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Posts under tag: Petrarch

November 15, 2011

Lollini unveils online Petrarch project

The new version of the Petrarch web project, Oregon Petrarch Open Book, being developed at the University of Oregon has been officially released on line at the end of October 2011.

In 2010 the project received a Level II Digital Humanities Start-Up  Grant. This grant enabled collaboration with web designer Travis  Shea, and Karen Estlund, Head of Digital Library Services at the University of Oregon, making possible the addition and  visualization of new versions of Petrarch’s Rerum vulgarium fragmenta (Canzoniere), from  the diplomatic edition prepared by Ettore Modigliani in 1904 to the critical edition prepared in 2008 by Professor Giuseppe Savoca; and the  implementation, still in progress, of a much-needed comprehensive  database system for musical adaptations of Petrarch’s Canzoniere coordinated by Prof. Marc Vanscheeuwijck (Music). Moreover, in the OPOB it is now possible to read and consult the commentary of Petrarch’s Canzoniere by Alessandro Vellutello (1525), the Spanish and French  translations by Enrique Garcés and Vasquin Philieul (16th century), an  English translation (A. S. Kline), and partial translations in Russian,  Chinese, Japanese and German.

During the tenure of this grant the team coordinated by Principal Investigator Massimo Lollini (Romance Languages) and Co-PI Jeff Magoto (Yamada Language Center)  was also able to enhance the  functionality of the existing database software and of specific tools,  such as “Compare poems and assets,” by providing multiple moveable  windows of selectable content, text, images, audio, and video.  The link “Manuscripts” in the menu “RVF” will soon include the important  cod. Queriniano D II 21; the section “Incunabula” in the same menu will soon include the editio princeps of the Canzoniere, published in Venice in 1470 by Vindelin de Spira (Queriniana copy).

The OPOB recently initiated a collaboration with Brown University’s Virtual  Humanities Lab (VHL) in order to build “web services” in the Petrarch  website to enable compatibility between the OPOB texts and the various  tools in use at Brown University. These web services allow for specific  poems or poem-related material to be used by the VHL at Brown and other  repositories via a TEI/XML format which standardizes the various parts  of the material for easier integration. In Spring 2011 Lollini and Shea visited the Brown University’s Virtual  Humanities Lab and started to  consult with Wayne Storey and John Walsh  at Indiana University to  design a plan for implementing the TEI in the assets of the OPOB.

A video introduction to the new site is available at

February 11, 2011

Lollini unveils new Digital Humanities journal

Detail from the journal's homepage banner

Professor of Italian Massimo Lollini has just published the first issue of a new online journal, Humanist Studies and the Digital Age. The journal is dedicated to understanding changes in the writing and reading brought about by new technologies of the word. It is one of the first fruits of the new Open Access Journal Publishing Service that is a collaboration between the UO and Oregon State.

The journal’s first issue, co-edited by Lollini with Professors Leah Middlebrook and Nathalie Hester, is the result of a symposium held at the UO in April 2010 titled “Francesco Petrarca from Manuscript to Digital Culture.” The publication features articles by by a number of RL colleagues, including professors Leah Middlebrook, Nathalie Hester, and Amanda Powell, as well as graduate students Ana-Maria M’Enesti, Luis Gonzalo Portugal, Nobuko Wingard. RL alum Enrico Vettore (PhD 2005) and Prof. Warren Ginsberg (UO English) also contributed articles.

Change in the way we create and transmit knowledge is nothing new, writes Lollini in the editor’s introduction to the first issue, which focuses on the evolution from manuscript to print to digital text of 14th-century Italian writer Francis Petrarch’s work Rerum vulgarium fragmenta. But with every major change comes resistance. Back in the 5th century BCE, Socrates himself was a harsh critic of a new technology: writing. His skepticism of the new technology and the effect he feared it would have on a new generation of scholars sounds a lot like current critiques of digital culture’s effect on today’s youth:

they will be hearers of many things and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing; they will be tiresome company, having the show of wisdom without the reality.

Because writing and other technologies of language are so important to the way we live, it is important that scholars of language and literature pay serious attention to these transformations. Humanist Studies and the Digital Age is a way for scholars to continue to grapple with these issues in a rigorous yet open format that is accessible to all.

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