TEI Elections 2010


The following persons, having been nominated by the TEI Nominating committee, have agreed to stand as candidates for election to the TEI Council and Board.

Voting will take place online in early fall 2010, and results will be announced at the Annual Members Meeting in November. More details are forthcoming.

Candidates have been asked to provide a brief statement of their career and their views on the TEI. Click on the names of the candidates to see their brief statements.

TEI Board

TWO vacancies on the TEI Board will be filled from the following list of candidates:

TEI Council

FOUR vacancies on the TEI Council will be filled from the following list of candidates:

Candidates' Statements

Piotr Bański

Background: I am an Assistant Professor at the Institute of English Studies, University of Warsaw, where I teach theoretical linguistics (concentrating nowadays mostly on linguistic morphology and syntax, but having also taught e.g. phonology and corpus linguistics), history of the English language, lexicography, and information technology.

Since 2001, I have been involved in the creation of linguistic corpora: in the early 2000's, I worked on the architecture of, and data conversion for, the IPI PAN Corpus of Polish (using the XCES standard; http://korpus.pl/), then, from 2008 to mid-2010, on the architecture of the National Corpus of Polish (using the TEI; http://nkjp.pl/), and now the corpus project that I focus on is the Open-Content Text Corpus (https://sourceforge.net/projects/octc/), which I partly treat as testing ground for the application of open standards of XML technology in general, and TEI P5 in particular – some of this research will be reported on during the upcoming TEI Members' Meeting. I have also created the architecture and a prototype of another TEI-based corpus: the Foreign-Language Examination Corpus, a learner corpus designed to serve the needs of the Foreign-Language Examination Board at the University of Warsaw.

I have also been involved in lexicographic projects using the TEI: FreeDict, an open source and open content repository of bilingual dictionaries (https://sourceforge.net/projects/freedict/), and a project sponsored by the Polish Ministry of Higher Education, aiming at creating a Swahili-Polish-Swahili electronic dictionary.

My service for the TEI community includes the development and co-administration of the TEI Wiki (since 2007), being a member of the Programme Committee of the upcoming TEI Conference and Members' Meeting in Zadar (http://ling.unizd.hr/~tei2010/index.en.html), and, soon, co-chairing the TEI Special Interest Group (SIG) for Language Resources, to be officially launched in Zadar (see http://wiki.tei-c.org/index.php/TEI_for_linguists).

My interests in markup languages and their application for language modelling have led me to participate in the efforts of the ISO TC 37 SC 4 in the role of an external expert, bringing in my experience in language modeling and markup technology. My SIG-related work will also address issues common to the efforts of the TEI and the ISO TC 37 SC 4, to make sure that the work on linguistic annotation performed within the two communities is coordinated rather than unnecessarily doubled.

Candidate statement: If elected as a Council member, I would like to concentrate on streamlining the parts of the TEI that are almost there as far as modern language-resource-description is concerned (e.g. having to do with various aspects and implications of stand-off markup as a tool for solving overlap issues and addressing the needs of users and creators of language resources), but still need a more precise definition (as is the case with the TEI-defined XPointer schemes; my Balisage-2010 paper addresses some of these issues; cf. http://www.balisage.net/) or that beg to be implemented as a natural consequence of solutions that have already been adopted by the TEI (I mean e.g. enriching the content model of the <TEI> element for storing linguistic annotations or extending the TEI header, to provide metadata required in the description of multi-layered annotation documents or electronic dictionaries / lexical databases).

In my work, particularly that involving open-source projects, I have learned that putting forward ideas for new development goals and reporting errors becomes most successful and effective when it is backed up by actual practice (something that, I happily note, is commonplace in the TEI community) – things have the greatest chance to get done when you at least begin to hack at them yourself, to create a basis for others to continue. I am a theoretician, but I am also a doer – I am unable to sit idly for too long, and, if elected, I expect my involvement in the TEI Council to be a mixture of theoretical and practical work.

Marjorie Burghart

Background: Marjorie Burghart (born 1977) is a research officer at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) based in Lyon, France. She holds a dual degree: she received her MA (1998) and M.Res (2002) in Medieval History, and her M.Sc in Computer Sciences (2000) from the University of Lyon, and is completing her PhD in Medieval History, in the field of sermon studies.

In her research centre, a large unit dedicated to Medieval Studies, she is head of a Digital Humanities transversal program. In this position, she coordinates the computing aspects of several projects involving the electronic edition of medieval documents in TEI format.

