As We May Edit. Tracing from practice to theory within the philological edition enhanced digitally

In-house seminar

Although the adjective “digital” is invading the daily life of humanists, the factual impact of this element on their consolidated study practices and their mental habits is far from being authentically incisive, or rather incisive in a uniform way in all fields of humanistic research: if Linguistics has become currently Computational, the same cannot be said of Philology. This latter field of textual analysis would seem to suffer from an abuse of practice to the detriment of theoretical reflection, with a heterogeneity of results that risks nullifying the presumed advantages that would derive from the introduction of the computer element. Unlike what occurred in the strictly linguistic sphere, computer scientists and humanists have not gone hand in hand in the more properly philological sphere, risking condemning the latter to a technical backwardness which, by limiting the results, risks increasing the distrust, always creeping in certain humanistic circles, towards an element that is seen as pure technique, disregarding, or not knowing, its intellectual dimension. We therefore take the opportunity of a seminar meeting in the context of an institute such as ILC to present the balance of five years of border-line activity between philology à l’ancienne and digital philology to a hyper-specialist audience by a figure of strictly humanistic training who, at the end of her training, opened towards the world of the Digital Humanities: a balance that aims above all to be the presentation of a series of reflections, doubts, dissatisfaction and open requests, which also reflect the reflections, doubts, dissatisfaction and requests expressed by students during their learning experiences and which could be seen as emblematic of the needs of the “common philologist”, intellectually without prejudice towards the adjective “digital” but in fact perplexed about what to do once placed in front of a monitor and a keyboard.

Speaker(s)Marta Materni

Marie Curie Fellow

University of Padua – Department of Linguistic and Literary Studies (UniPD-DiSLL)

Currently a research fellow at the University of Padua within the Marie Curie project PRODIGI (Digital Lemmatized Edition of Prose 2, no. 886478), previously she spent three years of research in France, at the Université Grenoble Alpes, first as a Marie Curie Fellow within the project DIGIFLOR (Digital edition of the Roman de Florimont, no. 745821) and subsequently as Jeune Chercheur in Humanités Numériques. She trained at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, graduating in Medieval History and obtaining a PhD in Philology and Romance Literature. From a thematic point of view, her interest is directed to the medieval reception of antiquity in the literary field, with a focus on texts related to the figure of Alexander the Great and the Trojan story. From a methodological point of view, the two Marie Curie projects represented for her an opportunity to approach the world of the Digital Humanities linked to texts from a double point of view: the strictly editorial one and the one of linguistic analysis.