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Critical Editions for Digital Analysis and Research

05.22.2023 09:00 AM

Event Summary

CEDAR is a multi-project digital humanities initiative based at the University of Chicago. CEDAR projects work with literary corpora that have complex histories of composition, revision, and dissemination. Phase One of CEDAR (2017–2022) focused on three corpora written in different historical periods using very different languages and scripts: the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh, the Hebrew Bible, and Shakespeare’s plays. In Phase Two the research team has added four more projects: one ancient, on the Egyptian Book of the Dead; one medieval, on the Middle English poem Piers Plowman; one modern, on the works of Herman Melville; and a prospective project on Indigenous American sign systems that is not easily categorized under traditional rubrics of Western literature. This diverse and growing group of projects demonstrated the practical benefits of a shared computational platform for scholarly research and the corresponding intellectual benefits of jointly addressing a shared conceptual challenge faced by scholars in very different fields. The challenge was to design digital editions of literary works that preserve the hard-won achievements of traditional philology but open these works to new readings and new modes of analysis. CEDAR does this via a state-of-the-art database representation of both the internal epigraphic and discursive structures of texts, in all their complexity, and their external relations with one another and with other cultural media.


9:00 am
Welcome and Introductory Remarks
Ellen MacKay and Jeffrey Stackert

9:20 am
The Egyptian Book of the Dead Project
Foy Scalf and Beth Wang

10:00 am
The Hebrew Bible Project

Sarah Yardney and Simeon Chavel

11:10 am
The Piers Plowman Project

Ian Cornelius and Kashaf Qureshi

11:50 am
Beshrew Me! The Taming of the Shrew Project

Ellen MacKay and Sarah-Gray Lesley

12:30 pm

1:30 pm
The Herman Melville (MEL) Project

John Bryant and Brion Drake

2:10 pm
CEDAR Tools in the OCHRE Platform: “Back-end” and “Front-end”

Discussion led by Miller Prosser

3:20 pm
General Discussion

Moderated by David Schloen