All posts by Raffaele Viglianti

Decoding Digital Humanities London – 2012

Decoding Digital Humanities London (DDHL) is a series of informal monthly meetings for anyone interested in research at the intersection of computational technologies and the humanities. These gatherings provide an opportunity to discuss readings and raise questions, but also to mingle and share ideas with others in the field of digital humanities.

The series was founded at University College London and is now aiming at involving a larger number of institutions across London. PhD, MA students and staff at UCL, King’s College London and Goldmisth’s University of London are amongst the organizers this year.

The first meeting will be on January 31st at 6.30pm at The Plough (upstairs), 27 Museum st, WC1A 1LH. We will discuss the Digital Humanities Manifesto:

No registration is needed but an email would be appreciated. Please write to

DDH Internal Research Seminar: Tablet apps, or the future of Digital Scholarly Editions

At yesterday’s (23 November) Internal Research Seminar, Elena Pierazzo and Miguel Vieira presented Tablet apps, or the future of Digital Scholarly Editions, a preview of the paper that they will give tomorrow at the study-day “The Future of the Book“.

The paper discussed those opportunities that tablet device could offer for the digital publication of scholarly editions. This work stemmed from Patricia Searl’s MA dissertation, who completed her Digital Humanities MA at DDH last year.

The main issue arises from the apparent lack of use of digital scholarly editions published on the web. The speakers found particularly worrying the fact that these editions are never part of undergraduate syllabi, even though they usually offer high quality scholarly texts with free, open access.

Tablet devices are user-friendly, portable and create a stronger sense of ownership compared to websites. This makes for an experience closer to reading from a book, but would it be true for digital scholarly editions? Would it work for editions that need sophisticated ways of presenting historical evidence and editorial work? The presenters believe that the eBook model would probably not be sufficient, but the “App” paradigm might.


Enhanced eBooks already exploit this idea by introducing a highly interactive, almost ludic component to the digital edition. Nonetheless, none of these apps have been connected to scholarly work so far. The speakers noticed, for example, how it is impossible to find an editor of T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land enhanced eBook (see image).

Finally, the paper also discussed those issues that would be familiar to any smartphone or tablet user, such as cross-device compatibility, keeping up-to-date with new OSs and heavily controlled app “markets”. These issues influence the true user reach, but first of all complicate development quite substantially (even more than, for example, dealing with cross-browser issues).

The paper was followed by a lively discussion. There was general agreement that scholarly editing should get involved in tablet computing; the best way of doing so, however, is yet to be fully understood and provides fertile ground for an exciting new research area.

The DDH Internal Research Seminar series aims at giving a space to DDH staff to present their research and discuss them in an informal environment.

DH at Reading

DH at Reading logoThis Friday, the University of Reading discusses Digital Humanities at the one-day event DH at Reading.
High-profile Digital Humanities speakers will introduce fundamental topics of research in the field, and will be followed by a round table led by Ph.D. students with a strong DH component in their work.

Elena Pierazzo, from the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College will introduce Medieval and Modern Manuscripts in the Digital Age; while the round table will be joined by the department’s PhD students Øyvind Eide, Tom Salyers and Raffaele Viglianti.

We’re excited to talk DH at Reading and contribute to the dissemination of the disciplines to those institutions interested in participating more to the field.