The Craft of XML (Dr. Wendell Piez Lecture)

In many ways, information technology is the opposite of a craft, since it is based in principles of automation and devoted to the idea of minimizing or eliminating labor, without which craft is impossible. Yet when we look carefully at this picture, things become more complex: even a brief look at the history of technology can show that as it develops, craft does not disappear even with automation. Blind machines, carrying out our orders, may be necessary for automated mass production; but it requires craft to build and use them.

This lecture, delivered by Dr. Wendell Piez, a prominent public-sector digital humanist, will feature examples of systems built with XML-based technologies that incorporate craft in their construction and operation.

Dr. Piez earned a BA in Classics (Yale) and MA and PhD degrees in English literature (Rutgers). He taught at Rutgers, worked as an early digital humanities (DH) developer at the pioneering collaborative Princeton-Rutgers Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities, and then moved to a career as an electronic text technology consultant, working with academic and non-academic clients. An active scholar, he is the general editor of the academic journal Digital Humanities Quarterly (; and his work is cited widely by academic digital humanists. Dr. Piez is widely recognized as a leading authority in the academic DH community, as well as an independent scholar combining research with professional consultation.

Dr. Piez's visit to the Greensburg campus will also feature visits to classes, which interested individuals are welcome to attend. For more information on these visits, including questions about course readings, click here or contact Elisa Beshero-Bondar at

This event is also sponsored by Sigma Tau Delta (the English Honor Society at Pitt-Greensburg), Pitt-Greensburg's Academic Village, Pitt-Greensburg's Center for the Digital Text and Academic Affairs, the University Honors College (Oakland), the Humanities Center (Oakland), and DSAS Undergraduate Studies.


Thursday, February 18, 2016 - 11:30am

Location and Address

Ferguson Theater, Smith Hall