TEI 2017 Victoria, British Columbia, Canada November 11 - 15

XML Wed Nov 15, 09:00–10:00

TAPAS Classroom: Experiments with TEI in Humanities pedagogy (paper)

Julia Flanders* Julia Flanders is the Director of the Digital Scholarship Group and a Professor of Practice at Northeastern University, and the co-director of TAPAS. , Syd Bauman* Syd Bauman is a TEI, XML, and markup geek. He began using SGML and the TEI when he came to the Women Writers Project in 1990. From 2001 to 2007 Syd served as North American editor of the TEI, and is currently on the TEI Technical Council., Ashley Clark* Ashley M. Clark works as an XML Applications Developer for Northeastern University's Digital Scholarship Group. With a focus on inclusive, data-driven design, she develops TEI publishing ecosystems with her colleagues in TAPAS and the Women Writers Project., Ben Doyle* Benjamin J. Doyle is a PhD candidate in English at Northeastern University, Boston. His research focuses on C18 and C19 Atlantic world human rights narratives. He's the former project manager for TAPAS and the current developer for the early Caribbean Digital Archive., and William Reed Quinn* William Reed Quinn is a PhD candidate in English at Northeastern University, Boston. His research focuses on early twentieth century periodicals and reader behaviors within magazines. He is the current project coordinator for TAPAS and the research assistant for the Historical and Multilingual OCR Project.

1An important dimension of digital humanities pedagogy involves engaging students with what lies “under the hood”: with the intellectual architecture of familiar tools and resources. Text markup is an especially compelling topic in the literature and history classroom, for a number of reasons. It engages students in a very close analytical examination of the text, and makes the results of that examination explicit. It prompts a discussion of how we read and interpret documents and for what purpose. It supports inquiry into textual materiality, the significance of print cultures, and historical contexts of primary source documents. It offers an introduction to basic methods of editing, annotation, and explication, and it offers an introduction to a set of tools that are increasingly central to digital humanities scholarship—which have significant professional value outside the academy as well. For all of these reasons, the TEI is a tool of growing importance and pedagogical value for the humanities classroom.
2The TEI Archiving, Publishing, and Access Service (TAPAS) offers a repository-based framework for scholars to publish and archive their TEI-encoded materials, including scholarly editions, text anthologies, digitized archival materials, historical papers, manuscripts, and a wide range of other TEI data. With an NEH Digital Humanities Advancement grant awarded in 2016, TAPAS is adding support specifically for pedagogical usage, with a focus on three scenarios:
  • Humanities and digital humanities courses in which TEI is introduced briefly (perhaps through a single assignment or short unit) to give students a general understanding of what markup is (as for instance in Alan Galey’s 2016 course on the Future of the Book). In this scenario, TAPAS offers a quick and easy way for students to upload their TEI files and view them in a variety of formats that foreground different aspects of the markup. Templates and sample files provide instructors and students with starting points for creating valid TEI and for grasping how markup works to identify specific textual features, without requiring in-depth engagement with the specifics of the TEI as a language.
  • Humanities and digital humanities courses in which TEI (or a related topic such as digital editing) is the central focus (as for instance in Simon Mahony’s course on XML. In this scenario, students might work individually or in teams to transcribe, edit, and encode a short text. TAPAS offers instructors the ability to create teaching collections to which students may contribute texts, and also makes it easy for students to create individual projects and editions which they can continue to develop over time (for instance, as part of a digital thesis or capstone project).
  • Pedagogically oriented projects in which students are affiliated as collaborators in a faculty-led project that develops over time, either as part of a formal course, as an internship, or as paid research assistants (as for instance in the documentary project Doing History Digitally, developed through the Wheaton College Archives, Tomasek 2014). In this scenario, TAPAS makes it easy for students to join an existing TAPAS project and create or add to TEI collections.
3In support of these and other pedagogical scenarios, TAPAS has already developed sample and template files, a variety of documentation and help materials for instructors and students, streamlined processes for creating student accounts, and an initial set of TEI viewing options aimed at stimulating discussion about the function of markup in structuring and elucidating the text. TAPAS also offers community forums to provide support and also for general discussion about the use of TAPAS in teaching and scholarship. The TAPAS Classroom research group is developing a set of sample assignments and course modules. This paper will report in detail on TAPAS Classroom features and pedagogical approaches.