- Open Knowledge and Digital Archives:
lead investigator Peter Biehl TheOpen-Knowledge and Digital Archives (OKADA) working group is working on the development of a digital open source component for the Cravens Collection to share knowledge and creativity in interactive educational and research projects about objects, documents and stories and to create and implement a Cravens Collection Digital Archive.
- Textual Analysis: Tesserae Project:
lead investigator NeilCoffeeParticipantsin the Textual Analysis Working Group’s Tesserae Project are creating a web tool that allows users tocompare two Latin texts for similar phrases. The tool will enable thesystematic examination of instances where poets borrow the language oftheir predecessors or contemporaries (intertextuality), and make itpossible to study other linguistic relations in the poems. The Tesserae team is substantially improving the existing tool by making it possible to recognize different forms of the same Latin word as matches (e.g. amicus and amico), as well as implementing a series of other improvements to refine results. The team has part of an article prepared, and will finish the piece and submit it for publication once the results of the latest modifications can be included.
- “Becoming Poetics” on-line journal:
lead investigator Ming-Qian Ma The on-line journal Becoming Poetics is a project of the Poetics Group, a cross- disciplinary working group affiliated with the Poetics Program of the Department of English at UB. Its umbrella-objective, at its most ambitious, is to encourage and to promote, through publication, works that imagine, explore, create, articulate, and conceptualize a new discourse on emerging poetics in the contexts of the 21st-Century. Its working objective is to provide faculty and graduate students with an on-line publishing-venue for exploratory, experimental, or speculative thinking at various stages of its dynamic formation. With the funding support from DHIB for the 2009-2010 period, the project’s plan is to maintain and to upgrade, structurally as well as digitally, the website for Becoming Poetics. The journal can be accessed by members of the UB community from anywhere on campus.
- Exhibit X: lead investigator Christina Milletti Founded in 2003, the Exhibit X Fiction Series was established to showcase the University at Buffalo’s long history of fostering groundbreaking innovative and experimental fiction writers, particularly those associated with the postmodern American novel, such
as John Barth and Donald Barthelme, and later on, J.M. Coetzee, Raymond Federman, and Samuel R. Delany. The aim of the reading series has since
grown to educate its audience about the novel’s development in order to broaden the audience’s sense of what fiction may become in the contemporary moment. Exhibit X therefore invites authors who are not only experimenting with innovative forms of narrative, but who are also moving into cross-genre, electronic, and multi-media formats. Our aim is to create a cache of guest writers who are conversing with each other through their work about new opportunities within fictional forms. As a result, the Exhibit X Sound and Video Archive of guest readings represents a unique compilation of writers
who are actively engaged in rethinking the nature of narrative, the idea of fictional language, as well as the publishing marketplace of the contemporary novel.
funded in 2009-2010
- At the Limit: Pornography and the Humanities:
project directors David Squires and Steven Ruszczycky Since the publication of Linda Williams’ anthology Porn Studies in 2006, the critical investigation of pornography as both a material practice and representational form has experienced a revitalization. In order to move beyond the now stale censorshipdebates, the renewed interest in sexually explicit materials consists of a wide array of creative responses to the following question: What else is interesting about porn? The Workshop for Queer Theory will hold a two-day interdisciplinary conference in the spring of 2010 entitled “At the Limit: Pornography and the Humanities” in order to address the critical terrain opened up by porn studies. Conference speakers will discuss a network of threads common to
disciplines across the humanities that find a hub in current reflections on pornography. One prominent thread will be the impact of digital media on the production and consumption of pornography. Zabet Patterson will follow up on her groundbreaking article, “Going Online: Consuming Fantasy in the Digital Era,” with a discussion of online porn consumption as part of a genealogical history of the sexualized digital image. Hoang Tan Nguyen will share clips from his experimental digital movie project and elaborate on how queer and feminist porn pedagogy has shaped his art
and scholarship on the “race of cyberspace.” Mireille Miller-Young will discuss the history of Black women’s involvement in producing Internet pornography. Finally, renowned director Shine Louise Houston will screen her award-winning film Champion and answer questions about her Internet-based business model that shies away from online pornography.
