Election results are in
We have the pleasure of announcing the results from the 2022 DM Executive Board elections for the term beginning in August 2022 and ending in July 2026. 111 DM members cast votes this year for five open seats. The five highest vote counts went to the following candidates who have now been elected to the board (in alphabetical order):
- Luise Borek
- Stewart Brookes
- Tobias Hodel
- Katarzyna Anna Kapitan
- Laura Morreale
We would like to thank the other candidates – James B. Harr, III, Ephrem Aboud Ishac, Hee Sook Lee-Niinioja, Christine McWebb and Matthew J. Westerby – for standing for election and providing us with an outstandingly rich choice. Thank you for your participation!
To vote in the 2022-2026 Board Elections one needs to be a subscriber to the Digital Medievalist mailing list. To vote, use the link and the voting token that have been sent to the email address that you have used to register to DM.
Board positions are for four year terms and incumbents may be re-elected. Members of the board are responsible for the overall direction of the organisation. This is a working board and candidates are expected to commit time to Digital Medievalist. For further information, see:
Luise Borek is a postdoctoral researcher at Technical University of Darmstadt and currently professor of Digital Humanities at the University of Graz. She chairs the network Linked Open Middle Ages where medievalist content is combined with Linked Open Data procedures. Former research projects include an interdisciplinary collaboration on the Interaction between linguistic and bioinformatics procedures, methods and algorithms based at the Trier Center for Digital Humanities and several years of experience as a member of DARIAH-DE (part of the ESFRI-Project DARIAH-EU) where she coordinated a cluster on Digital Annotation. ORCID: 0000-0001-5849-374X Homepage: https://www.luiseborek.de/ Twitter: @luiseborek
As a founding member of TaDiRAH (Taxonomy of Digital Research Activities in the Humanities), she has co-developed a taxonomy for the description and indexing of DH resources, which is widely used by and further developed with the community. Her fields of research include Arthurian Romance, Literary Animal Studies, Digital Editions, Lexicography, Manuscript Studies, Digital Curation, Historical Linguistics as well as Digital Humanities in general. She supports open science to help shape a sustainable foundation for the future, which not only connects the data, but also the researchers involved. Recent activities within the Digital Medievalist include the regular Twitter Takeover, in which both individual researchers are given a platform and at the same time a picture of the community of practice is made visible, and the processing of the history of the DM.
Stewart J. Brookes (Medieval Studies PhD, King’s College London, 2007) is the Lyell Fellow in Latin Palaeography at the Bodleian Library and a Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford. He is a co-designer of Archetype (archetype.ink), an integrated suite of open-source, web-based tools for the study of medieval handwriting, art and iconography. Archetype has been used in more than 30 DH projects, ranging from AHRC and ERC funded research to student projects for MA and PhD dissertations, and it won the Medieval Academy of America’s first annual Digital Humanities prize (2017). Stewart was a postdoctoral Research Associate on two major Digital Humanities projects at the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College, London: DigiPal (digipal.eu; 2011-2014) and Models of Authority (www.modelsofauthority.ac.uk; 2014-2017). He is currently co-Director, with Joanna Tucker (Glasgow), of Models of Authority and they have exciting plans to extend the project in the coming year. Stewart’s publications include chapters on Digital Humanities approaches to studying palaeography; liturgy and Ælfric; and handwriting variation in Aldred’s gloss to the Lindisfarne Gospels. He is currently working with Elaine Treharne on a Catalogue of Manuscripts Containing Old English, a major revision and update of N.R. Ker’s highly-influential volume of similar title. This will appear both as a printed volume and as a fully-searchable online database.
With the availability of so many digital surrogates of medieval manuscripts, we live in an era that has the potential to be as transformative as that of the invention of the printing press. The challenge that faces us is how we might move beyond the ‘turning the pages’ model of using these surrogates and how best we can integrate digital methodologies into the study of medieval manuscripts. Through its nurturing of an international community of medievalists working with digital approaches, Digital Medievalist has been a crucial player in promoting discussion in this area, and I would be honoured to contribute directly to that conversation as a Board member. If elected, I would promote digital methods through conversations with both new and established scholars, as well as reaching out beyond our field to engage wider audiences (an area in which I have had much success on Twitter and also when giving presentations at MozFest; as part of adult education programmes; and on visits to schools to speak about Digital Humanities and machine learning). Another priority for me on the Board would be to promote the work of emerging scholars and Early Career Researchers and seek opportunities to support the research of those in our field who are all too often in precarious employment.
