This is it, amigos

Time flies by. The last three years of my life are gone. DiXiT sometimes imposed such a frenetic rhythm of activity. Months filled with conventions, training Camps, workshops, conferences…so many hours spent on the plane! It was, indeed, easy to lose perspective of time over the course of these three years. And then, suddenly, it is over. Now that I have to look back and reflect on everything that happened to me, both professionally and personally, I become aware how hard it is to summarize it in some few paragraphs.

Originally, my research was supposed to deal with critical editions, but given my background on diplomatics, I was instead offered the chance to explore how TEI could be implemented to study the diplomatic discourse of medieval charters. In this regard, having Georg Vogeler on board was a huge asset, as he is the father of the Charters Encoding Initiative. I therefore enjoyed a fruitful secondment in Graz, where I could drink directly from the source. Georg was incredibly patience in teaching as much as he could about the encoding of diplomatic structure, its possibilities, its problems and limits. He was also responsible for all the technical work done on the prototype of charters of the Count of Luna. Furthermore, he encouraged me to organize my own event in Spain, which then seemed to me a fantasy. However, and thanks to DiXiT economic support, my host institution in Lyon, the EHESS, was extremely generous in funding the ENCAPO meeting, a Spanish-Portuguese project on notarial and municipal charters that is also exploring the advantages of using TEI on diplomatic analysis. Organizing an international meeting, bringing experts from all Europe, was, hands down, one of the things that I can feel most proud of.

DiXiT was, above all, a network of people, an outstanding group of colleagues and friends. This job is, sometimes too often, quite lonely. Their support is definitely what I will miss the most from this great experience.

I would like to conclude this post with some acknowledgements. First and foremost, to Marjory Burghart for choosing me for the job. She also allowed me to participate and assist her during the celebration of the DEMM, and the TEI annual meeting in 2015 in Lyon. Nothing of this would have been happened without her and I could never be grateful enough to appreciate it. Secondly, Georg Vogeler and his crew from the Centre for Information Modelling in Graz. Again, Georg role in my research has already been addressed in this post. I have but words of appreciation and gratitude towards everything he has taught me. Of course, if my work has not been at the level expected, I am the only one to blame. I would also like to send my acknowledgement to the people of Cologne, theirs was the ungrateful task of coordinating this huge project and having to deal with my delays. Of course, the list of people who has supported me and my research in the last three years is endless. You just know who you are.

 

Salud.

 


Francisco Javier Álvarez-Carbajal

Born in Palma de Mallorca in 1986, I graduated in History in the University of Oviedo, Spain (2009). My degree dissertation was awarded with the 2012 Extraordinary Prize. In 2010 I enrolled in the PhD program of the History Department at the University of Oviedo under the direction of professor Miguel Calleja Puerta. Within the framework of a "Severo Ochoa fellowship", granted by the Government of the Principality of Asturias, I began my PhD research on "The documentary production of the Counts of Luna at the end of the Middle Ages: lordship administration, political struggle and social legitimacy". In April 2014 I got an ESR Marie Curie Fellowship and I moved to Lyon, where I work for the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales for DiXiT (Digital Scholarly Editions Initial Training Network). My current project, Practice and Usability of Digital Critical Editions is directed by Jacques Berlioz and supervised by Marjorie Burghart.

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