- Friday, March 26th : Clemens 120, 9:00am to 5pm; Hallwalls Theater, 8pm
- Saturday, March 27th: Baldy Center (511 O’Brien Hall), 11am to 5pm
Projects funded in 2008-2009
- Robert Graves Digital Archive:
project director James Maynard The Robert Graves Digital Archive project scanned materials from the Robert Graves Collection in the Poetry Collection from Graves’s pre-World War I and World War I materials (approximately 2,600 scans)including:
- All 17 boxes of correspondence from the Robert Graves Collection (including some prose and poetry worksheets), for which a finding aid was prepared
- Typescripts for Good-bye to All That
- Graves’s “Notebook Oct 1917”
- The typescript for Horses: A Play in One Act
- The typescripts of several individual pre-World War I and World War I poems
- Miscellaneous newspaper clippings, posters, and other ephemera relating to the history of the Graves Collection in Buffalo
In the process of scanning these items some genetic analysis was made resulting in the correction of certain dates. These materials will eventually be incorporated online via the Poetry Collection’s website into the Robert Graves Digital Archive. This Robert Graves Digital Archive developed by the Poetry Collection is part of a larger collaboration with the Estate of Robert Graves as administered through the Robert Graves Trust of St. John’s College Oxford.
- The Drury Lane Afterpieces of Philippe Jacques de Loutherbourg, 1773-1778:
project director Andrew Stott The Drury Lane Afterpieces of Philippe Jacques de Loutherbourg, 1773-1778 project has begun keying texts and acquiring facsimilies and microfilms of items held in special collects at Yale and the Harvard Theatre Collection.
- Speakeasy: A Journal of Undergraduate Research from the Gender Institute:
project director Margarita Vargas The first issue of the undergraduate journal Speakeasy was originally published as a paper document available only on campus, and in limited supply. The inaugural issue of the on-line Speakeasy was archived on the new Gender Institute website, and work is proceeding tocreate a separate page for the journal. It is now poised to be a dual web/paper production, with special content available for the online version that will ensure a greater off-campus readership, and provide more opportunities for undergraduates to publish their research and creative writing. Speakeasy’s online presence is linked to the Gender Institute’s home page, and is currently run by the editorial staff of the publication. Other archived material from the
Gender Institute’s activities on campus will also be available on the Institute’s website.
Projects funded in summer 2008
- Science Fiction Cover Art Digital Research Collection:
project director Judith Adams-Volpe Cover art from approximately 300 pulp fiction books in the George Kelley Paperback & Pulp Fiction Collection is available as a sector of the Pulp Fiction Cover Art collection in UBdigit. Images of the front and back covers are presented for each book. The graphically intense images are augmented by generous metadata tagging, facilitating research and investigation by theme, cover art content, author, artist, and more. The science fiction cover art images reflect the social, cultural, and technological trends of the times, ranging from the 1940s to the 1990s. The George Kelley Paperback & Pulp Fiction Collection consists of over 30,000 volumes and is one of the largest and best preserved collections of pulp fiction in the world. These Science Fiction cover images join the Crime Fiction cover art sector and together comprise the Pulp Fiction Cover Art collection. Feast your eyes on bug-eyed monsters, aliens, intergalactic space vehicles, otherworldly landscapes, space warriors and vixens!
- Workers of the World:
project director Josephine Anstey Workers of the World is a guerilla-style performance for autonomous cleaning robots. The robots are set down in a public location and as they clean they chat using text based on the plays of Bertolt Brecht, Jean Genet and Peter Weiss. They are aware of people passing, orstopping to watch and listen to them. They respond in a variety of ways depending on their mood. They may be jocular or irritated, but their
remarks always point up the differences between workers and the rest. Workers of the World is a production of the Intermedia Performance Studio,
and it premiered at the Buffalo Infringement Festival 2008. Collaborators are Josephine Anstey, Stephen Hibit, and Patrice Seyed. Soft/Hardware: iRobot Create Robot, Everex Cloudbook, Open Source Software.