She has lectured on Digital Humanities for medievalists at the university of Freiburg in 2010 and started a seminar in Lyon on “Digital Edition and Medieval Sources”. Since 2008 she has been an elected executive board member of the Digital Medievalist community (re-elected in 2010).

Candidate statement: I am very honoured to be considered for election to the TEI Consortium's technical council. I have long been involved in the TEI community, since my first encounter with the Initiative in 2002, promoting TEI knowledge and use in my research environment. More recently I got more involved in the Manuscript Material TEI SIG, resulting in a paper that will be presented at this Members Meeting, “Mirroring the Community: Trends, Concerns and Dreams among the Users of the TEI for Manuscript Material”.

On the Council, I would serve the community through TEI advocacy, while paying a particular attention to the issues related to TEI-capable tools (or the need of...), and to the ease of use of the Guidelines – even to newbies.

Lou Burnard

Background: I am currently working half-time as Assistant Director at Oxford University Computing Services, and half-time with the French infrastructural project (TGE) ADONIS.

I have worked in the application of IT to literary and linguistic research since the seventies. I have been a key player in numerous initiatives and projects, including the Oxford Text Archive, the UK's Arts and Humanities Data Service, the British National Corpus, and, of course, the Text Encoding Initiative. I was appointed European Editor of the original TEI project in 1989, was a prime mover in the establishment of the TEI Consortium in 2000, and have played a major role in the production of every edition of the Guidelines since P2. I currently co-ordinate the provision of editorial services to the TEI Council.

I have published widely, on "digital humanities", on database systems, and on corpus linguistics, as well as producing a range of teaching materials for numerous courses and workshops about the TEI, both introductory and advanced, in English and in French. These include the annual TEI Summer Schools at Oxford, and (in collaboration with others) a number of similar training events in France. I have also worked closely with a number of projects aiming to provide new material for the Guidelines, most recently with the team working on extensions for Genetic Editing.

Candidate statement: The TEI has evolved from being a rather esoteric research project to being a part of the everyday intellectual environment. If it is to avoid becoming stale dogma, it is of major importance that the TEI's inherent flexibility and adaptability continue to be put to the test and that the TEI continue to evolve. In standing for the Board, therefore, I hope to promote greater openness to new ideas within the TEI community, a responsiveness to community needs and priorities, and a willingness to co-operate with other players in the digital arena. I also hope to promote a greater openness in the Board's own procedures.

Arianna Ciula

Background: Arianna Ciula graduated with BA (Hons) in Communication sciences (computational linguistics) at the University of Siena, Italy, in 2001. She received an MA in Applied Computing in the Humanities from King's College London in 2004 and was awarded her PhD in Manuscript and Book Studies from the University of Siena in 2005. As Research Associate at Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London, from 2003 to 2009, her primary responsibility was to support various kind of digital humanities research projects, many of which involved the use of the TEI guidelines.

She is currently Science Officer at the European Science Foundation (Humanities) where her primary responsibilities include the supervision of instruments to fund collaborative research in the humanities and the coordination of strategic activities related to the works of the Standing Committee for the Humanities.

Her personal research interests focus on the modelling of scholarly digital resources related to primary sources. She lectured and published on humanities computing, in particular on digital palaeography and digital philology; she has organised conferences and workshops in digital humanities, and is an active member of its international community. She served as elected member in the TEI council from 2007 to 2009.

Candidate statement: I am delighted to be considered for nomination to the TEI board of directors. After having served my term (2007-2009) on the TEI council and having contributed the delivery of TEI P5, my involvement and participation in the TEI community has changed recently from an intense hands-on projects work to a more strategic commitment. If elected as member of the TEI board, I would keep promoting the visibility and uptake of TEI in various research communities within collaborative schemes and programmes I currently supervise in the humanities as well as within current strategic initiatives which concern the research infrastructures framework at the European level.

