Tag Archives: Knowledge creation

“Interpreting Textual Artefacts” Colloquium Programme

Following-up on the preliminary announcement, here is the full programme of the colloquium with the names of the speakers and the titles of their talks.

This event is free of charge; all welcome!                                                                             

[In order to help with numbers for catering, please email: segolene.tarte [at] oerc.ox.ac.uk to confirm attendance – Thank you]

The information below is also available for download (A5 recto-verso flyer; A3 posterA4 – programme  only, without the overview; A5 abstracts booklet – with the available abstracts of the talks).

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Interpreting Textual Artefacts: Cognitive Perspectives and Digital Support for Knowledge Creation

Dates: 11th & 12th December 2012 (early afternoon 11th to tea time 12th)

Place: University of Oxford – Lecture theatre at the Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St Giles’, Oxford OX1 3LU)

Overview:

The reading of textual artefacts in cuneiform studies (Assyriology), papyrology, epigraphy, palaeography, and mediaeval studies is at the core of the creation (discovery, invention) of new knowledge of past cultures and civilizations. The artefacts in themselves are devoid of meaning, and it is their interpretation and re-interpretation that contextualizes them and turns them into conveyors of knowledge.

This colloquium convenes scholars from a wide-ranging selection of fields in order to explore how knowledge is created through the act of interpretation of ancient documents. Each session puts into dialogue the work and methods, both digital and more traditional, of ancient documents scholars with findings from the cognitive sciences around the processes involved in the act of interpretation of ancient documents.

Through this event, we aim to gain a better-integrated view of the cognitive processes involved in the interpretation of ancient documents as well as some ways of supporting them and facilitating them digitally.

Programme:

11th December 2012

14:00 – 14:15

Welcome

 

 

14:15 – 15:45

Materiality
and Visual P
erception

Chair: Dr Dirk Obbink (Classics, Oxford)

3x20min + 30min discussion

Prof. Chris Gosden (Archaeology, Oxford)

“Beyond Art and Agency: The Sensory Impacts of Objects”

Dr Kathryn Piquette (TOPOI, FU Berlin)

“The Impact of Reflectance Transformation
Imaging on Interpretative Processes for Ancient Egyptian Graphical Culture”

Prof. Glyn Humphreys (Neuroscience, Oxford)

 “The architecture of visual object recognition and attention”

15:45 – 16:15

Tea/coffee break

 

 

16:15 – 17:15

Kinaesthetic
Engagement in Reading

Chair: Dr Ségolène Tarte (e-Research Centre, Oxford)

2x20min + 20min discussion

Dr Dominique Stutzmann (Institut de Recherche et d’Histoire des Textes, Paris)

“Reading the movement: morphology, ductus, and reading skills for medieval Latin scripts”

Prof. Marieke Longcamp (Neurosciences
Cognitives, Marseille)

Contribution of Writing
Knowledge to Visual Recognition of Graphic Shapes”

17:15 – 18:30

Drinks reception

 

 

 

12th December 2012

10:00 – 11:00

Word
Identification

Chair: Dr Arietta Papaconstantinou (Classics, Reading)

2x20min + 20min discussion

Prof. Alan Bowman (Classics, Oxford)

 “The grammar of legibility in Latin cursive writing”

Prof. Laurent Cohen (CHU Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris)

“The reading brain, neuropsychology and
neuroimaging”

11:00 – 11:30

Tea/coffee break

 

 

11:30 – 12:30

Structural
Knowledg
e and Context

Chair: Dr John Lowe (Linguistics, Oxford)

2x20min + 20min discussion

Dr Klaus Wagensonner
(Oriental Studies, Oxford)

“Lexical texts in perspective. On the implementation of lexical information in bilingual narratives”

Dr Richard Tunney (Psychology, Nottingham)

“Implicit learning of artificial and natural languages”

12:30 – 13:30

Lunch

 

 

13:30 – 15:00

Creativity
and Collaboration

Chair: Prof. David de Roure (e-Research Centre, Oxford)

3x20min + 30min discussion

Dr Peter Stokes (Digital Humanities, KCL)

“Communicating Palaeography Across and Beyond the Discipline(s)”

Dr Susana Avila Garcia (e-Research Centre, Oxford)

“Exploring the use of interactive surface technologies to support image analysis researchers”

Prof. David Kirsh (Cognitive Sciences, UC San Diego)

“Interactively interpreting: solo and distributively

15:00 – 15:30

Tea/coffee break

 

 

15:30 – 16:30

Round
table

 

 

This is a joint event between Oxford’s Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents and the e-Research Centre. It has been made possible thanks to funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, through my early-career research fellowship, of which it is the closing event.

