I’m not going to be able to make it to THATCamp but I’m not letting that stop me from proposing a session…
Recently there has been a bit of a kerfuffle over the use of the term “data” to describe the people and traditions religious studies scholars study. On one side, some scholars find this term to be dehumanizing. On the other side, some scholars think it is a useful term for cordoning off one’s object of study. The debate can be found here, here, here, and here.
Yet, it strikes me that the use of the term “data” in this debate is not the same “data” that many digital humanists use. Or is it? That’s what I’m wondering. How do digital approaches to religious studies alter our notions of “data” and what counts as “data?” Is a digital religious studies de-humanizing? What is our data?
I have questions about: TEI/XML (or other markup solutions) as a tool for teaching and research, including for right-to-left Unicode (Hebrew) but also just English. Depending on the skill levels of those who show up, this session could be “Make” session in which we pool our knowledge into a shared resource for further learning, or a “Teach” or “Play” session if someone shows up with commanding knowledge and a will to lead.
My own goals: I would like to be able to mark up plain-text Unicode Hebrew and English with tags of my own making, and assist my students in doing the same. I would like to be able to create simple programs or Regular Expressions to manipulate this marked-up plain text in simple ways. For a research-related example: I would like to be able to mark up Biblical Hebrew poems with varying suggestions for line-breaks (or verbal expressions, or accentual beats, or parallel expressions, etc.) and then manipulate the results for different kinds of display. For a teaching-related example: I would like to assist my students in marking up a biblical text for (say) genre-markers (like <statementOfTrust>text</statementOfTrust>), and then be able to manipulate the results for display (e.g., filtering several files for a particular marker and displaying the results in columns).