The Digital Orientalist’s Recap of 2021

With a larger and more diverse editorial team, the Digital Orientalist has published 92 posts in total in the year 2021, which accumulated more than 80,000 views! Thank you all for your support over the past year! We hope to continue to bring you engaging content and solid coverage on all things digital humanities.

Here’s a recap of some of the exciting stuff that happened at the Digital Orientalist in 2021:

The Top Five Most-read Posts from 2021:

Check out these five well-received posts written by our editors in 2021!

  • “StoryMaps: A Brief Tutorial” by Ahmet Yusuf Yuksek
  • “Typing in Tamil in contemporary and ancient scripts” by Julie A Hanlon
  • “Biblical Studies: Material Culture Online and in the Classroom” by Jonathan Robker
  • “Google Docs and OCR: Some Experiments Transcribing Japanese Language Texts” by James Harry Morris
  • “Mapping A Thousand Buddhist Monasteries in Mongolia: Introducing the Digital Database “Documentation of Mongolian Monasteries” by Daigengna Duoer

Check out these five awesome posts published in 2021 that you might have missed! These posts are picked for their engaging critical discussions of digital humanities.

  • For an introduction on thinking about the field of digital humanities in a layered way, check out Cornelis van Lit’s “How to level up in DH”
  • For a thought-provoking post reflecting the limitations of digital humanities methods, read Mariana Zorkina’s “Can we really trust Digital Humanities?”
  • For a critical discussion on digitization, check out Elizabeth Lee’s “Cultural Heritage Online: What do we lose when exhibitions go digital?”
  • For an important conversation on the merits and challenges of integrating digital humanities tools and methods in textual research, don’t miss Matthew Hayes’ “Seeing the Forest from the Trees: A Reflection on the Challenges of Digital Analysis in Buddhist Studies”
  • For a fascinating article on “manuscripts as refugees” and the preservation and digitization of texts in the West, be sure to check out Ephrem A. Ishac’s “Manuscripts as Refugees”

The 2021 Digital Orientalist’s Virtual Workshop and Conference:

Held on June 26, 2021, the virtual workshop and conference took place over Zoom and had a total of 252 people tuning in! The event was organized by Maddalena Poli, Mariana Zorkina, James Morris, and LWC van Lit. For a brief report on the conference and the exciting papers presented, see here. You can also watch the recordings of the papers on our YouTube channel playlist here:

New Editors Joining the DO Team:

After our summer hiatus, the Digital Orientalist welcomed seven new editors to our team. The new members of the DO editorial lineup are:

Elizabeth Bishop joined our team as the Editor for North African Studies. She specializes in the history of the Middle East, Postcolonial Arab history, and the history of the Global Cold War. She is currently an Associate Professor in the History Department at Texas State University. Check out her post on the Algerian Scientific Journals Platform (ASJP): “Decolonize University-Based Journals.”

Udita Das joined DO as Editor for Indian Buddhism. She will be publishing articles with us in the new year!

Bryce Heatherly joined us as our inaugural Editor for Chinese Material Culture. He is a Ph.D. student in the East Asian Languages and Civilizations department of the University of Pennsylvania studying the visual and material cultures of China’s Middle Period (8th-15th centuries). Check out his recent post on Sinorelic (华夏古迹图): “Digitizing Cultural Heritage in Contemporary China: An Introduction to “Sinorelic.”

So Miyagawa joined the Digital Orientalist as our Editor for North East African Studies. So is an assistant professor teaching digital humanities and Ancient Egyptian and Coptic at Kyoto University. He is also a digital humanist working on the digitization of Ancient Egyptian and Coptic manuscripts and text corpora. So has commissioned two great articles on DH in North East African studies. See these in the “Guest Posts” section below!

Thomas Newhall joined us as the new Editor for Buddhist Studies. Thomas is a Ph.D. candidate in Buddhist Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research focuses on how Buddhist law codes were interpreted and adapted for Buddhist monastic life in China, and East Asia more broadly. Check out his recent interview with Professor Charles Muller on digitizing Buddhist dictionaries: “Online Resources for Buddhist Studies and the Development of Digital Humanities, Past, Present and Future: An Interview with Charles Muller, Editor of the DDB and CJKV-E Dictionaries”

Michele Eduarda Brasil de Sá is our new Editor for Japanese Studies. She is currently a professor in the College of Arts, Letters, and Communication at the Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, where she leads the Group of Transdisciplinary Research about Japan. Her research interests include Japanese immigration to Brazil, Japanese and nikkei literature, Jesuit documents and books written in Japan (16th and 17th century), online resources for teaching in the university, and translation studies. She recently wrote about accessing digitized Jesuit grammar books and dictionaries on the Japanese language. See her post: “Missionary Linguistics – Latin, Portuguese and Japanese resources online.”

Theodora Zampaki joined us as Editor for Greco-Arabic Studies. She has been working as a tutor at the Hellenic Open University since 2017 and is currently teaching and supervising students enrolled in the course ‘Introduction to Arabic Language and Culture’ of the postgraduate program ‘Language Education for Refugees and Migrants’ in the Hellenic Open University. Her research interests focus on Graeco-Arabic Studies, history and culture of the Arabs and Arabic historiography. She has recently published an interview with Professor Sarah Savant on the KITAB project here:

2021 Guest Posts for the Digital Orientalist:

“Examining the Merits of 3D Sliced Segmental Extraction: A Case Study of Prehistoric Japanese Ceramics,” by James Frances Loftus III.

“The multiple purposes of neural network for the recognition of the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics complexity,” by Andrea Barucci, Constanza Cucci, Massimiliano Franci, Marco Loschiavo and Fabrizio Argenti.

“What We Hold and What We Must Pass On: A Review of Digitization of Manuscripts at IGNCA in India,” by Shruti Dixit, a Ph.D. candidate in the Divinity School at the University of St. Andrews.

“An Introduction to Coptic Scriptorium,” by Lance Martin, a Ph.D. Candidate at the Catholic University of America in the Department of Semitics. 

“A Study on the Accuracy of Low-cost User-friendly OCR Systems for Arabic: Part 1 & Part 2,” by  Ishida Yuri, Okayama University, Special-Appointment Assistant Professor, and Shinoda Tomoaki, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Research Fellow. See Part 2, here.

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