The Theory/Praxis Feedback Loop

By admin

My first experience bumping up against the complexities of space/place happened (unsurprisingly) while I was working on a DH project. Over the summer, my colleagues at the Early Caribbean Digital Archive were trying to figure out how to handle contextual encoding (e.g. personographies and placeographies) for our texts. The Text Encoding Initiative had so many possible ways of recording information about people, places, organizations, etc., and we wanted to use those to their fullest extent.

We decided definitively that we wanted to be able to create extensive records of that took into account the ever-shifting geopolitics and contentious colonial histories of the Caribbean. We began recording places in a shared google doc, with columns representing current TEI elements and elements we wanted to add to the ECDA’s schema. We decided we would record references to places during specific times, rather than referring to them as static entities. We kept extensive records of alternate names, primary languages, scales, sovereign nations—any information that would highlight our understanding of place as shifting, mutable, liminal, and unstable.

We gave up on the project after a few weeks, having accrued nearly 200 distinct places (some of which, by some standards, would be considered “repeats”). We stopped …read more

Read more at : S. Catherine Stanley