[Humanist] 29.93 national identity and digital humanities

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Thu Jun 11 11:30:32 CEST 2015


                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 29, No. 93.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    "Soering, Sibylle" <soering at sub.uni-goettingen.de>        (35)
        Subject: AW:  29.82 Nepal? National identity and digital humanities?

  [2]   From:    Miran gmail <miranhladnik1 at gmail.com>                     (53)
        Subject: Re:  29.82 National identity and digital humanities?


--[1]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Wed, 10 Jun 2015 12:13:54 +0000
        From: "Soering, Sibylle" <soering at sub.uni-goettingen.de>
        Subject: AW:  29.82 Nepal? National identity and digital humanities?
        In-Reply-To: <20150609112452.337E1984 at digitalhumanities.org>

Just a quick note to Greg's  abstract, where it states that TextGrid is developed in German only, thus making it difficult for non-german speaking developers to follow. Quite to the contrary, the software TextGridLab is available in both English and German, as is the web site (http://textgrid.de/en ). The documentation  (https://dev2.dariah.eu/wiki/display/TextGrid/Architecture ), the source code (https://projects.gwdg.de/projects/textgrid-laboratory and https://projects.gwdg.de/projects/textgrid-repository ), and finally the TextGrid Repository GUI (http://www.textgridrep.de/ ) are available in English only. 

--
Sibylle Söring, M.A., Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen, Research & Development, Papendiek 14, D-37073 Göttingen

-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: humanist-bounces at lists.digitalhumanities.org [mailto:humanist-bounces at lists.digitalhumanities.org] Im Auftrag von Humanist Discussion Group
Gesendet: Dienstag, 9. Juni 2015 13:25
An: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
Betreff: [Humanist] 29.82 Nepal? National identity and digital humanities?

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 29, No. 82.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org


        Date: Mon, 8 Jun 2015 12:32:26 +0200
        From: Gregory Crane <gregory.crane at tufts.edu>
        Subject: The Big Humanities, National Identity and the Digital Humanities in Germany


The Big Humanities, National Identity and the Digital Humanities in Germany

Abstract: 
National funding agencies have a natural tendency, indeed an obligation, to support national objectives. In the Humanities, this leads to to a focus upon the Big Humanities -- educating the population in the language(s), literature and culture of the national state, a focus that is visible in the United States, Germany and elsewhere. But in Germany, this focus raises strategic questions about how to move forward. Dariah-DE, for example, is nominally a European project but it conducts its business in German, publishes its reports in German, and its core element of infrastructure, TextGrid, is developed in German. This makes it difficult for developers outside of the German speaking world to follow, much less participate in developing, Dariah-DE and TextGrid. At the same time, the second language of Literary Studies and Literary Theory in English is French, rather than German -- a major Digital Humanities project that focuses on German literature, history and culture and that publishes largely in German will have a difficult time exerting influence within an international Digital Humanities community insofar as that community uses English as a lingua franca.

The Anglophone community can get away with focusing on projects that focus on the national interests of their various countries -- if they produce interesting technology and do interesting work on English literature, many people in the international DH community can readily follow the English publications, documentation and even commented source code (where source is properly documented). But where 77% of the 55 million records in Elsevier'™s Scopus database of Arts and Humanities publications point to English language publication, only 4.2% of the records point to German (French, with 7.1% is the second most widely used language, an order magnitude less than English).  The German DH community needs to decide how it balances its obligation to advance the cultural identity of the German speaking world against its aspiration to participate within, and have an impact upon, the international Digital Humanities community. Such impact goes beyond technology and digital methods --“ it raises also the questions of how fully a Digital Humanities infrastructure for German language, literature and culture is designed to expand the role that German language, literature and culture can play beyond the German speaking world.

[Full text available at
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1JpMn-DYY6lhrBr_HPPQmtrdjg4bCfEpV6Aj4f8fFh7o/edit#]



--[2]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Wed, 10 Jun 2015 17:09:41 +0200
        From: Miran gmail <miranhladnik1 at gmail.com>
        Subject: Re:  29.82 National identity and digital humanities?
        In-Reply-To: <20150609112452.337E1984 at digitalhumanities.org>

Thanks to Humboldt fellow Gregory Crane for the figures regarding the
use of English as lingua franca in the Humanities
(http://lists.digitalhumanities.org/pipermail/humanist/2015-June/012973.html).
It is seldom that the problem of language choice is addressed by an
English speaking colleague. Understandable: as long as lingua franca
is at the same time my native language, it is not worth bothering
with. After my lecture on Slovene literature at the University of
Kansas back in 1985 a professor of English asked me with a sincere
concern why we spend so much energy maintaining such small
literatures. Wouldn't it help the humanity much more if we all decided
to speak one language only and hence start solving our problems more
effectively? I don't recall my answer any more (the idea of dropping
one's own language and literature in favor of general global progress
seemed »unerhört« to me then and now); today I would argue that the
use of local languages has something in common with biodiversity which
makes our cultural system sustainable and brings quality to our life.

A better solution than adopting English as lingua franca in the
Western world over scholarship in non-Western languages, is the
development of automated translation and similar digital tools.
Unfortunately, these tools are not here yet, especially not for minor
languages. To participate in global exchange of knowledge users of
minor languages have to make effort and spend additional energy for
translating and promoting their findings in English, which puts them
in an unequal position. The case of Russian formalism, which has been
»discovered« decades after their first publications thanks to English
translations, prove the ignorance and self-sufficiency of English
speaking scientific communities in relation to other languages.

At the moment the status of scholarly publication depends heavily on
the decision to be written in English or not. Publications in
non-English languages cannot by far compete with the English ones.
Luckily, the algorithms for ranking publications are getting more
complex and fair. Scopus itself produces two scales which rank
journals very differently: according to the impact factor (SNIP),
Slavistična revija, journal for linguistics and literary studies has
been recently removed from the list of ranked journals, as it hasn't
recorded enough international attention (read: citations), according
to the Scopus 2012 ranking system SJR (SCImago Journal & Country
Rank), the same journal ranks into the first two groups Q1 and Q2.

Local research communities are partly responsible themselves for the
discriminatory status of their humanities. Using the impact factor as
the main indicator of scientific quality, the Slovene research agency
favours publications in English as if there were a great international
interest in topics on Slovene language and literature. To achieve a
higher academic status, Slovene literary historians decide to write in
English, thus neglecting the primary audience this literature has been
written for, i. e. Slovene speakers.

I consider the expectation of Alexander von Humbold Foundation that
foreign scholars should contribute to German scientific position in
the World legitimate and perspective. This aim is also in agreement
with the constant decline of English articles in Wikipedia
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Size_of_Wikipedia) and
parallel emancipatory growth of articles in other languages. Let us
invest in language diversity. -- miran





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