MITH is hosting the 2017 annual conference of the Society for Textual Scholarship (STS), Textual Embodiments. As part of our pre-conference activities, we are hosting five FREE workshops on Wednesday, May 31st. Conference attendees have had the first chance to register and select workshops, and now we are opening up all remaining slots to the public (but please note – you can still register for the full conference as well!). Remaining slots are first come, first served. We will announce when workshops are full on our Twitter feed.

Click here to register for one or more of these five options:

Wednesday May 31, 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Publishing Editions on GitHub Pages with Text Encoding Initiative

Instructors: Raffaele Viglianti (MITH), Hugh Cayless (Duke University)

The Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) provides a standard for the representation of texts in digital form and has become a fundamental technology for digital scholarly editions. Digital edition projects that create TEI documents typically publish them on the web by transforming TEI into HTML to be displayed by a browser. Learning how to transform TEI is not difficult, but not very straightforward either, and publishing online often requires costly resources. This workshop will introduce its participants to an alternative workflow that does not require writing complex transformation scripts and relies on free platforms such as GitHub Pages for publishing TEI texts on the web. The workshop will teach: 1) how to write simple TEI encoded texts; 2) how to create a code repository on GitHub to publish TEI; 3) how to style these texts using CSS. We encourage participants of all skill levels: beginners will learn a straightforward way of publishing simple TEI texts, and more experienced TEI users will be introduced to a new publishing approach that takes full advantage of the latest HTML developments. We will introduce CETEIcean, a JavaScript tool for displaying TEI directly in the browser.

Wednesday May 31, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Peer Reviewing in Sign Languages

Instructors: Patrick Boudreault (Gallaudet University), Ted Supalla (Georgetown University Medical Center)

Placed within a wider context of sign language publishing, this workshop addresses how the traditional processes of scholarly peer-review prevent both the submission and review of original video articles in sign languages (SL), which are inherently embodied. Our case study will be the Deaf Studies Digital Journal (DSDJ), which publishes scholarly and creative work in SL. Since its inception, DSDJ reviewers have submitted their reviews in writing instead of SL because there is no conventional writing system for them. While there is no platform that would address this barrier efficiently, a digital media based web-app has been specifically developed to carry out the process. Participants will have the opportunity to experience this web-app first-hand, evaluating the outcome of various scenarios, ranging from anonymous response to an open collaborative process. The ultimate objective of the workshop is to foster an in-depth discussion of the reasons for diverging from the traditional approach to peer-review in order to give primacy to embodied “texts.”

Wednesday May 31, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Working with Web Archives

Instructors: Ed Summers and Purdom Lindblad (MITH)

In this workshop participants will be introduced to practices of working with the web as material in their research. The web is popularly imagined as a cloud that is ever present and constantly changing–a medium which resists fixity and the archive. And yet the experience of using the web is the result of a discrete configuration of networks, software and hardware. We can interact with the web using tools and techniques to save and organize its content for our research. Social media, blogs and websites have created a vast proliferation of text that blurs the notion of authority while presenting new opportunities for scholarship. In this workshop participants will get hands on experience using web archiving services like the Internet Archive and Web Recorder to use and create Web Archives. We will also look at practices for screen capture and annotation for annotating the web as part of your research using Finally we will examine social media archives as provided by Twitter and Facebook and think about how these can be used in scholarly research.

Wednesday May 31, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Doing .txtual Scholarship

Instructors: Matthew Kirschenbaum and Porter Olsen (University of Maryland)

This 3-hour workshop will introduce participants to what we might provisionally term “.txtual scholarship.” The goal is to furnish some of the knowledge necessary to bring the personal computer (and its associated storage media) into view as a distinct (and distinctly material) venue for textual scholarship. How should digital files be recovered and evaluated alongside of manuscript witnesses? How are we to establish provenance and authority in such cases? What would be the equivalent of a facsimile for a document written on a computer? What does it even mean to practice “textual” scholarship when text itself has now become a verb? After an initial conversation around such questions (based on readings to be circulated beforehand), we will spend time working with hardware and software from MITH’s extensive collection of vintage computers. Matt Kirschenbaum will also discuss some of the considerations in acquiring, maintaining, and utilizing older computers for textual research. We will then turn to one of the most iconic artifacts of personal computing, the floppy disk. Porter Olsen will demonstrate a complete workflow for recovering data from both 5¼- and 3½-inch diskettes, as well as various tools that can then be used to explore that data, or even bring files back to life in a simulacrum of their original environment using emulation. No special background knowledge is required or assumed, but prospective participants should state a rationale for their interest and indicate whether they are planning or pursuing a related project.

Wednesday May 31, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Minimal Editions: come with a text, leave with an accessible digital edition

Instructors: Amanda Visconti (University of Virginia), Alexander Gil (Columbia University)

This workshop focuses on “minimal editions,” a computational approach to editing that addresses accessibility both in terms of who gets to make adequately customized digital editions and who can access these editions once they’re created. Participants will learn how to make a digital edition of their selected texts in a few hours using a Jekyll theme designed for textual editors based on minimal computing principles and focused on legibility, durability, ease and flexibility. The tutorial also serves as an introduction to markdown, the terminal, plain-text editors, versioning, and static site generation. These technologies not only work well for editions, but they can also be the foundation for many other types of documentary-based work and are a friendly on-ramp for scholars curious about getting started with coding. No previous technical expertise is required to participate. The workshop will begin with an overview of minimal computing and minimal editions, proceed to a tutorial where participants are walked through creating their own editions, and end with time for Q&A about further customization or advanced needs for these minimal editions.



This year’s STS conference, Textual Embodiments, will engage a range of issues involving the materiality of texts, including their physical, virtual, and performative manifestations as objects that can decay or break down and can potentially be repaired and sustained over time. It also concerns the processes of inclusion and exclusion through which bodies of texts take shape in the form of editions, archives, collections, and exhibition building, as well as the ethical responsibilities faced by textual scholars, archivists, conservationists, media archaeologists, digital resource creators, and cultural heritage professionals engaging in these processes.

Click here to view the conference website, which now includes the program schedule and list of speakers (subject to change), a link to register, and information on hotel reservations and other logistics.

We are beyond excited to host this fantastic event, and hope to see many of your faces here in College Park in late May!!