Summer Plans

Summer 2012 will be our most active yet. Under the overall direction of Chris Francese, four Dickinson students and recently graduated alumni will be on hand for eight weeks: Alice Ettling (’12), Derek Frymark (’12), Meredith Wilson (’13) and Jimmy Martin (’13). Dickinson Adjunct Faculty member Joanne Miller will also be helping with the editing. The primary tasks will be:

  • the organization of the core vocabulary list into categories based on frequency, morphology, and meaning, to make them easier for students to use.
  • the creation of the Ovid, Amores 1 site on the basis of William Turpin’s excellent notes and introduction
  • the putting of some finishing touches on the Caesar and Sulpicius Severus sites.
  • the preparation of a print version of the Caesar site

Meanwhile, Bart Huelsenbeck, Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Classics, with arrive in Carlisle in July with his family. Bart will spend the next academic year working on the DCC, teaching two courses, and working on his own exciting projects centered around the scribes at monastery of Corbie, the renowned French scriptorium responsible for the preservation of a wealth of classical Latin texts.


Beyond the Blackboard

Very nice piece by Matt Getty in the Dickinson Magazine on digital scholarship at Dickinson prominently features the DCC. My favorite paragraphs:

One important lesson Willoughby Fellows learn is that when it comes to using the latest gadgets and electronic media in the classroom, what you leave out can be just as important as what you bring in. Take those limitless possibilities that the Web opened for the Dickinson College Commentaries. As Francese and his students considered what to include, the infinite margins yawned before them as both opportunities and challenges.

“The temptation is just to put everything in there because you can,” Francese explains. “But you have to resist the urge to add all the bells and whistles just for their own sake. If you put everything in there, it’s overwhelming. It’s not helpful to the reader. We took our cue from Steve Jobs. You have to keep the user experience in mind at every moment and ask yourself, what would be useful here? What would a reader really want to know right now?”

Chris Francese is working with Alice Ettling ’12 and other students to bring ancient Latin texts into the 21st century through the Dickinson College Commentaries. The online, peer-reviewed site is helping Latin scholars around the world, but the project also has had an impact on the students working on it. “It’s definitely deepened the learning experience for me,” says Ettling. “I did a lot of work structuring vocabulary lists, which called my attention to how students learn vocabulary. That helped me refine my own approach to how I learn.”

Laura Gibbs on the DCC Latin list

Indomitable force for digital classics good Laura Gibbs has adopted the DCC Latin core vocabulary list as the basis for her work presenting vocabulary for her enormous collection of neo-Latin distichs. Herblog post on the subject is full of very kind words about our project. What I most like about the way she presents the distichs is her introductions, just enough to give you some orientation. Thanks, Laura, for spreading the word about the DCC and the vocabulary list.

Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Classics Hired

Great news, Bart Huelsenbeck will join the DCC project as Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Classics at Dickinson for the 2012-13 academic year. He will teach two courses during the year, work on his own research projects (a large-scale investigation into manuscripts copied at ninth-century Corbie, a French scriptorium responsible for the preservation of a wealth of classical Latin texts), and contribute to the Dickinson Commentaries Project. 

We are grateful to the College for making this exciting position possible. Bart holds the PhD from Duke University (2009), and brings a wide and deep set of skills to the job. He has taught for thirteen years in many contexts, from high school and junior high schools (inner city and suburban) to graduate level Latin courses at Cornell. His recent course “A History of Reading” at Cornell addressed, among other things, the question of what digital technologies are doing to us–to how we read, behave, and think.

As a longtime contributor to the Center for Hellenic Studies Homer & the Papyri database, a significant component of the Homer Multitext, Bart has worked for years to connect classical antiquity to the present revolution in digital technologies. We are delighted that Bart will be joining us, and look forward to the substantial contribution he will make in shaping the future direction of the project.