9.446 new in TCHWP; MLA '96 session proposal

Humanist (mccarty@phoenix.Princeton.EDU)
Wed, 10 Jan 1996 21:22:13 -0500 (EST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 9, No. 446.
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (Princeton/Rutgers)

[1] From: Willard McCarty <Willard.McCarty@utoronto.ca> (26)
Subject: two new items on TCHWP

[2] From: U35395%UICVM.bitnet@interbit.cren.net (67)
Subject: MLA '96 Special Session proposal -
call for papers

Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 08:19:04 -0500
From: Willard McCarty <Willard.McCarty@utoronto.ca>
Subject: two new items on TCHWP

The editors of TCH Working Papers are pleased to announce two new items.

1. An essay by Rob Kling and Lisa Covi, of the Department of Information &
Computer Science University of California, Irvine, on "Electronic Journals and
Legitimate Media in the Systems of Scholarly Communication". It presents a
balanced view of the respective merits and shortcomings of print and
electronic scholarly publishing, and examines in detail a number of issues
relating to the future of the latter medium. As the authors say in their
abstract: "While the number of electronic scholarly journals is growing
steadily, they have not yet been accepted as legitimate publication outlets by
the scholarly communities. This article examines how moving from paper to
electronic distribution alters the legitimacy and perceived quality of
journals. It also examines the prospects for creating diverse high quality
electronic journals in the next two decades." The essay will also appear in
The Information Society 11 (4), Special issue on Electronic Journals and
Scholarly Publishing; it is reproduced in TCHWP by kind permission of the

2. An experimental 'paperbase' entitled "Dictionary, philological, cultural
databases" by Russon Wooldridge, intended as a test of the web's suitability
for simulating hypertextual databases and thus providing a critical design
tool. The 'paper' part, in both English and French versions, presents a
discussion of the technical aspects of the database and a study of the
dictionary treatment and
textual attestations of three words and their referents taken from
Renaissance art. The different components of the database and types of
searches are illustrated by means of hypertextual links to sample pages.

Willard McCarty, Univ. of Toronto || Willard.McCarty@utoronto.ca

Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 14:57:16 -0500
From: U35395%UICVM.bitnet@interbit.cren.net
Subject: MLA '96 Special Session proposal - call for papers

Readers of this list who have enjoyed the recent discussion here about
the nature of text encoding and its relations to literary and other
scholarship, and who would like to pursue these topics further, may be
interested in the following special session, which I intend to propose
for the program of the 1996 Modern Language Association convention on
27-30 December 1996 in Washington, D.C.

N.B. proposals for special sessions are not guaranteed acceptance, so
strictly speaking this is not a notice that such a session will be held,
only a notice that I intend to propose such a session, if I get enough
good abstracts.

-C. M. Sperberg-McQueen
ACH / ACL / ALLC Text Encoding Initiative
University of Illinois at Chicago


Text Encoding and Textual Theory

Proposal for MLA Session

Organizer: C. M. Sperberg-McQueen

As more and more scholars use computers in their research, more and
more scholars are confronted with the problems of representing texts
satisfactorily in electronic form. What implications does a general
theory of the nature of text have for electronic text encoding -- and
vice versa? With the surge in use of the World Wide Web and the comple-
tion (in 1994) of the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) GUIDELINES FOR
and text representation have taken on a new urgency. Are these encoding
schemes appropriate or adequate for scholarly work with text? Or do
they contain hidden limitations or pitfalls which make them unsuitable
or even dangerous for serious work?
This session will address these issues. Papers are invited on any
topic relating to the interplay of textual theory or the nature of text
and the electronic representation of text, including but not limited to
discussions of questions such as these:

* Is electronic text markup inherently interpretive or subjective, or
can objective and subjective methods of text encoding be distin-
* What assumptions about the nature or uses of text are built into
existing or possible encoding schemes, e.g. SGML, the Standard Gen-
eralized Markup Language; the TEI GUIDELINES; HTML (the Hypertext
Markup Language), "Plain Vanilla ASCII" text encoding, as practiced
by Project Gutenberg and others; TeX and LaTeX; Microsoft Word, Word
Perfect or other commercial word processors; COCOA (Word COunt and
COncordance on Atlas -- the encoding scheme used by the Oxford Con-
cordance Program and Tact); the Beta encoding of the Thesaurus Lin-
guae Graecae; etc.?
* What implications do major schools of critical thought have for the
practice of text encoding?
* What are the theoretical implications of the act of text encoding --
in general, with reference to a particular text or genre, or with
reference to a particular scheme of text encoding?

Individuals interested in submitting papers or abstracts are encour-
aged to contact the organizer as soon as possible.

* Deadline for abstracts: 1 March 1996
* Acceptance of abstracts: 22 March 1996
* Notice mailed from MLA about MLA Program Committee's decision
accepting or rejecting proposal for special session: 26 May 1996
* Completed papers due (if proposal is accepted): 31 October 1996

Send abstracts, full papers, or inquiries to:

C. M. Sperberg-McQueen
University of Illinois at Chicago
Computer Center (M/C 135)
1940 W. Taylor, Room 124
Chicago IL 60612-7352