts in teaching and research, the typical
problems one encounters and how to solve them, and the ways in which
software fits or can be adapted to methods common amongst the
humanities. Participants will be given the opportunity to work on a
coherent project. Those with projects already in progress or
preparation will be encouraged to bring them; texts and exercises will
be provided for those without a specific project in mind.
The seminar is intended for researchers, librarians and computer
center advisers who have basic computing experience, but little or no
experience of computers in a humanities research environment. The
number of participants will be limited to 26.
Week 1, August 9-14, 1992
Sunday, August 9. Registration
Monday, August 10. The electronic text
a.m. What is an electronic text and where to find them; survey of
existing inventories, archives, and other current resources.
History of computer-assisted text analysis in the
humanities. Introduction to simple concordancing with MTAS,
including practical session.
p.m. Creating and capturing texts in electronic form; keyboard
entry vs. optical scanning. Demonstration of optical
character-recognition technology. Introduction to text
encoding, surveying ad hoc methods, e.g. COCOA,
WordCruncher, TLG beta code; problems of these methods.
Systematic approach of the Text Encoding Initiative.
Practical exercise in deciding what to encode in typical
Tuesday, August 11. Concordancing
a.m. A focussed look at computer-assisted concordance generation;
types of concordances, their specific advantages and
disadvantages. Alphabetization, character sequences,
sorting, and forms of presentation. Introduction to
Micro-OCP; practical session in its use.
p.m. Further work on concordancing with Micro-OCP.
Wednesday, August 12. The interactive concordance
a.m. Indexed, interactive retrieval vs. batch concordance
generation. Textual problems particularly suitable to an
interactive system; the continuing use of concordances in
hardcopy. Preparation of text for indexed retrieval;
differing roles of markup and external "rules"; kinds of
displays; post-processing of displays. Introduction to
p.m. Practical work using Tact: simple markup, compilation of a
textual database, and methods of inquiry.
Thursday, August 13. Stylistics
a.m. Stylistic comparisons and authorship studies using
concordance tools; basic statistics for lexical and
stylistic analysis. Case studies, e.g. Federalist Papers,
Kenny on Aristotle, Burrows on Jane Austen.
p.m. Practical session using Micro-OCP and/or Tact for stylistic
Friday, August 14. Critical editions
a.m. Overview of tools for preparing critical editions.
Constructing glossaries and material for commentary;
application of Micro-OCP and/or Tact.
p.m. Collation; single-text vs. multiple-text methods. Overview
of software tools. Introduction to Collate.
Week 2, August 17-20, 1992
Monday, August 17. Text analysis
a.m. Review of the previous week's work. Discussion on the
limitations of existing software. Advanced analytical tools
not commonly available, e.g. pattern recognizers,
lemmatization systems, morphological analyzers, parsers;
overview of these.
p.m. Simple, practical morphological analysis and lemmatization
with Micro-OCP and/or Tact.
Tuesday, August 18. Developing and Extending Current Resources
a.m. How far do existing textual databases and software go
towards satisfying the needs of teachers and scholars, e.g
WordCruncher (ETC) texts, Oxford Electronic Texts, the
Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG), the ARTFL database, the
Dante Database? How these are accessed and used.
p.m. The electronic dictionary; from machine-readable dictionary
to computational lexicon. What the New OED and other online
dictionaries can do for the scholar. Uses of lexical
knowledge bases in text retrieval. Building a simple online
lexicon with Tact.
Wednesday, August 19. Hypertext
a.m. Hypertext and hypermedia: alternative or complementary
approaches to text analysis and presentation? Overview of
some ongoing hypertextual projects in the humanities:
Beowulf Workstation, Perseus, CD-Word. What essential role
does hypertext play in these? How might hypertext and
concordancing methods be combined?
p.m. Practical session in building a hypertextual system, using
HyperCard or Guide. A brief look at Annota.
Thursday, August 20. Projects (1)
a.m. Illustration of how to tackle projects using one of the
methods covered earlier in the seminar; beginning of
a.m. Practical work continued.
