First ever LaTeX Ninja workshop at Harvard: “Beyond TEI: Digital Editions with XPath and XSLT for the Web and in LaTeX”

It’s been awfully quiet on this blog but actually, there’s lots of Ninja activity going on right now: I’m excited to announce that I will give the first ever official LaTeX Ninja workshop, in person at Harvard in about two weeks! It’s called “Beyond TEI: Digital Editions with XPath and XSLT for the Web and in LaTeX”. (Apart from that, there’s a short book review coming up in TUGboat.) Since there probably are a good number of people who would be interested in such a workshop but can’t attend in person, I will share the slides and teaching materials on Github later on. That way, they can be reused for self-study. This blogpost gives somewhat of an outline of the contents of the workshop and contains links to related posts on this blog. Participants might want to read some of them in preparation or as an additional resource. [Get to the github repo with all the materials (`additional resources’ directory)

read more First ever LaTeX Ninja workshop at Harvard: “Beyond TEI: Digital Editions with XPath and XSLT for the Web and in LaTeX”

Why I stopped my Twitter bots

As some of you might know, I have written about my Twitter bots on this blog a number of times. Now I decided to shut them all down and wanted to give at least a short explanation of why that was. TLDR: It got unexpectedly expensive and I reasoned the benefit wasn’t really worth the price. Off-topic note on posting schedule: As my devoted readers have probably noticed by now, we’re down to a bi-weekly posting schedule at the most. I have been thinking about it and I’m aiming for two posts per month for now. Actually that’s less than every second week. The point is, I have been reflecting about what makes this blog what it is and I think that’s the good posts I come up with every once in a while. When those add up, that makes the blog a useful resource for time to come. It’s these posts that I want to focus on. And frankly,

read more Why I stopped my Twitter bots

How to write (Ancient) Greek in LaTeX

Because I’m a classicist by training, I have been wanting to broach the topic of how to typeset Ancient Greek in LaTeX for a long time. So today comes a short post on the topic. There are a number of ways you can approach this but most importantly, you need to decide whether you need just any Greek letters or Ancient Greek letters. Because Ancient Greek has diacritics which aren’t featured in all (“normal”) Greek keyboards. This blogpost covers the three sub-topics I deemed relevant to the question and they are: How do I get my Greek letters in the first place? (related to 1) How/Where do I get a Greek keyboard and which one to choose? How to typeset Greek in LaTeX? How to get your Greek letters If you’re just adding, say a note on the origin of a word to your text, you might not even need to install a Greek keyword at all. When I just

read more How to write (Ancient) Greek in LaTeX

The LaTeX Newbie’s Guide to Using Overleaf for Conference Paper Submissions

Conference paper submissions in LaTeX are becoming increasingly popular in fields outside the technical disciplines (which have embraced them a long time ago already). Be that the Digital Humanities or historians wanting to contribute to events such as HistoCrypt, LaTeX templates for submission are getting more widely adopted. That’s why I wanted to dedicate this first post of 2022 to this important topic, so you are ready for LaTeX conference paper/abstract submissions in 2022! How to get started quickly and what to be aware of Find the template to use. The conference will have probably prepared a template you’re supposed to do. Since a principle behind TeX/LaTeX is the separation of form and content, you really only need to focus on writing your text. The layout will be provided by the conference organizers in said template. If this template isn’t on Overleaf yet, download it and upload it as a new project in the online LaTeX editor Overleaf. This will

read more The LaTeX Newbie’s Guide to Using Overleaf for Conference Paper Submissions

How to maintain Twitter with little effort as an academic: The Ninja’s “How to better promote your content on Twitter” Guide. Part 5

Academic Twitter can be an important tool for networking, we get it. But I’ve talked to more and more colleagues who have given up on Twitter because they felt that they couldn’t make it work and also didn’t want to spend unreasonable amounts of time on it. I get that too. Apart from the Twitter experiment I did in November 2020 and times where there’s relevant stuff going on, I also want to minimize time spent on social media/Twitter as much as possible. But, to my great surprise, I realized my accounts are still growing even though I’m not doing much. That’s when I thought “Wait, this could be relevant for my readers” and decided to explain to you what I did. The goal: Setting your Twitter account up right for a relatively low-maintenance Twitter presence with some growth In my experience, many academics sign up for Twitter and then never get on Twitter again because they don’t know how

read more How to maintain Twitter with little effort as an academic: The Ninja’s “How to better promote your content on Twitter” Guide. Part 5

Navigating interdisciplinarity (as a DH scholar)