James B. Harr, III
James B. Harr, III (Ph.D., North Carolina State University, 2021) is an Assistant Professor of Literature and Languages (Medieval Literature/Digital Humanities) at Christian Brothers University and a lecturer for the Digital Humanities Summer Minor at the University of California, Berkeley. Previously, he was the Postdoctoral Teaching Scholar and Teaching Coordinator for the Data Science Academy at NC State. In addition to his teaching experience, he is the Communication Manager for the Digital Humanities Collaborative of North Carolina and a review editor for Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies. He is a contributor to the forthcoming Libraries, Archives, and the Digital Humanities (Routledge) and a collaborator on the project, Eighteenth-Century English Versions of Pierre Bayle’s Dictionary: A Computational Study (University of Helsinki). He holds a B.A. in English Literature from Albright College, an M.A. in Medieval English Literature from the University of Leeds, and a Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities from NC State.
As a DM board member, I would enthusiastically embrace the opportunity to work with the organization in this new capacity. I have had the pleasure of serving as a founding member of the Digital Medievalist Postgraduate Committee (DMPC), an ongoing contributor to the DMPC podcast, Coding Codices, and an associate editor for the Digital Medievalist Journal. As such, I envision my role on the DM Board to be one that builds on the experience I’ve had with the organization and shifts towards a liaison between the DMPC and the DM Board. I will focus on increasing our outreach to graduate students/early career medievalists and continue participating in workshops and panels that highlight the interdisciplinarity of DM by working with other international organizations to build scholarship opportunities, resources, and networks for junior academics in medieval studies.
Ephrem Aboud Ishac
Ephrem Aboud Ishac was recently appointed as a research scholar fellow at the Institute of Sacred Music / Yale University, for the next academic year. He has been a researcher at the University of Graz – Vestigia Manuscript Research Center (currently he is serving as the Deputy Director), where he has been working on editing, TEI encoding and constructing the digital textual corpus of the Syriac liturgical Anaphoras, in addition to his work and experience on cataloguing the Syriac and Arabic manuscripts and fragments of the Matenadaran – Yerevan collections (Armenia) and the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate Library (Syria/Lebanon). He taught also at the Vestigia summer schools in Graz University (in cooperation with the Special Collections department and the Institute Centre for Information Modelling – Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities) and in Zadar University (in cooperation with the Department of Information Sciences, University of Zadar, Croatia). Moreover, since 2015 he has been teaching in Austria: Syriac Language and Liturgy, employing various digital tools at the University of Salzburg and at the Central European University. Since 2017 he became a research fellow at FSCIRE – Fondazione per le Scienze Religiose Giovanni XXIII, Bologna (Italy), working on the forthcoming critical edition of the East and West Syriac texts of Synods (Synodicon), using different digital editorial solutions, in addition to his participation in ReIReS workshops (Research Infrastructure on Religious Studies) on Digital Humanities. He is a contributor to the Sedra lexicographical Syriac database, an area editor to the SIMTHO Syriac digital Thesaurus, and an advisor for the Syriac digital humanities summer schools (currently working on creating a TEI module for the Syriac liturgical texts) at Beth Mardutho – The Syriac Institute, New Jersey. Since 2019, he is the editor for Syriac studies for The Digital Orientalist e-Magazine. Ephrem has been participating in various conferences and workshops presenting studies on the role of using digital tools in Syriac liturgy “From ancient Manuscripts to Digital Screens”, in addition to several posts on the “History of Syriac Digital Humanities” and identifying some manuscripts and fragments (also tracing their routes of migration “as refugees”) using different digital approaches. His book: Tracing Written Heritage in a Digital Age (Harrassowitz-Verlag / 2021) presents several articles with a special focus on employing different digital tools in studying a wide range of various manuscript cultures. His first contribution in the volume traces the routes of the migrating Syriac manuscripts and fragments which are now at the Yale Divinity School Library and the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library – Yale University. His second contribution proposes a project to create a comprehensive Syriac liturgical corpus with a new digital strategy (forthcoming and a work in progress).
