Tomorrow marks the beginning of the annual pilgrimage to the International Medieval Congress, held at Western Michigan University. This will the be 46th iteration of the "uber-conference" for all things medieval. It attracts some 3,000 medievalists from all academic walks of life, as well those interested in reviving certain features of medieval culture (such as those devoted to reenactments or making food and beer the medieval way!). As much as fun as there is, the real focus is just like every other conference: the opportunity to share current research, engage in lively conversation about one's respective fields, and get a bird's eye view of the present shape of medieval studies. Attendees can choose from 580 individual sessions.
Make that 581: thanks to the Digital Medievalist Society, there will be an additional poster session Friday evening where scholars can display their digital wares. Part of the T-PEN team will be there with one large poster and a few laptops on which participants can take T-PEN out for a spin. We spent the last week building a Linux VM version of T-PEN that we will run as a local application (just in case our network connection fails to materialize) on the laptops. Users will be able to transcribe a few select manuscripts, make use of the built-in tools, and even import an XML schema to validate an encoded transcription. Our hope is to get some feedback from the users (including their wishlists for which digital repositories they would to see on T-PEN's access list).
If you are anywhere near Kalamazoo, MI on Friday 13 May 2011 at 7pm, stop by and say hello. Here's the teaser poster we will be plastering about the conference grounds (artfully designed by Patrick Cuba)