James Cummings

Background: James Cummings is the Senior Research Technologist for the Research Technologies Service (RTS) at the University of Oxford. This groups together a number of projects in the Oxford University Computing Services, such as the Oxford Text Archive (for which James worked at one point), the British National Corpus and the TEI@Oxford editorial support for the TEI. James works across a large range of TEI-related projects on behalf of OUCS. James has served on the TEI Council previously and played an active role in the development of new features and fixing bugs and participated fully in council activities, votes, and undertaken a variety of work on behalf of the council. He frequently posts bugs and feature requests (of his own and those gleaned from TEI-L) on the TEI sourceforge site. He teaches both introductory and advanced workshops on TEI and related technologies (such as XSLT and XQuery), including the annual TEI@Oxford Summer School and workshops on TEI ODD as part of the TEI@Oxford Team. James administrates the TEI wiki and has contributed several customisatons and stylesheets to it. In addition he is the Assistant WebMaster for the TEI-C website. In addition he administrates and is regularly found in the TEI IRC Channel. In order to encourage more community interaction and openness, James was responsible for convincing the council that the tei-council archives should be publicly available, and as such you are able to see some of his contributions (e.g. 2008, 2009, and 2010) by browsing the archives by author. More recently he has been responsible for the creation of the TEI Newsfeed system which takes the TEI wordpress blog on sourceforge and transforms it to a list of headlines and news page, as well as feeding the @TEIconsortium twitter account. James has been tireless in promoting the TEI through advice/consultations given, courses taught, answering queries on TEI-L, conference papers, and articles. His PhD is in medieval studies and involved a significant amount of archival transcription, and the relationship of medieval manuscripts to their TEI encoded digital surrogates is one of his interests. In addition to a number of TEI SIGs, he is currently the elected director of the executive board of the Digital Medievalist project (which encourages best practice in digital resources for medieval studies).

Candidate statement: James wishes to continue to serve on the TEI council to assist it in creating a better infrastructure to support its increasing work of outreach and education.

Marin Dacos

Background: I am the founder and the director of the Center for Open Electronic Publishing (Cléo, Marseilles, France). I am the founder of Revues.org. Revues.org is the longest standing platform for humanities and social sciences journals in France. More than 250 journals have already joined the platform in the domains of history, sociology, anthropology, geography, archaeology, political sciences, philosophy, literature, etc. While Revues.org was originally started to promote Francophone journals, today it aims to become an international platform with journals from any country and any language. I am also the founder of Calenda, the social science calendar, and Hypotheses.org, platform dedicated to scholarly blogging. I have created Lodel (a CMS dedicated to digital publishing) in 2004. Lodel 1.0 will be the first CMS natively compliant with XML TEI, thanks to OpenText (doc/odt to TEI webservice created by Cléo). Around Revues.org platform, Hypotheses.org and Calenda, the Cléo has developed new tools to accompany the research and publishing processes at every stage, from managing ideas to research dissemination towards the academic community via selecting and publishing of texts.

I was originally a historian of photography. I taught at Avignon University and the EHESS in Paris for several years before founding Cléo in 2007. I am now involved in Digital Humanities. As the Cléo director, I am an "information system manager" for the CNRS (National Centre for Scientific Research). I have published a great many articles on digital history and digital publishing. I have published two books. I am the editor of Read/Write Book. Le livre inscriptible. I am the co-author, with Pierre Mounier, of L’édition électronique (La Découverte, 2010).

Candidate statement: My technical skills in TEI are very modest. My goal and my abilities are not technical, nor semantic, but I'm involved in making the TEI more widely used, and used in contexts where XML NLM and DocBooks are more presents. The problem with TEI is less and less technical, to my mind. The TEI needs to be included in a scalable technical ecosystem. I'm not interested in manual encoding but in automated encoding, in order to implement TEI workflows in large platforms, deeply concerned with cost issues. Otherwise, for the publishing industry, semantics needs are often less important than visual needs.

As a conclusion, my concerns are : scalability, costs and rendering.

Tomaž Erjavec

Background: Tomaž Erjavec works at the Dept. for Knowledge Technologies at the Jožef Stefan Institute in Slovenia. My main interests are in the development of annotated language resources (corpora, lexica, dictionaries, books), both from a language technology and digital library perspective, and preferably the combination of the two. Most of my work is in research projects but I am also an assistant professor at the University of Ljubljana and am involved in teaching at several universities. Home page: http://nl.ijs.si/et/

I've been working with TEI for almost 15 years now, and the language resources that I helped in producing are TEI encoded (c.f. http://nl.ijs.si/). Maybe the most influential efforts in the area of language technologies have been MULTEXT-East linage resources and the JRC-ACQUIS parallel corpus. I have also been active in the area of digital humanities, partially through enabling the production of various TEI-encoded resources (e.g. the eZISS digital library, Slovenian biographical lexicon, etc.) but also through teaching: I regularly teach TEI courses at University of Graz, have introduced TEI in courses taught at University of Ljubljana and Nova Gorica and in the scope of several ESSLLI summer schools; most recently I gave a course on TEI at the Computational Linguistics Summer School 2010 at the University of Zadar. I have also been a member of the TEI Council in 2002.

