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2019 Projects

Digitizing the Christopher Logue Archive

Anna Peterson, Laura Marshall and Clara Drummond

Between 1959 and his death in 2011, the British poet Christopher Logue devoted himself to producing radical re-castings of scenes from Homer’s Iliad entitled War Music. Unlike other translators of Homer, Logue did not know Greek, but instead relied on earlier translations and a word-for-word crib of Homer’s poem. The Eberly Family Special Collections at Penn State holds one of the most significant collections of Logue’s papers, including correspondence, drafts, and recordings of Logue performing parts of this work. The proposed project seeks to develop a digital platform that will make this material accessible to researchers and students alike. It’s initial goal is to create a searchable digital archive of the collection. It also hopes to produce  eventually a digital text of War Music that will allow the user to compare Logue’s poem both to the original Greek and to the translations consulted by Logue.

CINEmap and Racial Violence in Film

Jennifer Boittin, Jonathan Abel, and Samuel Frederick

Juan Latino in the Digital Age

Mathias Hanses, Stephen Wheeler

This project aims to make readily available and accessible through digital media the works of Juan Latino (1518-1594/96), who was a Black African professor of Classics in Granada. Juan Latino wrote several volumes worth of Latin poetry, including most importantly the epic, the Austriad, celebrating a naval victory of allied Catholic forces over an Ottoman armada at Lepanto (Greek port of Naupactus) in 1571. Juan Latino’s works were not reprinted after their first publication in the late sixteenth century. Research questions include: to what extent does Juan Latino model his poetry on classical sources? How do cultural traditions of Africa and the African diaspora impact his writings? What influence does Juan Latino’s status as a freed slave play in his self-representation as a poet? Why has Juan Latino’s poetry been neglected? Our immediate goal is to produce a machine-actionable edition from transcription of original text (including paratexts) either manually or with OCR software. Further, we plan to create a hypertext that links individual words and phrases to dictionary entries, translations, commentary, and contextual information, both visual and literary. We would also hope to design and implement algorithms for a search engine that locates and identifies words and verbal parallels between Juan Latino and other texts. 

Vezo Ecological Storytelling and Knowledge Exchange

Kristina Douglass, Eréndira Quintana Morales, Eric Burkhart

This project addresses issues of livelihood security linked to losses in biodiversity in coastal southwest Madagascar by using digital technologies to document and revitalize traditional ecological knowledge and storytelling pertaining to marine fisheries and dry forest plant harvesting. In order to address these issues, the project proposes an exchange between members of Vezo fishing communities in southwest Madagascar, Penn State researchers, and members of local conservation and development organizations, in order to 1) record and revitalize disappearing Vezo traditional knowledge and practices, 2) create a digital skeleton collection of historically and ecologically important southwest Madagascar fauna, 3) develop a multi-year research proposal in close collaboration with Vezo community members to investigate the ecological role of Vezo traditional knowledge and practices in shaping local marine and terrestrial ecosystems, and 4) produce an accessible digital archive of Vezo oral histories and educational materials to share traditional ecological knowledge with local youth. An overarching aim of the project is to record and revitalize oral histories and traditional knowledge to empower local communities to advocate for their traditional livelihood practices and access to resources in conservation and development policy negotiations.