 

 

Preliminary announcement: colloquium “Interpreting Textual Artefacts: Cognitive Perspectives and Digital Support for Knowledge Creation”

I am currently working on putting together a colloquium, as a closing (and opening towards future research) event for my fellowship.

More details will be posted here soon, but in the mean time, here is an overview.

Interpreting Textual Artefacts: Cognitive Perspectives and Digital Support for Knowledge Creation

Colloquium

Date: 11th & 12th December 2012 (early afternoon 11th to tea time 12th)

Place: University of Oxford (Lecture theatre at the Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St Giles’ Oxford OX1 3LU)

Overview

The reading of textual artefacts in cuneiform studies (Assyriology), papyrology, epigraphy, palaeography, and mediaeval studies is at the core of the creation (discovery, invention) of new knowledge of past cultures and civilizations. The artefacts in themselves are devoid of meaning, and it is their interpretation and re-interpretation that contextualizes them and turns them into conveyors of knowledge.

This colloquium aims to convene scholars from a wide-ranging selection of fields in order to explore how knowledge is created through the act of interpretation of ancient documents. Each session will put into dialogue the work and methods, both digital and more traditional, of ancient documents scholars with findings from the cognitive sciences around the processes involved in the act of interpretation of ancient documents.

Through this event, we aim to gain a better-integrated view of the cognitive processes involved in the interpretation of ancient documents as well as some ways of supporting them and facilitating them digitally. As a tangible outcome of this colloquium, the presented papers will be gathered into an edited volume.

This 1.5 day colloquium will be articulated around the five following sessions:

  • Materiality and visual perception
  • Kinaesthetic engagement in reading
  • Word identification
  • Structural knowledge and context
  • Creativity and collaboration

Do mark the dates! All welcome!

 

Beyond Data Curation: Knowledge Curation

Exciting news came in a couple of weeks ago: the AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council) has awarded me a fellowship!

I mentioned this early-career fellowship application in my last post, and well, now I can present to you what I’ll be working on. It’ll be a 9 months project, starting in January and it’ll be concerned with knowledge curation in the context of the development of interpretations of ancient textual artefacts. And this blog was originally started with this very project in mind. I will remain at OeRC, and Prof. Alan Bowman will be my mentor.

Here are the official title and summary:

Digitally Curating Knowledge Creation: Understanding and Recording the Process of Interpreting Cultural and Historical Artefacts

Interpretation and re-interpretation of textual artefacts such as Roman wooden tablets (e.g. the Vindolanda tablets) and cuneiform clay tablets are a core activity for documentary scholars and historians. It is the act of interpretation of these documentary artefacts that gives them a meaning both as a text and as an object, one that can then be shared amongst academics and with the wider public, shedding light on a past history and culture. Interpretation is thus an act of knowledge creation.

Creating this knowledge is a complex and often arduous task that involves elaborate rationales that are strongly influenced by the context in which they are developed. For example, Continue reading Beyond Data Curation: Knowledge Curation

On public vs private research

Back from Würzburg, where I attended the “Digital Palaeography” ESF exploratory workshop (talks and abstracts here) – and on which Dr. Dominique Stutzmann reports in his blog – I find myself pondering on issues of public vs private research. Youtie, times before the widespread adoption of digital tools, already commented on this issue in the context of papyrology. In his 1963 paper [1], he presents the internal workings of what papyrologists do. In doing so, he defines public papyrology, which consists in presenting the results of papyrological work by publishing editions of the studied texts. These editions usually offer a diplomatic transcript, a reconstruction of the text, a commentary on the presented interpretation, and sometimes a line drawing of the text, along with photographs of the text-bearing artefact. Once the edition published, further interpretation of the text is open to scholarly debate and to its use as evidence for further historical research. Upstream, the work of the papyrologist, however, is much more of a private activity, which aims to produce a transcription of the text, and is paved with what Youtie [1, p27] describes as:

“[…]the doubts, the hesitations, the numerous false starts and new beginnings; the guesses sometimes confirmed, sometimes rejected by the script;  the continual recourse to books for information of every sort – lexical, grammatical,  palaeographical, historical, legal; the interludes of exhaustion and depression[…]”

Unsurprisingly, I realized at the Digital Palaeography workshop that palaeographers seem to undergo the same type of process. In his keynote, Prof. Eef Overgaauw underlined the fact that uncertainty is ubiquitous: “No answer is final” he said, “No result is conclusive. They are all provisional.”