Candidate statement: If elected to the TEI board of directors I would concentrate on the bringing the TEI closer to the language technology community, where there has recently been a movement toward TEI esp. in the scope of the CLARIN infrastructure, and in spreading TEI in the countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe. As priorities I see making TEI better interoperable with other (language technology) standards, esp. those of ISO TC 37, and further efforts in localising the TEI Guidelines.

Serge Heiden

Background: Serge Heiden is co-head of the S3CoDi team in the ICAR research laboratory at ENS Lyon (http://icar.univ-lyon2.fr). He holds a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Paris VI Pierre and Marie Curie.

I am very honored to be considered for the TEI Council.

My involvement with TEI dates from the mid-90s when I started to encode French parliamentary debates in SGML (Heiden, S., "Encodage uniforme et normalisé de corpus : application à l'étude d'un débat parlementaire [Uniform and standardized corpus encoding: application to the study of a parliamentary debate], 1999, Mots, N°60, p.113-132, Presses de Sciences Po, http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/article/mots_0243-6450_1999_num_60_1_2168). I turned quite naturally to TEI by applying to textual information encoding the principle of "not to reinvent the wheel," the second nature of computer scientists when they program algorithms. Since then I have assisted many projects to implement the TEI, mainly (but not only) for lexicometric analysis. I routinely use TEI as a way to contractually define the encoding of texts between people and between people and software. Currently, I am developing an open-source platform called TXM to do textual corpora textometric analysis compatible with TEI encoded corpora, being leader of the Textométrie ANR project over the period 2007-2010 (http://textometrie.ens-lyon.fr/?lang=en). This project works closely with the Medieval French Database project (BFM: http://bfm.ens-lyon.fr), which in particular serves as a finely TEI encoded corpus testbed for diachronic linguistic analysis.
In the 90s, I taught lexicometric analysis of digital corpora, I will resume this activity in 2011 based on the new TXM platform, and the new state of the art in TEI encoding and Natural Language Processing (NLP).

My activities directly related to the TEI consortium currently consist of convening the Tools SIG. In doing so, my goal is to help provide information on the software tools available to prepare, operate and use in a broad way TEI encoded resources for scientific analysis, publication, etc.

Candidate statement: 
If I am elected to the council, I will extend my work to move tools and resources encoded in TEI closer, especially on the compatibility between the TEI guidelines and available processing by current tools and the related standard.

Sebastian Rahtz

Background: Sebastian Rahtz is Information and Support Group manager for Oxford University Computing Services, where he oversees the departments help desk, IT Support Staff services, web services, and development team. Prior to this, he has worked as an archaeologist, a computer science lecturer, and in scientific publishing. During the 1980s and 1990s he was a major figure in the community around the TeX typesetting system.

Sebastian has represented the University of Oxford on the Board of Directors from 2000 to 2007, and was the Directors' nominee to the Technical Council until the end of 2007. He was elected to the Council in 2008. He has taken a very large part in much of the work of the Consortium since 2000, and is part of the current TEI editorial support team at Oxford. Some of his achievements are:

  • lead architect for the revised ODD system
  • author of most of the ODD-processing software
  • author of the biggest collection of XSL stylesheets for the TEI
  • release and package manager for TEI P5 releases
  • manager of the TEI internationalisation activity

He has just completed a project for ISO to represent their standards in TEI XML, and is now working on rolling out the results of this work more widely to the TEI community, including work on TEI to ePub conversion. He has taught TEI workshops regularly, and has worked on many TEI-related projects.

Candidate statement: If elected to the Council, Sebastian will continue to work on the technical architecture of the TEI, and strive to make it suitable for more and more applications. His main personal interest is in using the TEI for authoring new documents, and in the relationship of TEI to semantic web technologies.

Paul Schaffner

Candidate statement: The greatest asset that I would bring to the Council, should I return to it (I served one term 2007-2009), is fifteen years' practical experience in applying TEI-based markup to a mountain of very heterogeneous material. I run the e-text production shop at the University of Michigan's Digital Library Production Service. where I managed the "American Verse" project (1999); the conversion of the Middle English Dictionary and its associated bibliography and corpus of Middle English primary sources (1997-2000); and many smaller projects, mostly involving either transcription of, or extraction from, printed sources. I have spent most of the past ten years managing the three Text Creation Partnership (TCP) projects (Early English Books Online, Evans early American imprints, and Eighteenth-Century Collections Online), which have together produced a significant corpus of (so far) more than 40,000 TEI-encoded books and a billion words, and hope to more than double those totals. Among them appears nearly every oddity of language, genre and format that early modern authors and printers could devise.