Today’s post is something at the interface of rant and rambling. While I love being interdisciplinary, it’s also quite the hassle at times which is why I guess most interdisciplinary scholars sometimes wished they weren’t doing interdisciplinary work. There are so many negative stereotypes, like… “You have it easier being interdisciplinary” vs it’s actually twice the work So do you really think that we have it easier? I hate how we always get this reproach that we’re taking the easy route. Can somebody please explain to me what’s “easy” about having to follow the state of the art in multiple fields at the same time? And then not even knowing where to get published because scholars from discipline A don’t understand half of your research and the same in the other direction. I tend to be somewhat “too historical” for the Digital Humanities but then waaaay to technical for the “normal Humanities”. I think being in the DH and doing

read more Navigating interdisciplinarity (as a DH scholar)

The most important book to read if you want to learn Digital Humanities, Computer Science, Maths, Programming or LaTeX

Today I wanted to share a tiny book review of the book I claim to be the most important book you should read if you want to learn any technical topic but are unsure if you are up for it. The book I’m talking about is not Donald Knuth (although his books are highly recommended, especially if you’re a (La)TeX nerd!). It’s not even a computer book! I’m talking about: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck (New York: Random House 2006). The fixed mindset versus the growth mindset This will be a short post because Dweck’s message is simple. There are two mindsets, the ‘fixed mindset’ and the ‘growth mindset’ and which one you have greatly impacts your success in learning and self-development. The ‘fixed mindset’ assumes your abilities and talents are fixed. Thus, you are proud of what you’re good at because you link it to your personality (“I’m a person who is good at…”). But

read more The most important book to read if you want to learn Digital Humanities, Computer Science, Maths, Programming or LaTeX

The “Should I include Digital Humanities in my grant proposal?” Guide for Humanities people

Many Humanities scholars feel like you can’t get a project funded anymore if it doesn’t include DH. Some even ask me “Do I have to include DH to get funded?” Well, that answer lies outside of my expertise. I can, however, answer the probably even more important question of whether you should include DH in your grant proposal for the main purpose of improving your chances at getting funded. And if you decide to do so, how to do it right. In this post, I will give you my thoughts on the topic and also provide a checklist you might want to use to answer this question for yourself at the end. As I trust you have already figured out, I am not the person granting you funding neither am I in any way involved in the progress (at least as of now). So please take the thoughts I share here for what they are: my two cents. I’m just

read more The “Should I include Digital Humanities in my grant proposal?” Guide for Humanities people

List of Resources for getting started with (teaching) digital methods

Having just attended a talk in an event on Digital Humanities and Neo-Latin, I was inspired to share a short list of introductory resources on DH, especially for teachers who feel more like Humanities scholars and don’t have tons of time to learn everything autodidactically. They can use those resources to learn for themselves and pass on this knowledge or pass on this link. But also, since you’ve found this blog, you’re already on a great path to learning DH! 🙂 I’ll try to keep this updated – and it’s not really done yet, so feel free to contribute. Discipline-independent DH dariahTeach: great MOOCs on many topics Source criticism in a digital age DARIAH-EU DH course registry EADH Courses List Digital Classics Article by yours truly in German: Digitale Lernplattformen und Open Educational Resources im Altsprachlichen Unterricht I. Technische Spielräume am Beispiel des ›Grazer Repositorium antiker Fabeln‹ (GRaF). It contains a few resources on digital resources and digital teaching, mostly

read more List of Resources for getting started with (teaching) digital methods

Long-Term Twitter Strategizing: The Ninja’s “How to better promote your content on Twitter” Guide. Part 4

Twitter is an important professional networking platform for the Digital Humanities. But it’s not exactly self-evident how to make it work in your favour. This part explains long-term Twitter Strategy. This involves a few elements which might not seem so important at first but will be to keep your Twitter presence active and at a steady growth rate, without having to constantly put in lots of effort. This includes scheduled Tweets and using analytics and reflection to determine how to best cater to the interests of your followers. As some of you might remember, I did a Twitter Engagement Experiment at some time in autumn last year. Now I wanted to share my most important learnings, so you can make your Twitter presence more effective with just as little work as you want to put in. Actually, this was all just meant to be one post but it got so crazy long that I decided to make it into a

read more Long-Term Twitter Strategizing: The Ninja’s “How to better promote your content on Twitter” Guide. Part 4

Bio Engineering, Tweet Structure or How to lure your audience: The Ninja’s “How to better promote your content on Twitter” Guide. Part 3

Twitter is an important professional networking platform for the Digital Humanities. But it’s not exactly self-evident how to make it work in your favour. This part explains how you can improve the rate you’re gaining followers at by immediately providing them with reliable information about what value you provide for them. The best and quickest way to achieve that is by a one-time improvement session for your bio! If that’s not a life hack 😉 As some of you might remember, I did a Twitter Engagement Experiment at some time in autumn last year. Now I wanted to share my most important learnings, so you can make your Twitter presence more effective with just as little work as you want to put in. Actually, this was all just meant to be one post but it got so crazy long that I decided to make it into a series of digestible short posts. More Twitter Growth/Strategy advice 8) Set up your

read more Bio Engineering, Tweet Structure or How to lure your audience: The Ninja’s “How to better promote your content on Twitter” Guide. Part 3

