Monday, August 19, 2013

What scholarship looks like

The Leipzig "Open Philology" workshop reinforced a fact that I (re)learn constantly from my work advising Holy Cross' "Manuscripts, Inscriptions and Documents Club":  that the most important changes brought about to scholarship by new technology are not technological, but intellectual and social.

It's not easy for someone of my generation to imagine how significant research in Classics can be collaborative, and can engage people of a wide range of ages (even people without university-level degrees, something my training conditions me to view as a heresy), but there's no mistaking it when you get to watch it happen.  In Leipzig, the best example was "Team Croatia":  five participants from Zagreb, led by their gifted teacher and scholar, Neven Jovanović (far right in the photo below).

A mediocre cell-phone snap shows what this kind of activity can look like: two computers, but one temporarily ignored as three pairs of eyes focus intently on the same screen.  A single pair of hands is not enough to capture the action in real time:  if this were a piano composition for four hands, this movement would be marked "presto".

If we're going to lay a digital foundation for classical studies, this is the kind of team that will make it happen.

Update:  thanks to Neven for helping me correctly spell the names of Team Croatia:  Juraj Ozmec, Željka Salopek, Jan Šipoš and Anamarija Žugić. (Pictured above with Neven:  Anamarija Žugić and Juraj Ozmec).

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