Online Event: Multilingualism, Translation, Directionality in Global Medieval DH

Distributed by Dorothy Kim via the DHSI listserv:

Please join the Vanderbilt University Center for Digital Humanities and the Global Middle Ages Project on October 16 from 11:00-12:30 p.m. CDT / 12:00-1:30 p.m. EDT for a panel discussion about global digital projects and their use of languages.

New technologies allow us to experience the past more intimately than humans have ever been able to do before, and we can share our work more efficiently and completely than our predecessors could. But new problems arise, particularly as multi-national groups of scholars work on the histories and cultures of communities that lay claim to their own past and yet often cannot access the research results, often presented in English. In addition, scholars commonly structure databases using English and do their coding in English. How does language use exclude certain communities, and what are best practices for language use in global digital projects? We will discuss techniques and unsolved problems in an effort to make recommendations for global medieval projects.

This panel will bring together scholars working on global digital projects along with an expert in translation to talk about their perspectives on language use in global digital humanities projects.

Our panelists:
      • Zrinka Stahuljak, Professor of Comparative Literature and French, UCLA, and Director, UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies – expertise in translation, interpreting, and multilingualism
      • David Michelson, Associate Professor of the History of Christianity, Vanderbilt University – General editor of and expertise in multi-national collaboration on digital projects with experience in establishing digital humanities standards for Semitic languages
      • David Joseph Wrisley, Associate Professor of Digital Humanities, NYU Abu Dhabi – multitext alignment methods, multilingual/multidirectional language data, politics and practice of interface localization, machine learning medieval scripta, directionality in digital projects, unidirectional fallacy
      • Roger Martinez-Davila, Associate Professor of History, University of Colorado – Colorado Springs – expertise in MOOCs, crowd-sourced research of manuscripts, virtual and augmented reality, and multi-national projects
      • Solomon Gebreyes Beyene, Research Fellow, University of Hamburg – expertise in multi-national manuscript editing and annotating Gǝʾǝz texts using TEI/XML.

The conversation will be moderated by Lynn Ramey (Vanderbilt University) and Dorothy Kim (Brandeis University).

All are welcome. There will be a question and answer period after panelists have spoken. You may submit your questions in advance ( or live at the panel. The panel will be recorded and posted on the portal.

Zoom link for the colloquium: