SGML: MLA '96 Special Session on Encoding

SGML: MLA '96 Special Session on Encoding

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From: "C. M. Sperberg-McQueen" <U35395%UICVM.bitnet@UTARLVM1.UTA.EDU>
Organization: ACH/ACL/ALLC Text Encoding Initiative
Subject:      MLA '96 Special Session - Call for Papers
To: Multiple recipients of list TEI-L <TEI-L@UICVM.UIC.EDU>
Status: RO

Readers of this list who also follow Humanist will have noticed the
lengthy discussion there about the nature of text encoding and its
relations to literary and other scholarship.  Those who would like to
pursue these topics further may be interested in the following special
session, which I intend to propose for the program of the 1996 Modern
Language Association convention on 27-30 December 1996 in Washington,

N.B. proposals for special sessions are not guaranteed acceptance, so
strictly speaking this is not a notice that such a session will be held,
only a notice that I intend to propose such a session, if I get enough
good abstracts.

-C. M. Sperberg-McQueen
 ACH / ACL / ALLC Text Encoding Initiative
 University of Illinois at Chicago


                    Text Encoding and Textual Theory

                        Proposal for MLA Session

                   Organizer:  C. M. Sperberg-McQueen

   As more and more scholars use computers in their research, more and
more scholars are confronted with the problems of representing texts
satisfactorily in electronic form.  What implications does a general
theory of the nature of text have for electronic text encoding -- and
vice versa?  With the surge in use of the World Wide Web and the comple-
tion (in 1994) of the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) GUIDELINES FOR
and text representation have taken on a new urgency.  Are these encoding
schemes appropriate or adequate for scholarly work with text?  Or do
they contain hidden limitations or pitfalls which make them unsuitable
or even dangerous for serious work?
   This session will address these issues.  Papers are invited on any
topic relating to the interplay of textual theory or the nature of text
and the electronic representation of text, including but not limited to
discussions of questions such as these:

*   Is electronic text markup inherently interpretive or subjective, or
    can objective and subjective methods of text encoding be distin-
*   What assumptions about the nature or uses of text are built into
    existing or possible encoding schemes, e.g. SGML, the Standard Gen-
    eralized Markup Language; the TEI GUIDELINES; HTML (the Hypertext
    Markup Language), "Plain Vanilla ASCII" text encoding, as practiced
    by Project Gutenberg and others; TeX and LaTeX; Microsoft Word, Word
    Perfect or other commercial word processors; COCOA (Word COunt and
    COncordance on Atlas -- the encoding scheme used by the Oxford Con-
    cordance Program and Tact); the Beta encoding of the Thesaurus Lin-
    guae Graecae; etc.?
*   What implications do major schools of critical thought have for the
    practice of text encoding?
*   What are the theoretical implications of the act of text encoding --
    in general, with reference to a particular text or genre, or with
    reference to a particular scheme of text encoding?

   Individuals interested in submitting papers or abstracts are encour-
aged to contact the organizer as soon as possible.

*   Deadline for abstracts:  1 March 1996
*   Acceptance of abstracts:  22 March 1996
*   Notice mailed from MLA about MLA Program Committee's decision
    accepting or rejecting proposal for special session:  26 May 1996
*   Completed papers due (if proposal is accepted):  31 October 1996

   Send abstracts, full papers, or inquiries to:

     C. M. Sperberg-McQueen
     University of Illinois at Chicago
     Computer Center (M/C 135)
     1940 W. Taylor, Room 124
     Chicago IL 60612-7352