Transatlantic programme for collaborative work in the field of digital humanities

For too long, Europe's major projects in digital humanities have been on a different track, as it were, from American projects. The present initiative is intended to help US and European researchers work together in an entirely new way in the field of digital literary studies, to share knowledge and methods, disseminate common practices and tools, and publicize their works. Collaborative actions across the Atlantic will be supported by the FMSH-Mellon transatlantic program whose mission is to give a great international exposure to the emerging “Digital philology”, a new field on the Digital Humanities horizon.

Proposals should address the general problematics delineated by the following list of topics. This list is not exclusive, and other original topics in the fields of digital philology will be considered.

1.The analysis of corpora

Original tools for facilitating the analysis of corpora: technologies for text-mining, semantic searching, research into linguistic structures and instruments, like ARTFL Philologic, for navigating into the corpora of texts. These tools would support the comparison of various versions of a text, the detection of reused material drawn from other texts, the discovery of more subtle forms of correlation between texts, and the marking of linguistic and stylistic features. For instance, the fact that reuse in most European and Anglo-American literature phenomena derives from the re-elaboration of themes born in ancient Greek and Latin literature, provides a natural link between classical and modern literatures.

2.The critical electronic edition of a book

Construction of a model for the critical electronic edition of a book, in TEI format, conducive to specific forms of qualitative analysis. The model book‘s apparatus would include tools for historical contextualization, such as knowledge bases and documents (wikis), for semantic indexation and for the automatic generation of links (linked data). This enhanced conception of the critical book would be anchored in an in-depth reflection on the specific forms and functions of its core components and on the future of academic publishing and thinking about digital libraries and the status of e-texts within them.

3.Studies of networked contemporary literary life

Studies of networked contemporary literary life using both quantitative (applying tools for the analysis of values and trends) and qualitative (organizing an ongoing seminar with current researchers, writers, bloggers and critics of the field) approaches.

4. E-learning

The principles of digital philology and digital humanities may contribute to updating educational practices in High Schools and Universities in the field of the Humanities. Digital documents and their management with computational tools are fundamental for the achievement of the dissemination of e-learning practices. In this perspective, the collaborative participation of students in analyzing, tagging and commenting literary works in comparison with their classical models will make it easy to highlight the contacts between antiquity, modern ages and contemporary global digital world.

Intellectual property

All tools will be documented and made available in open source formats and texts will be made available through a Creative Commons License. By sharing knowledge and tools, as well as developing common grounds for methodological and epistemological thinking, the Program aims at creating synergies between research programs in the field of digital analysis of literary corpora and digital publishing. The semantic context of the web involves a thorough reflection on the ontologies of digital texts. 

Funding Priorities

  • Activities to be proposed by applicants may include one or more of the following:
  • Visiting lectureships
  • Doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships
  • International seminars, symposia
  • Honoraria, travels and meeting expenses
  • Publications

Scope of the funding

Through grants to specific projects, this transatlantic initiative intends to support collaborative actions in the field of digital literary studies between European and American research institutions and universities. The design of the collaborative venture projects a total cost $1,110,000 during a 3-year pilot effort.  It is mandatory that each project involves research partners both from the US and Europe. 

The program will support:

  • Joint initiatives in Research and publications
  • Visiting lectureships
  • Doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships
  • Collaboration in teaching
  • International seminars and symposia

Grants are available to European and US universities willing to set up transatlantic collaborations. The competition is open to senior and junior researchers. The European groups will be asked to co-fund 20% of the total cost of the project. The total cost of the project can vary between 20,000 € and  30,000 € per year. The project can be funded for 1 to 3 years.

The Programm is closed



Closing days of the Transatlantic program for collaborative work in the field of digital humanities


2014 Laureates | Transatlantic program for collaborative work in the field of digital humanities

Published at 20 November 2013