New Courses on Digital Philology at the University of Leipzig

From Gregory Crane (Alexander von Humboldt Professor of Digital Humanities – Department of Computer Science – University of Leipzig & Professor of Classics – Tufts University)

October 2013 – January 2014: Overview of Digital Philology (5 credits)
April – July 2014: Current Topics in Digital Philology (10 credits)
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*Research assistantships for enrolled students are available to students enrolled in these classes*

The Humboldt Chair of Digital Humanities at the University of Leipzig is developing a sequence of English-language courses on digital philology that will begin in the Wintersemester and Sommersemester of the 2013/2014 academic year. The courses may be taken in sequence or individually. We particularly encourage participation by graduate students, not only from Leipzig but from elsewhere in Europe and beyond, who are preparing to begin careers as researchers, teachers or library professionals. A semester or an academic year at Leipzig can help you transform your career and to acquire the skills by which you can flourish in an intensively network, profoundly global intellectual world.

These courses are particularly unusual in that they are offered within a Computer Science department and provide students with an opportunity to connect more directly with experts in advanced technologies than is often feasible. Germany also is unusual in that Computer Science and the Humanities are both instances of Wissenschaft — we do not face the boundaries between funding for research in the Humanities and in Computer Science that many in the English-speaking world face. If you wish to acquire the full range of skills needed for both teaching and research, these courses in this environment provide you with an excellent space in which to develop.

Note: particularly promising students enrolled in these classes will have an opportunity to work as research assistants, where they can apply the skills that they acquire in their classes. We particularly encourage ambitious students from outside Leipzig to consider this option to help support their stay.

An Overview of Digital Philology (5 credits, Wintersemester) provides students with programming skills needed to work with text in a digital age. We particularly focus upon the integration of methods from computational and especially corpus linguistics, both of which fields are fundamental to the study of language and critical to all who wish to develop flourishing careers as teachers and researchers in philology. The course is organized so that students can also take the Leipzig eHumanities Seminar (5 credits). In 2013, the course will focus particularly upon familiarizing students with XML and with the use of associated technologies (e.g., xslt, xquery).

While students who have taken the Overview of Digital Philology will be able to build on their knowledge in developing course projects, the Sommersemester course, Current Topics in Digital Philology (10 credits, Sommersemester), is open to anyone with advanced experience in either computer science or philology. Current Topics in Digital Philology provides a framework within which students of language from various backgrounds can develop projects informed by new advances in corpus and computational linguistics and in the digital humanities. In 2014, students will develop skills in the use of Python to work with richly annotated linguistic corpora and then use these skills in course projects.


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