Background: "Managing" TCP means daily engagement with issues of capture and markup (I am responsible for most of our schemas, their customization, and their documentation); with workflow and metadata management; and with training. I will be leading TEI workshops this fall, but also daily supervise a staff of about 16 markup editors distributed amongst five centers in three countries; indirectly also the thousands of taggers and keyers employed by conversion firms who do the initial markup, trying hopefully to keep them all more or less consistent. Most of my markup experience is with TEI P3/4 and radically reduced derivatives, in both SGML and XML, gently moving legacy data and procedures in the direction of P5. I am accustomed to soliciting advice and building a consensus when possible, but am also unhappily accustomed to the need to make daily policy decisions on markup questions, even when no consensus or advice is available. The constraints of the projects I manage have reinforced my native inclination toward simplicity, transparency, flexibility, and pragmatism. I am only a techie so far as I need to be --a writer of modest Perl scripts and style sheets--, saving my real affection for the material and the information that can be captured from and about it; my academic training was mostly textual, linguistic, and historical, devoted to medieval and early modern languages, literatures, manuscripts and books. My cv is online at http://www.umich.edu/~pfs/cv.html and links to the internal documentation of the TCP projects at http://www.lib.umich.edu/tcp/docs/.

Toma Tasovac

Background: I am the Director of the Belgrade Center for Digital Humanities (CDHN, http://humanistika.org), editor and chief programmer of Transpoetika, a TEI-based digital publishing and lexicographic platform for the Serbian language (http://transpoetika.org), and new media trainer at the Deutsche Welle Academy in Bonn and Berlin. I am a literary scholar by training, and hold degrees from Harvard and Princeton. I am also passionate about developing tools that make the TEI infrastructure easier to use for everybody. For an example, see our auto-complete tool for linguistically and semantically annotating Serbian literary texts — http://bit.ly/transxml.

At the CDHN, we are currently working on the first modern, deeply-encoded edition of the classic 19th-century Serbian-German-Latin Dictionary by Vuk Stefanović Karadžić. The goal of our research is to make this historical text come alive for contemporary users by providing, for instance, new access paths, including those based on semantic ontologies, geospatial mapping, and various visualization techniques. I am also the chief consultant for a large-scale TEI-based digitalization project that will be undertaken by the Ethnographic Institute and the Institute for the Serbian Language of the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences starting in 2011.

Candidate statement: I am interested in all aspects of the TEI Guidelines, and, if elected to the Council, I would be happy to donate my time to developing new features and improving existing ones. My particular areas of interest are dictionaries, critical apparatus, language corpora and feature structures. I would very much like to see TEI become more prevalent in linguistic and NLP communities, as well as gaining a more solid ground in the traditional humanities departments. I would also like to contribute to the work of making the technical aspects of the Guidelines even more accessible to an average reader. Whether we like to admit it or not, the TEI entry hurdle still remains very high for most traditional humanists, and the educational task that we as a community face is one of the most challenging.

Stuart Yeates

Background: Stuart Yeates is a computer scientist by training and is currently a techie for the New Zealand Electronic Text Centre. Aspects of TEI he has been recently involved in include migration of the NZETC collection from P4 to P5, packaging TEI as ePubs and parallel (English-Māori) texts. He has contributed to the TEI wiki and re-written the TEI page on Wikipedia (where he has >3000 edits). Previously he worked at Oxford under Sebastian Rahtz and Lou Burnard.

Candidate statement: As a learner of te reo Māori (a minority indigenous language undergoing a revival) he is interested in the use of TEI to support language learning.

Stuart believes in example-based discussions—many of the words in words we use mean too many different things to too many different people and examples both help us pin down exactly what we mean and act as templates for use in actual documents. Coming from a computer science and open source background he's also a great believer that were possible as much as possible of the data and code used by systems should be assessable to third parties, for reuse, as examples and for bug wrangling. He believes the TEI community should be aligning itself with broader XML standards, as per the use of xml:id and xml:lang in P5.

Living in New Zealand he keeps bad hours for teleconferences (GMT+12 +/- daylight savings) and rarely gets to travel to meet face-to-face; he is, however, an enthusiastic contributor to mailing lists, wikis and the like.