- The Tesserae Project Intertextual Scanning Tool:
project directors Neil Coffee, Jean-Pierre Koenig, and Shakthi Poornima Comparison of different texts has been fundamental to the analysis of literary andlinguistic meaning since antiquity. It is now possible to envision a computing interface that will allow us to view and navigate through the landscape of similarities between texts. The Tesserae Project draws on the fields of literary studies, linguistics, and computing to make such a tool for intertextual analysis freely available online. This site currently offers an early-stage version from a pilot project undertaken by Neil Coffee, Jean-Pierre Koenig, and Shakthi Poornima. This tool allows the user to search for identical or similar phrases in two texts, and, for Latin and Spanish, ranks phrases lower if they
contain very common words.
- Toby: project director Ronan Crowley Toby is an interactive realization of Joyce’s draft material for Ulysses, created in Microsoft PowerPoint 2008. The first draft due to be Tobied, in keeping with the porcine theme, will be one of two copybooks for episode fifteen “Circe.” This document, Spielberg catalogue V.A.19, is part of the La Hune material in the UB Libraries Poetry Collection and contains the earliest draft of the episode known to be extant. Toby prioritizes the concrete materiality of Ulysses in progress. Joyce wrote each of the eighteen chapters of the novel in series of children’s copybooks or on sets of loose sheets (and usually employed a combination of the two methods). Toby reconstructs individual copybooks in a human-readable format, preserving the layout and material arrangement of the physical document. Draft copybooks are represented in sets of “screen grabs,” each comprising a facing verso
and recto. A reader can leaf through the pages of the virtual document by using the keypad. Before he started work on a draft of any particular episode, Joyce assembled a great number of notes for it. He scribbled short phrases on little writing blocks or on menus, on bus tickets and in the margins of newspapers. He made jottings on stray bits of paper or the backs of advertisements. On one occasion he even made a note on the cuff of his shirtsleeve. Loose sheets of paper, commonly termed “notesheets,” survive for the last seven episodes of Ulysses, covered with lists of words and phrases. These repositories collect together the original off-the-cuff notes. Rarely plot indicators or aides mémoires, the phrases were worked directly into the text of the novel. As such the notesheets provided the raw material for the drafts of an episode. When a reader looks at a copybook in Toby, by clicking on the image of a friendly porker, the notesheet constituents of that particular two-page spread of the document are indicated.
- Tool Development for Northeast North American Indigenous Languages Archive: project directors Jeff Good and Michalis Petropoulos
The Northeastern North American Indigenous Languages Archive (NNAILA) is a new digital language archive housed at the University at Buffalo within the UB Libraries. NNAILA is currently in its pilot phase, with a focus on digitizing materials from Onondaga, an Iroquoian language spoken in parts of central New York and in the area near Brantford, Ontario. The archive’s primary goals are to preserve recordings of indigenous languages of Northeastern America and to make the data in those recordings accessible to the academic community and to the indigenous communities whose languages are represented in the archive’s collections. In order to facilitate access to the archive’s resources by Onondaga community members, especially language teachers and their
students, we are developing a web-based toolkit which will allow users to construct and annotate personal digital collections of materials from the archive. The first version of the toolkit is planned to be put online for use by Onondaga community members in the fall of 2009.
- 1968: I odezwa sie zgóry/Voices from the Mountaintop: project directors Keith Griffler and Marta Cieslak The
multimedia project “1968: I odezwa sie z góry/Voices from the Mountaintop” investigates the historical incidents of 1968 seminal within African American and Polish history. The project features a collaboration between the Department of African American Studies and Polish Studies Program to provide access to digital multimedia materials on 1968, at the same time encouraging the transnational study of history that is central to the goal of each. The finished product will be produced in the formats of a hypermedia digital archive and an interactive DVD. The hypermedia digital archive is envisioned to
contain video, audio and still photos of the oral performances, street demonstrations, and clashes; original interviews with participants of the events in Poland and the United States; historical texts; and scholarly analysis. The interactive DVD will narrate and interpret the key events of 1968 and their lasting impact on both nations and the world in the form of an innovative English/Polish bilingual project with subtitled versions in each language.