The research interest in Oriental Digital Humanities, will not only sharpen the scope of our Digital Medievalist community but will also enhance its remarkable atmosphere with a new spirit. That is why I would like to contribute by serving on the board of DM. If you agree with me on this vision, then I will be glad to share my time, efforts, and experience to widen the horizon of DM! While being connected with other academic groups, international scholarly communities, and societies in the USA, Europe, and the Middle East, my scope is to bridge the gaps among the various initiatives on Digital Humanities in different geographical zones to exchange knowledge and broaden the minds for a wider spectrum of academic collaborations. This vision of ‘Openness toward Other Networks’ can mark our next stage, where we can learn from each other by enhancing our community with the spirit of Digital Oriental heritage (especially Arabic, Armenian, Coptic, and Syriac), which is perhaps not noticeable remarkably yet in our Digital Medievalist community. So, let us do it all-together!
Tobias Hodel is assistant professor (tenure track) in digital humanities at the University of Berne. He is a medievalist by training and received a Ph.D. from the University of Zurich. He recently co-edited the digital edition of Königsfelden abbey and shares responsibility for the e-learning environment “Ad fontes”, introducing students to paleography and further auxiliary sciences. He works on the application and critical integration of machine learning processes for pre-modern documents, with a focus on text recognition and natural language processing (like named entity recognition and information extraction).
Since 2020, I have the honor to serve on the DM executive board and the vibrant discussions and activities are highly stimulating. I therefore would be thrilled to be elected for a second term: It’s my goal to foster cooperation spanning scholars, scientists, and citizens. Within the study of the Middle Ages, computational approaches have been for decades honed and criticized: The experience, enthusiasm, and openness makes the Digital Medievalist one of the cornerstones of this movement, bringing together scholars from all over the world. For the next term, it’s my goal to not only successfully continue the work started but help to build a rich, critical, and diverse community and support PhDs as well as ECRs in their dive into digitalia.
Katarzyna Anna Kapitan
Katarzyna Anna Kapitan (PhD in Nordic Philology, University of Copenhagen, 2018) is a manuscript scholar and digital humanist specialising in Old Norse-Icelandic literature and culture. Currently she is Junior Research Fellow at Linacre College, University of Oxford, where she works on her most recent project “Virtual Library of Torfæus”, a digital book-historical project funded by the Carlsberg Foundation. Previously, she has worked on a wide array of digital projects and has experience in producing digital data sets for historical research (XML-based scholarly editions < https://clarino.uib.no/menota/catalogue> & catalogues of manuscripts <https://handrit.is >), applying digital tools and methods to manuscript studies (data visualisation, computer-assisted stemmatics, network analysis, etc.), and disseminating research results in the digital domain (digital exhibitions with Omeka < https://oldnorsereception.omeka.net>, blogposts, etc.). Focusing on Old-Norse Icelandic manuscripts, book history, and textual criticism, she published on applications of DH to manuscript studies and taught DH courses in fundamentals of TEI-XML, digital scholarly editing and cataloguing as well as computer assisted textual criticism at the European Summer University in Digital Humanities, the Digital Humanities Summer Institute, and the Summer School in Scandinavian Manuscript Studies.
Working at the intersection of manuscript studies, textual criticism, and history, I am interested in best practices for sustainable data creation and curation. In this regard, I have benefited greatly from participating in the training opportunities offered by various summer schools and workshops which share similar goals, values, and principles as the Digital Medievalist. Now, I think it’s time to give back to the digital scholarship community, by contributing my work and expertise towards successful fulfillment of the main goals of DM. As a member of Digital Medievalist Executive Board, I would like to focus on community-building and transdisciplinary collaboration by organizing seminars and workshops, which will create an inclusive forum for knowledge exchange. In the recent years, I’ve contributed to developing digital humanities training for manuscript scholars and I would like to continue these efforts within DM by developing dedicated training programs which respond to the Digital Medievalist community’s needs. Quite naturally, as a nomad ECR myself, I would like to focus on communicating the needs of our ECR community and amplifying diverse voices that I can hear during various DH events I am involved in.
