19/05 – Rosanna Cantavella

We are returning this week to academia with Rosanna Cantavella, who will be focusing on my own favourite subject – literature – with a look at her work on medieval Catalan writings, and also a well-timed consideration of digital humanities.

Hello all! I’m delighted to participate in the @WeTheHumanities project. I believe more people than we think are interested in the Humanities, and they would read about them if only they had this kind of reading in their reach. Traditional media (the press, TV and radio) do not seem to share this belief, as they are not offering the public almost anything of real cultural value – especially if it’s not commercial. Luckily, we’ve got the social networks now, so we had better take advantage of them by trying and offering some alternative cultural news for those many potential readers.

My name is Rosanna Cantavella (@Cantavestrella on Twitter), and on the week of May 19th-25th I’ll be tweeting for @WeTheHumanities from the Valencian land (Spain), in the Western Mediterranean coast.

I’m a 57-year-old tenured professor of Catalan philology at the Universitat de València. Ours is one of the largest and most important universities in Spain, and a destination of preference for Erasmus students. We’ve got a strong European vocation, but are also open to the rest of the world; have traditionally taught many visiting students from the United States, and now receive a significant amount of visiting Chinese youth too.

My main field is medieval Catalan literature, of which many texts have been preserved (about as many as in other medieval Romance languages like Castilian, Tuscan or even French), but which counts on too few researchers – would you be tempted into becoming one of us? Within this field I’ve published on different works and authors, including our greatest poet, Ausiàs March; I’ve also devoted many years to the study of women as a subject in medieval texts, and to Valencian writer Isabel de Villena.

Furthermore, I’ve also been for a long time a keen user and learner of many of the tools with which the digital humanities make our work much easier. I also follow eagerly commentaries on the evaluation and indexing of research in Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH), as I feel the SSH researchers are being evaluated with formulas created for other areas, and would need their own parameters for their evaluations to be conducted fairly.

I am also the editor of an online journal, Magnificat Cultura i Literatura Medievals. We’re calling for papers now! Are you interested?

Open culture, and the open sharing of knowledge, and particularly research, in the present world, is yet another of my interests, as well as the area of ebooks and the corresponding digital transformations in publishing.

So what can you expect for me to tweet about this week? Well, especially, but not only, these subjects: Catalan language and literature, the medieval world, digital humanities, research evaluation in SSH, and changes towards ebooks in the publishing area. You can get an idea of what I focus on by leafing through The Humanities Researcher, a Flipboard selection of web articles.

I’m looking forward to my time as curator the account of this excellent initiative. See you on Twitter!


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