Ongoing and legacy digital humanities projects
- Uncrowned Queens and Uncrowned Kings:
project directors Peggy Brooks-Bertram and Barbara Nevergold The Uncrowned Queens Institute Digital Literacy Project features theinnovative use of technology for public programming and education utilizing both traditional and new media. The project features a
digital history prototype executed via online Biography Tools accessed at a free-standing kiosk in the Frank E. Merriweather Library of the
Buffalo and Erie County Public Library. The project offers innovative, free-access web software enabling a variety of format and content
beyond conventional texts in the application and discourse of public history. Community historians will be taught to create historical
content employing both traditional and new media narrative devices such as digital audio-files, video files, and scanned memorabilia/documents. With membership in the Institute’s program, community historians will be able to not only generate new content but to edit existing online content as well. The project builds on an award-winning, decade long, nationally recognized digital history project in partnership with the University at Buffalo. Historical
content generated with the Biography Tools will contribute to the growing body of literature in the humanities on digital scholarship by public historians and will enhance a ten year collection of the biographies of African American men and women of Buffalo and Western New York at the UQI webpage.
- The Electronic Poetry Center:
project director Loss Glazier The Electronic Poetry Center, sponsored by various departments at the University at Buffalo, is an online resource for digital poetry. It was founded in 1995 by Loss Pequeño Glazier and Charles Bernstein, making it one of the oldest resources for poetry on the World Wide Web. It was the sponsor of E-Poetry 2001, the world’s first festival exclusively dedicated to electronic poetry. In addition to its focus on digital poetry, it also is dedicated to the promotion and archiving of other “contemporary formally innovative poetries” This is a reflection of its origins in the University at Buffalo’s Poetics Program, a program founded in 1991 by Charles Bernstein and Robert Creeley, which maintains a long-standing interest in experimental, progressive, and avant-garde poetics. The extensive curated archives at the site make it a popular destination for the study and enjoyment of contemporary
- Litgloss: project director Maureen Jameson Litgloss began as a small course development grant project in 1998 with a mission to prepare an annotated version of a French novella. With further funding from the University at Buffalo, it expanded to over a hundred texts in 15 languages. In 2003, the NEH awarded a substantial grant to the project to enable (1) the development of a content management system to facilitate extensive collaborative work, and (2)
the conversion of the content to TEI-encoded XML. The NEH-funded work is nearing completion.
- The Assyrian Palaces Digital Project:
project director Samuel L. Paley The Assyrian Palaces Digital Project is exploring questions through the palace’s digital model:
- Why was certain bas-relief motifs placed so that they were visible through doorways?
- Was this part of some decorative plan that related to the functions of the rooms and the narrative propaganda of Assyrian
- How was the palace lighted?
- Were the bas-reliefs painted and how much paint was used?
- Are there new architectural, spatial and decorative relationships that can be discovered from the study of an interactive, digital model of the palace and the citadel mound in comparison with other Assyrian palaces and citadels constructed during the Assyrian Empire. (To this end, more digital models of other Assyrian buildings have been proposed as part of the larger project.)
Considering the state of preservation of the Citadel of Nimrud, the far-flung distribution of the fragments of decoration of its buildings, the dangers to its existing, preserved remains from natural environment, pollution and robbery, and the present political situation in the area, there will be no real experience for this generation of students to walk through its rooms and see and appreciate its grandeur. This is the reason why the virtual reality reconstruction is being prepared: it will bring together all existing information about the citadel and will provide a visualization of the first of the great Late Assyrian palaces in its architectural context in a way not possible even at the site museum. Students and scholars who would not be able to visit Iraq in the best of times will be able to study the buildings and everyone will be able to visit its ruins with new incites learned from the virtual reality model. It is the plan of the collaborators in this project to expand the work to other Assyrian sites and their public buildings, palaces and temples. A preliminary project has been funded to include the 8th-century palace of Tiglath-pileser III at Nimrud (The Shelby White-Leon Levy Fund for Archaeological Research at Harvard
University) and the 7th-century palace of Sennacherib at Nineveh (also discovered by Layard), the latter with Professor Sarah Jarmer Scott of
Wagner College using the digital cameras of Mr. Adam Lowe of Factum Arte, Madrid, to document bas-relief in 3D. UB has assisted the project with digital research funds. Private funding has also been received to continue the work of the project.