Greg Crane at MIT: February 20

Gregory Crane of Tufts University will talk at MIT: February 20, 5:15 pm, E14-633 (New Media Lab). The talk is organized by Stephanie Frampton, Classical Literature at MIT and co-sponsored by the MIT Literature Department, Comparative Media Studies, Ancient and Medieval Studies, and HyperStudio.
“Automated Methods, Human understanding and digital libraries of Babel”

“Millions of documents produced around the world over more than four
thousand years are now available in digital form — Google Books alone had
scanned, by March 2012, more than 20 million books in more than 400
languages. Images of manuscripts, papyri, inscriptions and other non-print
sources are also appearing in increasing numbers. But if we have addressed
physical access to images of textual sources, we are a long way from
providing the intellectual access necessary to understand the written
sources that we see. This talk explores the challenges and opportunities as
we refashion our study of the past from ethnocentric monolingual
conversations into a hyperlingual dialogue among civilizations, where
humans work with machines and with each other to communicate and where
books do, as Marvin Minksy opined decades ago, talk to each other.”

Greg Crane has long been at the forefront of digital humanities, as the founder of (an especially important resource in Classics, but one the bridges many different temporal and linguistic specializations), and his current work is at the intersections of humanities, digital textuality, and developing tools to excavate the new sorts of materials now at our disposal. He’ll be on a Humbolt Fellowship in computer science next year.