Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

StFX faculty elected to international board serving the worldwide community of digital humanists

November 25th, 2020
Dr. Laura Estill and Dr. Ken Penner

StFX will be well represented on an international body that is a mainstay of the digital humanities. 

Two faculty members, religious studies professor Dr. Ken Penner and English professor and Canada Research Chair in Digital Humanities Dr. Laura Estill, were recently elected to international positions for The Text Encoding Initiative (TEI), a consortium that collectively develops and maintains a standard for the representation of texts in digital form. 

Dr. Penner has been elected to the TEI board, the governing body for the consortium, which works on the organization’s overall vision and strategy.

Dr. Estill has been elected to the TAPAS advisory board, which is the TEI Archiving, