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The Aberdeen Burgh Records of 1398–1531 and the Semantic Web

Abstract

This paper provides an overview of two text analytic projects on the Aberdeen burgh records, which are legal records of the city of Aberdeen, Scotland. These records contain detailed information about a range of activities in the city and their legal treatment. The projects cover the periods 1398–1511 (Law in the Aberdeen Council Registers project – LACR) and 1530–1531 (A Text Analytic Approach to Rural and Urban Legal Histories project – TAHL). The completed TAHL project annotated a selected corpus with rich semantic information for the purpose of facilitating historical research by querying and extracting data from across the corpus. The LACR project, which is ongoing, focuses on transcribing the first eight volumes of the Aberdeen burgh records (1398–1511) into the Text Encoding Initiative’s standard, thus making the text machinereadable. This project lays the foundation for further analysis and enrichment of the corpus.

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The Censorship of Essays Written by Maria Aurèlia Capmany (1968–1978)

Abstract

General Franco’s censorship apparatus was quick to pounce on the intellectual dissent in the essays written by Maria Aurèlia Capmany from 1968 to 1978. Based on censorship records, this article analyses the ideological way that those in charge of issuing the reports read her essays. The essays that suffered the most in the hands of the censors were La joventut és una nova classe? (1969), Pedra de toc (1970), El feminismo ibérico (1970) and El feminisme a Catalunya (1973).

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Did Catalonia endure a (cultural) genocide?

Abstract

During the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), Spanish fascism developed its own repressive tools and resources against their enemies (Republicans, Socialists, Communists and Anarchists among others) in the same way other European fascisms did. The depth of the Spanish nationalism brought Franco’s repression against the Catalan society to the height of the processes of cultural and linguistic persecution in the same way that Nazism or Italian fascism had done in the territories they occupied during the years of World War II.

Open access
Digital Humanities on the Semantic Web: Accessing Historical and Musical Linked Data

Abstract

Key fields in the humanities, such as history, art and language, are central to a major transformation that is changing scholarly practice in these fields: the so-called Digital Humanities (DH). A fundamental question in DH is how humanities datasets can be represented digitally, in such a way that machines can process them, understand their meaning, facilitate their inquiry, and exchange them on the Web. In this paper, we survey current efforts within the Semantic Web and Linked Data, a family of Webcompatible knowledge representation formalisms and standards, to represent DH objects in quantitative history and symbolic music. We also argue that the technological gap between the Semantic Web and Linked Data, and DH data owners is currently too wide for effective access and consumption of these semantically enabled humanities data. To this end, we propose grlc, a thin middleware that leverages currently existing queries on the Web (expressed in, e.g., SPARQL) to transparently build standard Web APIs that facilitate access to any Linked Data.

Open access
From Dalí to Gaudí: The Building of Artistic Identity in Catalonia

Abstract

During the twentieth century, the Catalan painter Salvador Dalí and philosopher Francesc Pujols wished for contemporary art an exceptional position in society, based upon an understanding of reality through scientific knowledge, and a new type of Humanism able to provide human life with spiritual values. This is a type of art and a worldview built on the legacy of architects Antoni Gaudí and Claude Ledoux, painters Marià Fortuny and Gustave Moreau, Wagnerism, and philosophers Aguste Comte and Ramon Llull.

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Fuster’s Conception of Literature as a Social Practice

Abstract

Joan Fuster’s essays constitute the observatory from which he examined the world, human beings and the life of society. In this observatory-cum-laboratory, Fuster used linguistics, culture, aesthetics, the sociopolitical context and history to construct his theory of social reality. He often focussed on literary phenomena – authors, genres, movements, styles and publishing processes – in the context of the vast process of social praxis, an ambit in which no element can be innocently isolated from any other, from the whole in which all things are interrelated. Fuster’s conception of literature thus adopts a perspective of complexity in which the idea of writers being socially engaged, of great influence at the time, is filtered by means of critical examination. This examination includes highly diverse and often contradictory factors that the author tries to balance against each other with an intellectual honesty that turns paradoxes into the driving force behind his writing.

Open access
Gabriel Ferrater: A Note on Science, Ideas, and Poetry

Abstract

This paper discusses the relationship between the theory of art and the philosophy of science. In particular, it explores Catalan poet and critic Gabriel Ferrater’s theory of ideas in poetry and specifically his critique of social or realist poetry. The paper shows, on the one hand, that Ferrater’s theory is both antiexpressionist and anti-inductivist, and on the other, that his way of approaching both poetry and criticism can be integrated into the falsationist theoretical framework developed by philosopher of science Karl Popper to understand the process of scientific discovery.

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Gearing up for Catalan Intellectual History: JOCIH’s Twist

Abstract

This article can be read as an Editorial for the first issue of the Journal of Catalan Intellectual History (JOCIH) in its new stage at de Gruyter Open. It offers, first, a methodical review of the concept, roles, and trends of intellectual history in the 20th century. Next, it looks into the particular Catalan tradition, historiography, and cultural analysis to position the aim and the role of the Journal with regard to similar initiatives. It tries to give an answer to the crisis of intellectual history as a discipline, at the end of the past century. The third part of the article describes some of the available resources. The fourth section introduces the contents of the present issue, focussing on the construction of a collective identity and the literary engagement of Catalan writers between 1920 and 1980, either in their country or in exile. The Notes of the present issue highlight the importance of technology, natural language processing, and Semantic Web developments in carrying out contemporary research in this field.

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The Inheritance of Modernisme: Antoni Fuster i Valldeperes

Abstract

This article explores the characteristics of the literature of writers who, when literary Catalan modernism had died out, used many of the features of the movement in their work. An analysis of the costumbrism-based novel Perot i l’Estel (1932), by Antoni Fuster Valldeperes, shows the return to the debate on madness, the expression of individual standpoints and the portrayal of a wide range of revolutionary ideals, the main themes of which are Catalanism, universalism, Republicanism and anarchism.

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The Literature of Exile after 1939: A Bridge between Catalan Collective Memory and Identity

Abstract

The present article reflects on and emphasises the importance of the still-unrecognised work by Catalan writers who bore witness to the exile of 1939 and the preceding historical period of the Second Spanish Republic (1931–1939) and the Civil War (1936–1939). The article explores how these exiled writers and their literary corpora played a fundamental role in recovering Catalan historical collective memory and identity. In particular, it focusses on two writers, Domènec Guansé and Vicenç Riera Llorca, in the light of recent studies of literary history, which have begun this process of re-evaluating the literature of exile, and thereafter relates their work to the theories of Lowenthal, Ricoeur and Traverso regarding the past and memory.

Open access