Intellectual problems in scholarly encoding

Harold Short, Chair
Centre for Computing in the Humanities
King's College London
Strand, London WC2R 2LS

Mavis H. Cournane
Donnchadh ” CorrŠin
The European Foundation
Wyattville Rd
Dublin, Dublin

Claus Huitfeldt
Wittgenstein Archives
University of Bergen
Allegaten 27
Bergen, N-5007

Willard McCarty
Centre for Computing in the Humanities
King's College London
London, England WC2R 2LS

This session offers three views on intellectual problems and consequences in the scholarly encoding of texts. Two papers (Cournane and McCarty) approach the issues by direct engagement with literary texts, the third (Huitfeldt) by a philosophical analysis of the terms "representation" and "interpretation".

Issues of implementation in hardware and software and of any specific metalanguage are deliberately excluded. Important though these matters are to humanities scholars who work with texts, and significant though the TEI has been and continues to be for the field, there is always the danger that preoccupation with means may obscure intellectual analysis or that familiarity with a specific system or set of tools may lead one to approach a new problem from the perspective of the already-intended solution.

This session therefore focuses specifically on the intersection and interaction of the philosophical and critical perspectives with the computation, trying to avoid implementation questions. Although it deals specifically with markup, its subject is essentially that of humanities computing as a whole: the electronic medium as an instrument of perception and analysis.