Please proceed to slacker post

L’umanista digitale


Indian smile

I have a PhD from the University of Edinburgh and I am currently lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Roma Tre. My research and main publications focus on digital philology and digital editions, computers and composition, and professional writing. In 1996 I created Digital Variants, an online resource on contemporary Italian and Spanish authors. I am founder and first organizer of the “Computer, literature and philology” seminar series (Edinburgh 1998, Rome 1999, Alicante 2000, Duisburg 2001, Albacete 2002, Florence 2003, London 2006). With Ferdinanda Cremascoli I co-authored the Manuale di scrittura (Turin, Bollati Boringhieri, 1998). I edited two collections of humanities computing texts: New Media and the Humanities: Research and Applications, Oxford, Oxford University Humanities Computing Unit, 2001; and Informatica umanistica: dalla ricerca all’insegnamento, Roma, Bulzoni, 2003. My latest book (with Teresa Numerico and Francesca Tomasi) is L’umanista digitale, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2010. With my Roma II colleague Paolo Sordi I have created this Informatica Umanistica/Humanities Computing blog.

The Digital Slacker

Day starts with a nice cup of cardamom tea…

Well truth is this semester I am not teaching. So all I do, except sleeping at faculty meetings, is to loiter in the halls with an empty expression on my face, mostly yawning at aggressive graduate students staring at me with those bags under their eyes and one hand holding a bunch of useless photocopies.

I was so intimidated when I saw all those shining Day of DH blogs full of cool people in cool offices doing cool things like reading five or six books at a time, working on a dozen cutting-edge projects, going to exciting conferences, and reporting all this on twitter every thirty or fourty seconds. I mean, I felt really backward. Actually, I am. All I managed to do on the 18th was to celebrate my friend Gabriella’s birthday: we went to this really nice and trendy restaurant in the center of Rome, “Il desiderio preso per la coda“, and after the third glass of an excellent red wine (Istrice, great choice Mari!) I realized I hadn’t posted anything on the Day of DH. But don’t Panic! I took my phone and at least documented this:

Sandro and Gabriella

Sandro and Gabriella

And of course this:

Wine & Roses

Then of course I started to make up a story on how I could involve this in my Day of DH. I guess I could have said something about digitizing Simone Weil’s correspondence or some other wild project… but it was too late, and Gabriella, Sandro and her sister were not helpful. They just can’t understand how insane we digital humanists can be. That’s very strange.

Well OK, OK it’s not true. I don’t mean everything I said above. I confess I also did some work on the 18th. Actually, I am quite desperate as I’ll need to finish to write this distance learning module on e-government tools & practices for the BAICR consortium. I have been working with them for ten years, and they are really nice and competent people. I really don’t want to disappoint them, so I’ve to go back to work. But is this really related to digital humanities? mmh…

Rome wasn’t built in a day (of DH)

Hey, wait a second! But I did something, we wrote that damned book!

Here it is:

Cover of "Pathologies of the urinary system in adult cats and other classified felines"

That must be the reason why I wander around with an empty face. Boy, did we work hard. Teresa was a great book coordinator: it took three years to convince herself, Francesca, the publisher and me that this book was a necessary evolutionary step towards a new human(ist) dimension. Too bad you can’t read Italian. That’s why you’re so fast and can make all those things: you don’t have to write in Italian. It’s a very difficult and ancient language, you know. Like the Coliseum, Saint Peter and all that kind of stuff. Rome wasn’t built in a day (of DH), etc. So I hope in the end you’ll forgive me if I was late. I’m a bit of a slacker. I’m a digital slacker.