We were honoured to be invited to present at the RSVP/VSAWC 2018 conference, which took place at the University of Victoria on 26-28 August 2018.
We presented a paper on the progress of our research, especially on the issues of OCR correction and treatment of quotations, as part of a panel on Voices on the Page on 26 August. You can view it on ORO, The Open University’s institutional repository.
The following day, we joined six other projects in the Digital Research Showcase, showcasing the breadth of digital research in the field of nineteenth-century periodicals. We hope to develop further links with these projects and thank the RSVP and VSAWC for their generous travel bursary.
On 16 February, we took part in the Digital Cultures, Big Data and Society conference, held at the Royal Irish Academy and the UCD Humanities Institute. Organised by the Irish Memory Studies Network, the conference focused on questions of close and distant reading and the critical functions of digital tools in the humanities. Our paper was well received andparticipated in a lively debate on how Humanities scholars can use digital tools to analyse data at a new scale but also subject digital data to critical scrutiny.
The conference culminated with the launch of the Industrial Memories project. Led by Prof Emilie Pine, the project represents a striking application of Digital Humanities methodologies such as text mining and data visualisation to enable analysis of the 2009 Ryan Report into child abuse at residential school run by the Catholic Church between 1936 and 1999.
The first short paper was aimed at an audience of Digital Humanities specialists, gathered for the annual Digital Humanities Summer Institute at the University of Victoria (a subsequent blog post will examine our experience at DHSI and lessons learned from the excellent Out-of-the-Box Text Analysis course, taught by David Hoover). At the Colloquium, Francesca gave a succint 5-minute presentation on our work-in-progress, focusing especially on our current work on post-OCR correction and TEI encoding.
The second paper was aimed at an audience of book historian and periodical studies specialists gathered for the annual SHARP conference, which this year focued on the theme of “Technologies of the Book” and was co-located with DHSI. This 20-minute presentation provided our reflections on the theoretical and methodological implications of the process we defined as “assisted close reading” (inspired by Anne Bandry-Scubbi’s article on the Chawton Novels Online corpus) on the study of authorship in the Edinburgh Review.
Both papers were well received and provoked numerous questions and suggestions, which we are gladly incorporating into our practice and reflection. In particular, the issue of untangling the influence of the editor, Francis Jeffrey, merits further reflections, which will be the subject of a future blog post.
In addition to presenting, we met several colleagues, old and new, and learned about exciting research being conducted in ares that are close to our. We were particularly intrigued to discover from Julia Flanders’s plenary lecture that the Women Writers Project has noticed certain patterns in the use of quotations and pronouns that we are also observing in the course of our research.