Tijdelijk bij het CTB: Anna-Maria Sichani

Twee masterstudenten en een doctoraatsstudente versterken de komende weken ons team. Vandaag stelt Anna-Maria Sichani zich voor.


I am Anna-Maria Sichani, a Modern Greek literary scholar and a Digital Humanist by training.​ I am currently a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Early Stage Researcher affiliated with the Digital Scholarly Editing Initial Training Network (DiXiT), based at Huygens ING-KNAW and a Research Associate at King's Digital Lab. I am originally from Athens (Greece), but since 2010 I have been studying and living in London. Finally, in 2015 I moved to The Hague and since then I've been exploring the floating cities of Central Europe.

I am holding a BA and a MPhil in Modern Greek Philology from the University of Athens (Greece), then followed by a MA in Digital Humanities in UCL, with a dissertation on literary drafts and computational technologies and I am currently finishing my PhD (University of Ioannina, Greece). ​My DiXiT fellowship focuses on sustainable models for digital scholarly editions: I am interested in cost-reduction and monetisation strategies for digital editions, sustainability and archiving issues, project planning, iterative content design, data management, publication and dissemination strategies.

As a part of my DiXiT fellowship, I am now spending two months in a secondment at CTB-KANTL. Given the CTB's 15-year tradition in (digital) scholarly editing, I am collaborating with the CTB team (Bert and Ron) in a number of issues regarding the sustainability, management and planning of editing projects and digital resources initially developed by CTB. In addition, I am providing development and technical consulting as well as hands-on collaboration on two digital editing projects, a digital scholarly edition of Elias of het gevecht met de nachtegalen, a novel (1936) by Maurice Gilliams, and the digital edition of Guido Gezelle's correspondence.

Both projects are of special interest and keep me busy and excited. The Elias edition has a complex composition and publication history which ask for a series of specialised and sophisticated encoding solutions. The Gezelle correspondence project, on the other hand, comes as a natural step to the CTB's long-standing tradition of digital editions of correspondence, given the DALF guidelines and the correspondence  projects such as Streuvels and his publishers.

The Gezelle edition, a large multi-institutional project, aims to adopt and cultivate a collaborative ethos among partners institutions such as the CTB, the public library of Bruges, the University of Antwerp et al., but also to engage a wider audience participating to the project through crowdsourcing. To this end, I am assessing a couple of tools and workflows for crowdsourcing transcription and I am assisting the CTB on how to adopt a flexible while robust development framework for this project. As for the encoding of the Gezelle's correspondence in TEI P5, I am also collaborating with the CTB team in order to "update" the DALF guidelines (in TEI P4) into TEI P5 and to find the most accurate way to encode correspondence specific features such as envelopes, letterheads, telegrams etc.

​My overall experience and involvement with CTB is fascinating. Since my postgraduate studies in Digital Humanities at UCL I was impressed by the systematic, creative and thought-provoking scholarly work that the Centre was and still is producing in the field of textual scholarship,digital scholarly editing and Digital Humanities. Initiatives such as TEI by example and DALF have been pivotal to and shape the way we teach, learn and perform digital scholarly editing. Digital editions such as the early Stijn Streuvels. De teleurgang van den Waterhoek​​ or  the Van Nu en Straks. De Brieven have been used by many among us, even if we don't speak Dutch or we don't know a lot about Flemish literary culture, as examples of creative encoding solutions, technical implementation and methodological rigour.

By joining CTB and working with Bert and Ron I am contributing to the viability and further development of CTB's digital editing agenda but, most importantly, I am realising how much energy, commitment, hard work, collaboration, (on or off-list) discussions, trails and failures, small (or long) coffee breaks are needed for designing and developing a digital edition. Following C.P. Cavafy, a distinguished Greek poet, "Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey. Without her you would not have set out". I feel very happy and lucky that I have the opportunity to experience this journey during my CTB secondment!

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