Friday, August 21. Projects (2)
a.m. Practical work continued.
p.m. Concluding discussion of methodologies and problems. Do the
results justify the amount of work involved? How is one's
perspective on text changed by using automatic methods?
What can one learn from the collision of these methods with
intuitive perceptions? How can the machine better assist the
The Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities was established in
October 1991 by Rutgers and Princeton Universities with external
support from the Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the
Humanities. It is intended to become a national focus of interest in
the U.S. for those who are involved in the creation, dissemination and
use of electronic texts in the humanities, and it will act as a
national node on an international network of centers and projects
which are actively involved in the handling of electronic texts.
Developed from the international inventory of machine-readable texts
which was begun at Rutgers in 1983 and is held on RLIN, the Center is
now reviewing the records in the inventory and continues to catalog
new texts. The acquisition and dissemination of text files to the
community is another important activity, concentrating on a selection
of good quality texts which can be made available over Internet with
suitable retrieval software and with appropriate copyright permission.
The Center also acts as a clearinghouse on information related to
electronic texts, directing enquirers to other sources of information.
The seminar will be taught by Willard McCarty and Susan Hockey, with
assistance from Hannah Kaufman, Toby Paff and Mary Sproule.
Willard McCarty has been active in humanities computing since 1977.
With its founding Director, Ian Lancashire, he helped to set up the
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, University of Toronto, of
which he is now the Assistant Director. He was the founding editor of
Humanist, the principal electronic seminar for computing humanists,
and has edited several other publications in the field. He regularly
gives talks, papers, and lectures throughout North America and Europe.
McCarty took his Ph.D. in English literature in 1984; his current
literary research is in classical studies, especially the
_Metamorphoses_ of Ovid. In support of a forthcoming book, he has an
electronic edition of that poem underway for the text-retrieval
Susan Hockey is Director of the Center for Electronic Texts in the
Humanities. Before moving to the USA in October 1991, she spent 16
years at Oxford University Computing Service where her most recent
position was Director of the Computers in Teaching Initiative Centre
for Textual Studies. At Oxford she was responsible for various
humanities computing projects including the development of the Oxford
Concordance Program (OCP), an academic typesetting service for British
universities, and OCR scanning. She has taught courses on humanities
computing for fifteen years and has given numerous guest lectures on
various aspects of computing in the humanities. She is the author of
three books and numerous articles on humanities computing and has been
Chair of the Association for Literary and Linguistic Computing since
1984. She is a member (currently Chair) of the Steering Committee of
the Text Encoding Initiative.
Hannah Kaufman, Toby Paff and Mary Sproule are all on the staff of
Computing and Information Technology's Information Services at
Princeton University. Each of them has worked extensively with
humanities scholars. Hannah Kaufman's special skills include the
design and use of full text and bibliographic databases; Toby Paff has
worked on designing fonts and analyzing non-Roman texts; and Mary
Sproule has extensive experience with critical editions and
The seminar will include visiting talks in the evenings on specific
topics or research projects, as well as the role of the library in the
use of electronic texts.
The cost of participating in this Summer Seminar will be $850,
including tuition, meals and lodging at Princeton for the two weeks.
Students pay a reduced rate of $750. Tuition, lunch and dinner only
will be $650.
To apply for participation in this Summer Seminar, submit a statement
of interest of no longer than one page, indicating how participating
in the Seminar will affect your teaching, research or support, and
possibly that of your colleagues, in Humanities Computing in the
coming year. Applications must be attached to a cover sheet
containing name, position, affiliation, postal and email addresses,
and phone and fax numbers, as available, as well as natural language
interest and computing experience. Students must also include a
photocopy of a valid student ID. The statement must be received by
the reviewing committee, consisting of members of the Center's
Governing Board, by May 15, 1992, at the address below. Those who
have been selected to attend will be notified by June 1, 1992.
Payment will be requested at this time.
Summer Seminar 1992
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities
169 College Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08903
phone: (908) 932-1384
fax: (908) 932-1386
email: ceth@zodiac (bitnet)