The NeDiMAH Working Group “Using large-scale text collections for research” will host two workshops, on the 1st and 2nd of April 2014. The workshops will take place at the University of Würzburg, Germany.
Funding is available for 20 participants up to a maximum of € 700 per participant (for travel and a maximum of two nights in a hotel). The workshops are open for other participants paying their own costs. Participants selected for funding for one of the workshops are welcome to extend their stay on their own costs and also join in the other workshop. Those wishing to participate are invited to send an abstract of one page to before 15 January 2014. Please state clearly for which of the two workshops you want to apply. You will receive a message about acceptance or rejection in the first week of February.

Workshop 1, “Corpora”, 1 April 2014

The workshop “Corpora” will especially deal with the interface between linguistic annotation and textual annotation for historical and literary etc. research. It aims to bring together corpus builders and those corpus users other than linguists. Corpus builders could inform the participants about such things as the kind of requests for functionality they get from non-linguists and their answers and advice to those scholars. Non-linguistic corpus users are invited to talk about the different ways in which they have gathered their own corpus, whether they especially built a private corpus for their use, and why the have taken such a step, or what they would like to see in a corpus before they will actively start making use of it. Discussions are expected to arise on such topics as samples versus complete texts, standard functionality for text research, the need of export options to get the texts to the scholar to be used in his or her stand-alone tools, in opposition to the adding of tools to a corpus, strategies for and issues in building a multilingual reference corpus for text analysis, and much more. We invite informative short talks that may result in an open and exploratory discussion between participants with different disciplines as a background.

Workshop 2, “Research”, 2 April 2014

The workshop “Research” focuses on new kinds of analysis of large text corpora explicitly from the perspective of literary or historical etc. research questions. In this context, for example, the issue of validation of results gains importance, not primarily in the sense of statistical measures of validity or robustness, but rather in the sense of interpretation and validation of results in relation to literary or historical etc. knowledge. We invite short papers describing a concrete case in which the use of (relatively) large-scale text collections has lead to new insights that could not have been gotten using non-digital methods. These kinds of case studies are expected to have a high impact on the willingness of humanities scholars to broaden their toolkit to digital and computational methods. If you have experience with this kind of issues and/or impact, we would be interested in hearing more about this.