ADHO Standing Committee on Multi-Lingualism & Multi-Culturalism (SCM)
Report on activities and matters arising
June 2009 - June 2010
Standing Committee on Multi-lingualism & Multi-culturalism
1. Meeting of the ADHO Steering Committee
At the meeting of the ADHO Steering Committee Sat 20 June & Mon 22 June at the University of Maryland, United States, it was decided that the Standing Committee on Multi-Lingualism & Multi-Culturalism (SCM) would be composed as follows:
- Elisabeth Burr (chair)
- Espen Ore (ALLC representative) - (2008-2011)
- Natasha Smith (ACH representative) - (2007-2010)
- Stefan Sinclair (SDH-SEMI representative) - (2008-2011)
- Jan Rybicki, co-opted member - (2009-2010)
- Jan Christoph Meister, ex-officio member, internationalization editor of DHQ
2. Meeting of the Standing Committee
At the meeting of the Standing Committee on 25th of June in Maryland the following was on the agenda:
a) wellcome of the co-opted member, Jan Rubicky
b) the question of addressing people in their own language via multi-lingual calls for paper
c) ADHO's (and ALLC's) monolingual Web pages
c) the question of reviewers who can read languages other than English
d) the question of scholarly publications
e) the research into the nature of the ADHO community
f) needs of the Society for Digital Humanities / Société pour l'étude des médias interactifs to safegard its multi-lingual and multi-cultural nature - Michael Eberle-Sinatra, the French president of the society made it very clear that a split between the Englisch and French speaking communities needs to be avoided by safegarding above all the usage of French.
After an intensive and controversal discussion, several decisions were taken.
2.2 Decisions taken and actions undertaken to put them into place
Decision: to carry on with the translation of the call into different languages as a means to foster the awareness of the multi-lingual and multi-cultural nature of the community.
Action taken: The call was made available in the following languages:
All existing language versions of the call are available here. (link unavailable)
An online tool which would make the realisation of this task more comfortable is still a desideratum.
2.2.2 “Research into the linguistic and cultural nature of the ADHO community”
Decision: to carry on with the research into the multi-lingual and multi-cultural nature of the community
At its meeting on Sat 20 June & Mon 22 June at the University of Maryland, United States the ADHO Steering Committee had accepted my proposal to take an expenditure of € 1.100,00 of the 2009 backstop money of the Multilingual Multicultural Committee.
With these funds two students where employed:
The datasheet on reviewers' language knowledge and specialities was turned into a user friendly relational database by the first student..
Discussion was started with Harald Weinreich about the possibility to implement such a database directly into ConfTool.
No contact could be made with John Unsworth who had proposed at the meeting in Maryland to give accessto my student to the server where DH's ConfTool is hosted.
Marked-up Corpus of Reviews
The marked-up corpus of the reviews handed in via ConfTool when preparing the last DH conferences(2007-2010) is nearly finished. The reviewers have been anonymized. The mark-up of the corpus is TEI conformant. The link between the anonymized reviewers and their knowledge of languages has not yet been put into place. It is hoped to present first research results at DH 2011.
Mother Tongue of the Reviewers
No action could be taken with respect to the proposal to set up ConfTool in such a way that on the starting page reviewers are asked to indicate their mother tongue.
2.2.3 Research projects (see phase 3 of three-tier plan of action decided at the Oulu meeting)
Decision: to take forward phase 3 of the three-tier plan of action and charge Jan Christoph Meister and Stéfan Sinclair to work out a project proposal regarding software for generating multi-lingual concept ontologies from papers and abstracts
Action taken: The project proposal prepared by Jan Christoph Meister and Stéfan Sinclair was presenhted at the ALLC meeting in Hamburg, see http://www.cch.kcl.ac.uk/tmp/allccom0911/Proposal-ALLC-2009-Exploit-v2.pdf)
A revised version is supposed to be presented to the ADHO Steering Committe in London.
3. Ongoing discussion
At the meeting of the Standing Committee on 27.06.2008 in Oulu we identified a three-tier plan of action for our committee:
Phase 1: Concrete actions towards multilingualism, including
- a mechanism and policy for the translation of the TOCs of LLC and DHQ, involving ADHO constituent members
- dto. for multilingual CFPs and abstracts
Phase 2: Policy initiatives, including
- hosting of DHQ conferences in countries other than the US and Europe
- coopting new members from e.g. Japan onto our committee
Phase 3: Research projects, including
- software for generating multi-lingual concept ontologies from papers and abstracts
Topics & actions discussed