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DH@lboro project descriptions

Editing Aphra Behn in the Digital Age (E-ABIDA)

In partnership with the Digital Humanities Institute, University of Sheffield, the E-ABIDA project is developing an online editing suite to aid editors’ collaborations and the production of the landmark eight-volume Cambridge Works of Aphra Behn under the general editorship of Elaine Hobby.

This editing suite enables users to create, edit and manage transcriptions of Behn’s works; to tag these transcriptions using XML (e.g. to tag structure, variants, and entities such as people and places); and to create, revise and manage explanatory and textual notes.

The editing suite is also embedded with a feature that alerts editors to echoes and similarities between their texts and annotations, and those of Behn’s works in the edition.

A public-facing website will provide a set of data analysis tools. This resource will bring together for general use the transcriptions from the editing suite.

Key analysis tools will be made publicly available towards the end of the project (mid-2020). The website will enable end-users to browse and view the transcriptions of Behn’s works; access socio-historical background information; search the text corpus by keyword, part of speech, collocations and word list; visualise the text corpus, metadata and search results using line graphs, pie charts, bubble diagrams, heat maps, network diagrams and timelines (horizontal histograms that are spaced along an x-axis of time).

Understanding the Meanings of Dance: The Potential for Kinesemiotics

The project is aimed at verifying the possibility of capturing dance discourse automatically by tracking dance movement on the basis of structures individuated by the Functional Grammar of Dance created by Arianna Maiorani (just published in a volume by Routledge). In order to do so, the grammar model will be translated into a suitable data structure that allows specification of variables to encode a given dance movement and save it for future comparison to real dance routines. The range of envisaged applications is considerable and it includes the creation of digital archives of dance that are not exclusively based on video recording. Led by Dr Arianna Maiorani (Senior Lecturer in Linguistics), who works in intense collaboration with the two co-investigators, Professor Massimiliano Zecca (Healthcare Technology) and Dr Russell Lock (Computer Science), the project is eminently interdisciplinary and is the first official study in Kinesemiotics, a new discipline created by the three researchers. The project is funded through Loughborough University CALIBRE programme and includes the collaboration of the English National Ballet who will provide professional dancers for movement capture sessions. A Symposium was held in Loughborough in London in July 2017 to showcase the project results and generate further developments. Results were also presented at the Multimodality Conference in Bremen in September 2017.

DRY – Drought Risk and You

(April 2014 - March 2018)

DRY is 4-year interdisciplinary project, funded under RCUK’s Drought and Water Scarcity programme. It involves 7 Universities (UWE, Loughborough, Sheffield, Harper Adams, Exeter, Dundee, Warwick), hydrologists from CEH and experts in climate change communication from Climate Outreach. The team based at Loughborough (Professor Mike Wilson, Dr Antonia Liguori, Dr Lyndsey Bakewell, Mr Aaron James) is leading all the narratives approaches aimed at bridging scientific and lay knowledge around drought and water scarcity. Digital storytelling is applied as a form of engagement that enables people to share personal stories and to produce new knowledge(s). Through this project we contribute to the field of digital humanities by building an open, online digital storytelling archive, creating a legacy of rich data informing future work on water, water scarcity, personal and social relationships in river catchments in the anthropocene.

NAR-SPI – Narratives Approaches for Socio-Professional Inclusion

(September 2015 - November 2017)

NAR-SPI is a Strategic Partnership funded under the Erasmus+ Programme KA2 for Adult Education. Partners from 8 different countries (Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Lithuania, Poland and the UK), active in various sectors (education, social inclusion, research, IT) are involved in training activities and the production of Open Educational Resources for SPI professionals. Digital Storytelling is one of the narratives approaches used to translate theoretical concepts into compelling digital media to be included as part of the learning contents on an online platform.

Professor Mike Wilson and Dr Antonia Liguori, from the School of the Arts, English and Drama, are delivering training activities within the partnership and supervising the production of some learning objects. The final event of the project will be hosted in our campus in London and will aim to explore digital storytelling as a way of creatively engage the local community.

DICHE – Digital Innovation in Cultural and Heritage Education

(October 2015 - March 2018)

DICHE is a Strategic Partnership funded under the Erasmus+ Programme KA2 for School Education. Partners from the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium and the UK are exploring the use of a set of digital tools to enhance the 21st Century skills in primary education.

Professor Mike Wilson and Dr Antonia Liguori, from the School of the Arts English and Drama, have led the production of a Common Research Agenda, in collaboration with Professor Antonella Poce’s team (University of Roma Tre, Italy). One of the aims was to explore how a 5 steps process in the digital storytelling methodology applied in formal education can enhance the 4Cs (Critical Thinking, Creativity, Communication, Collaboration). The team based in Loughborough (Mike Wilson, Antonia Liguori, Lyndsey Bakewell, Aaron James) has also contributed to the development of a WebApp to make digital stories.

After the Digital Revolution: Bringing together archivists and scholars to preserve born-digital records and produce new knowledge

Lise Jaillant has been awarded a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award (£15,000) for this project, which will run for one year, from 31 March 2017. The digital revolution has profoundly affected the ways we encounter archival documents. Yet, archivists and literary scholars rarely "sit at the same table," and this lack of dialogue has an impact on issues of access, particularly in the case of born-digital materials. We will run two workshops to find solutions to this overall problem of access to emails and other born-digital records in literary and publishers’ archives. This will be achieved through three specific objectives. First, we will look at the preservation of collections through data recovery (including the recovery of emails). Second, we will discuss new ways to make collections findable and usable. Third, we will share methods such as data visualisation and text mining to produce new knowledge. The project will bring together both established and emerging scholars and archivists. Reaching beyond an academic audience, the two workshops will not only raise public awareness of the need to preserve neglected and endangered archives, but also facilitate evidence-based policy making to address this issue.