Hee Sook Lee-Niinioja
Dr Hee Sook Lee-Niinioja is a scholar/journalist/artist/designer. She is a pioneer student from Asia to study in Scandinavia (1975), holding degrees (BA journalism: South Korea; BA & MA art design: Norway; MA visual communication: USA; PhD architecture: UK), in addition to studies in theology, literature, and language. Specialising in comparisons of Hindu-Buddhist/Christian/Islamic architecture, cultural heritage, and semiotic texts-images, she has written monographs, Proceedings, and articles, including peer reviews, Goethe exhibitions, and teaching/lectures at universities/institutes/NGOs worldwide. She received the Order of Civil Merit from the South Korean President for cultural diplomacy and humanitarian work. After completing the Finnish Diplomatic Corps (family-member), she engages at ICOMOS-ICICH (Scientific Committee on Intangible Cultural Heritage/President 2017-20), International Press Centre Helsinki, Water Museum Network.
The UNESCO ICH (Intangible Cultural Heritage) Convention of 2003 guides four key definitions. Firstly, intangible cultural heritage must be both traditional and contemporary, living simultaneously, representing traditions and contemporary rural and urban practises in which diverse cultural groups participate. Secondly, intangible cultural heritage should be inclusive. Cultures can be shared by people regardless of their location, such as with a neighbouring village or a city on the other side, or migrating settlers in another region. It has been passed down through generations and evolved in response to their environments, contributing to identity and continuity. It connects people to their future. Additionally, intangible heritage should be representative. It is not merely a cultural product of exclusivity or exceptional value. Instead, it thrives within communities and depends on those whose knowledge of traditions, skills, and customs is passed down to others. Lastly, intangible cultural heritage should be community-based. It is only recognized by the communities, groups, or individuals that create, maintain, and transmit it. Medieval manuscripts, in my opinion, are intangible cultural heritage, transmitting the essence and purpose of their production. This could be honouring God, proving the Christian faith, teaching literacy, or simply pleasing the eye of the reader through textual and visual communication. For these responsibilities, digital tools are the most effective tools and mediators for religious or cultural diplomacy among the people beyond time and space. Right now, we reside in a world where digital technology is an absolute revolution. As mentioned in my CV, I am a scholar/journalist/artist/designer, as well as an ICOMOS ICICH Expert (International Council on Monuments and Sites – Scientific Committee for Intangible Cultural Heritage). The purpose of ‘digital medievalists’ is to connect the past with the future by harnessing technological resources, enabling more interdisciplinary challenges in interdisciplinary studies for old-current-future members. For example, more creative research, events, and actions could be arranged to promote medieval collective emotions and memories. Last but not least, I can enhance the image of this association through mass and visual communications.
Christine McWebb is full professor at the University of Waterloo where she teaches at the Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business and the Department of French Studies. Professor McWebb’s present research focuses on the Digital Humanities and late medieval French literature. She has published extensively on the French writer Christine de Pizan and the Roman de la rose. Of particular interest are Christine de Pizan’s sustained reactions to this work and the relation between text and iconography in late medieval literature. She published a critical anthology Debating the Roman de la rose: A Critical Anthology (Routledge 2007, repr. 2011) and is currently working on a monograph on the textual and iconographic discourse of alchemy in the Roman de la rose. She is the director of the MARGOT digital archive. McWebb currently serves as the Director of the Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business at the University of Waterloo.
As Director of the University of Waterloo Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business and full professor at the Stratford School as well as the Department of French Studies, I am also a long-time subscriber to the DM-l and a specialist in digital medieval studies. As a digital humanist specializing in late French medieval literature and culture, I have overseen the MARGOT project since 2009, responsible for maintaining and growing the database of its projects and subprojects in digital archiving and the creation of metadata. I have served on the editorial board of the Digital Medievalist in the past and am currently serving as co-editor for French content for Florilegium as well as on the editorial board of Digital Philology: A Journal for Medieval Cultures (Johns Hopkins UP). I have extensive editing experience in journals focusing on digital and/or medieval studies. For example, with Helen Swift (Oxford University), I co-edited the special issue of Digital Medievalist 7, and with Lori Walters (emerita, Florida State University) I edited a guest issue of Digital Philology: A Journal for Medieval Cultures 5; title: Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age 2, 6.1, 2017. The Digital Medievalist community is an important one in medieval studies, and I would be happy to bring my experience in administration as well as in editing and publishing to the board.
