About the Workshop

“Knowledge Organization and Data Modeling in the Humanities” brings together a small group with a range of backgrounds for an intensive consideration of information models for humanities research materials. The focus of the event will be on the modeling of text and documents, but will range widely within that domain to consider scholarly editions, historical documents and archives, literary and thematic collections, linguistic corpora, and other forms of scholarly digital text resources.

Our goal in organizing this workshop is to foster a more expert, synthetic and interdisciplinary discussion of the information models that underlie the common tools and technologies of digital humanities research and structure our representations of the fundamental materials of digital scholarship.

These models lie at the heart of our work as digital humanists, and yet the theory and practice of information modeling is still treated in the literature primarily as a technical topic rather than as constitutive of humanities research and practice. We want to use this event to  consider how digital models of knowledge representation in the humanities have developed and how the various models now available to us—including relational databases, XML, RDF and linked data approaches, and non-hierarchical markup systems like LMNL—shape and inflect the research objects we create and the research we undertake with them.

We seek to bring to bear on these questions a variety of perspectives from communities with differing approaches to information modeling—some with very explicit and well-theorized ideas of what information models are and how they work, and some whose modeling practices are embedded in disciplinary practices and methodological assumptions. Through the encounter between these perspectives we hope to shed new light on questions that are common to all communities represented. We also hope to emerge with a clearer shared sense of the important research questions for digital humanists in this domain.