Retweet Bots and Hashtags: The Ninja’s “How to better promote your content on Twitter” Guide. Part 2

Twitter is an important professional networking platform for the Digital Humanities. But it’s not exactly self-evident how to make it work in your favour. This part explains all you need to know on retweet bots and hashtags. As some of you might remember, I did a Twitter Engagement Experiment at some time in autumn last year. Now I wanted to share my most important learnings, so you can make your Twitter presence more effective with just as little work as you want to put in. Actually, this was all just meant to be one post but it got so crazy long that I decided to make it into a series of digestible short posts. More Twitter Growth/Strategy advice 4) Use the power of (retweet) bots. During the last year, I have played around with bots or partly-automating retweeting on some Twitter accounts (like the epigrammetry blog’s Twitter) using bots. I created a feminist bot, a #100DaysofDH challenge bot, a #digiclass

read more Retweet Bots and Hashtags: The Ninja’s “How to better promote your content on Twitter” Guide. Part 2

Improve your Twitter Strategy: The Ninja’s “How to better promote your content on Twitter” Guide. Part 1

Twitter is an important professional networking platform for the Digital Humanities. But it’s not exactly self-evident how to make it work in your favour. As some of you might remember, I did a Twitter Engagement Experiment at some time in autumn last year. Now I wanted to share my most important learnings, so you can make your Twitter presence more effective with just as little work as you want to put in. I will start with the basics and common advice you can find online in this first post and then add some more info and reflection on my personal experiment in the next one. Actually, this was all just meant to be one post but it got so crazy long that I decided to make it into a series of digestible short posts. This first one will start with the very Twitter basics and why you might want to start your own “Twitter Engagement” experiment. Am I back to

read more Improve your Twitter Strategy: The Ninja’s “How to better promote your content on Twitter” Guide. Part 1

“Learning LaTeX – Why should you care?” Series Part 1: Common Objections against learning LaTeX

Since some common objections why some people think learning LaTeX is not worth it or why the oppose LaTeX generally came up again in the Twitter discussion surrounding the recent post LaTeX for Philosophers? Logic and other Shenannigans, I quickly wanted to discuss the three most common objections agains LaTeX (in my experience) and why I think they’re not necessarily valid. Let’s get straight to it! 1) The “I can’t both be a good [insert job title/area of expertise here] AND spend time learning to code” aka the “LaTeX is hard to learn” objection A common argument used against LaTeX, not only in the Humanities, is “I already need all my energy being good at my job and now you want me to learn a new technology to distract me from it?”, like expressed in the following Tweet. But it’s really an extremely common one.  The argument is interesting to me because you also had to learn how to use

read more “Learning LaTeX – Why should you care?” Series Part 1: Common Objections against learning LaTeX

The question of questions: Am I ‘techie’ enough for (a) Digital Humanities (degree)?

For the last two years, I had the responsibility to mentor master’s degree students in the Digital Humanities or to advise those interested in a DH degree. Today I wanted to discuss the most frequently asked question and that is: “Am I ‘techie’ enough for (a) Digital Humanities (degree)?” and partly also “How much math is there in a DH degree?”. This is my Christmas present to you. I’m hoping to do something LaTeX-related again soon but LaTeX templates are currently a go-to relax thing for times when I really need relaxing. And feeling obliged to write about that takes the fun out of it for me at the moment, so sorry, yet another DH post for now. Let’s get straight to it. Part of this post consists of the text of an informational video I made in my responsibility as a mentor for the DH degree programm in Graz. You can watch the video instead, if you like. However,

read more The question of questions: Am I ‘techie’ enough for (a) Digital Humanities (degree)?

Where can I *actually learn* programming? (as DH and otherwise)

To my great surprise, lots of people regularly ask me where I learned to program. I have lots of posts on the subject and even multiple categories on the blog concerning the topic but maybe they’re “too disguised” under obscure titles for willing learners to actually find them. So I decided to give you a short summary with the key takeaways of what I’ve written on the topic so far and the most important links – boths to my other detailled blogposts and also on the resoures I would recommend as of now. However, before the “short summary” of takeaways and suggestions for willing learners, let me start with a deep dive into the very personal side of the question “Where did you actually learn to program?”. Now where did I actually learn to code? A Disclaimer To answer the question “Where did I actually learn to program?”, we need to talk about my journey first. And.. Well, in order

read more Where can I *actually learn* programming? (as DH and otherwise)