Laura Morreale (Ph.D. Fordham University, 2004) is an Independent Scholar and Cultural Historian of the thirteenth- and fourteenth-century Italian peninsula, with particular interest in medieval French-language writings outside of the kingdom of France. She is the creator of the French of Italy and French of Outremer websites and a Lead Scholar on their associated web-based studies, including the Oxford Outremer Map, Exploring Place in theFrench of Italy, and the French of Outremer Legal Texts Translation Project. Laura is a co-editor of Middle Ages for Educators, an online resource for medievalists as they integrate digital approaches into their pedagogical practice. She is also the Project Lead on the Digital Documentation Process, a standardized citation and cataloging system for born-digital projects, and Co-PI of the Documentary Archaeology of Late Medieval Europe (DALME) project based at Harvard University. Recent digital initiatives include the La Sfera International Challenge and the Deiphira Translation Project.
This is a critical moment for how we as medievalists approach digital work. Whether we are able to capitalize on the collective, although largely involuntary, turn towards the increased reliance upon computer-based scholarly activities will depend on how we present digital scholarship to our fellow medievalists. The work for the Digital Medievalist organization will be crucial to that success. On the one hand, a gentle introduction to how traditional and digital methodologies work together will be an important strategy to welcome medievalist colleagues who have been thrust suddenly into virtual classrooms and research spaces where they feel they do not belong. On the other hand, we must support and foster the work of those who are already well-versed in computational methodologies and whose analytically rigorous digital scholarship sets the standard for the field. Additionally, medievalist scholars working with digital methodologies must also attend to the employment concerns of the scholars we train, to articulate how and why skills gained through digital scholarly efforts can transfer to the workplace. I would be pleased to continue working with the DM board to welcome new digital medievalists to the field through training projects and programs, to support journal and conferences spaces for the exchange of ideas and research findings, and to communicate with employers and those in the workforce to ensure that future digital medievalists have enough financial stability to allow them to continue to contribute to the field.
Matthew J. Westerby
Matthew J. Westerby (@qwesterby), who goes by “Matt,” received a PhD in Art History and Medieval Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2017. He is currently the Robert H. Smith Postdoctoral Research Associate for Digital Projects at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Matt serves as a researcher and data steward for the History of the Accademia di San Luca, c. 1590–1635, History of Early American Landscape Design (HEALD), and other projects. In 2021, he organized the virtual conference Fragments & Frameworks: Illuminated Manuscripts and Illustrated Books in Digital Humanities, which explored questions around the provenance and representation of fragmented books and manuscripts. His paper on digital tools for annotating and visualizing manuscript miscellanies appeared in the Journal of Medieval Iberian Studies as part of the special issue “Connecting the Dots: New Research Paradigms for Iberian Manuscripts as Material Objects.” Previously he has worked as a researcher and cataloguer of illuminated manuscripts, Books of Hours, and miniatures and wrote the catalogue for The Medieval World at Our Fingertips: Manuscript Illuminations from the Collection of Sandra Hindman (2018). Matt’s research focuses on manuscript illumination, exploring questions of materials, working methods, fragmentation, and interpretation. As convergences of texts and images, he is interested in the ways digital storytelling remediates word-image relationships and how these are disrupted by fragmentation and other forms of use. His current research project at the National Gallery of Art focuses on 13 initials from a richly illuminated choir book created in Seville in the 15th century, attributed to the Master of the Cypresses. Unfolding from non-invasive pigment analysis, the project seeks to untangle the ways colorants and binders were mixed or layered by different hands and to unpack long standing questions of attribution and authorship.
As a scholar I thrive on collaboration and I am passionate about Open Data and usability. Currently I am a co-chair of the IIIF Museums Community group and a member of the programming committee for the Medieval Academy of America’s 2023 Annual Meeting. In my experience, I gain far more than I give in helping to facilitate these groups and I look forward to expanding that work through new projects with the Digital Medievalist community. As an Executive Board member, I would advocate for the establishment of committees focused on discoverability and sustainability of resources and the development of subject-specific “toolkits” for presenting and interpreting objects on the web with IIIF viewers.