Not only does this chime with my current reflections on uncertainty, it also made me acknowledge that the notions of public and private research do likely extend beyond papyrology and palaeography, and that the shifting shape of uncertainty Continue reading On public vs private research

Deciphering and interpreting (proto-)cuneiform

Proto-Elamite clay tablet from Susa, in the Louvre (courtesy of Marie-Lan Nguyen via Wikimedia Commons)

It’s great to be back “in the field”! Well, it’s nothing exotic, really, as I went to Wolfson College, Oxford, to attend one of Dr Jacob Dahl‘s interpretation sessions, where the subject of study for this group of three students, Jacob and myself was a set of Proto-Elamite texts (yes, this is a wikipedia link; it has been approved by Jacob, for more info on cuneiform scripts, check here). When I say it’s not exotic, in fact, to me it is – well, not Wolfson that is, but Proto-Elamite, which I have never encountered before. So far, the interpretation sessions I’ve attended had to do with Latin cursive texts such as the Vindolanda tablets, or with Greek epigraphy; two scripts that belong to the group of segmental alphabet writing systems (as does the script I’m using to write this post). Proto-Elamite, in contrast, is thought to be a derived from the proto-cuneiform script; it is classified as logophonetic and seems to be at times pictographic and at times syllabic. Additionally – and non-negligibly – Proto-Elamite is one of those few ancient languages that Continue reading Deciphering and interpreting (proto-)cuneiform

‘Şalmu’ and the nature of digitized artefacts

Last term (Hilary term 2011) at the traditional Oxford Slade Lectures, I had the chance to hear Prof. Z. Bahrani speak about the nature of representations in the Ancient Middle-East. The title of her lecture series “The Infinite Image: Art and Ontology in Antiquity” (many thanks to Prof. A. K. Bowman who flagged them up!) resonated with some of the questions we were dealing with while working on the e-Science and Ancient Documents project. I was  not able to attend the very first lecture, but enjoyed tremendously the second one, as well as all the following ones. The second lecture, entitled: “What is/was an image?”, struck very close to home and got me thinking about mimesis and subsequently about the nature of digital images of artefacts, or more generally of digitized artefacts. Continue reading ‘Şalmu’ and the nature of digitized artefacts

From Artefact to Meaning

Initialement dans le contexte de la recherche en papyrologie et en épigraphie, mais à plus longue échéance dans le contexte d’artefacts culturels et historiques en général (textuels ou non), ce carnet de recherche vise à documenter:
• l’étude des pratiques des experts lorsqu’ils s’attèlent à la tâche de déchiffrement et d’interprétation d’un artefact.
• les méthodes adoptées afin de provoquer, d’identifier, de soutenir, et d’enregistrer les moments clefs de la découverte, de la création, de l’invention de la signification des objets étudiés et du savoir historique qui en découle. Ces méthodes auront recours à des approches issues aussi bien des sciences cognitives que de la philosophie et de la sociologie des sciences.
• l’élaboration d’un logiciel de support pour cette tâche, basé sur les résultats d’études de cas.
• l’évaluation de l’impact de l’outil informatique sur les pratiques traditionnelles, et son intégration dans le processus professionnel des chercheurs.
L’objectif ultime est de montrer que, au-delà de la curation des (méta-)données attachées à un artefact, il est essentiel d’aussi conserver les étapes intermédiaires de la création du savoir attaché à cet objet afin, le cas échéant, d’en faciliter la ré-interprétation. La contextualisation des objets est cruciale à leur interprétation, et par conséquent à leur signification, telle qu’elle est restituée dans les musées. L’aspect narratif associé à la diffusion du savoir historique et culturel consistera aussi en un des objets d’études de ce carnet de recherche.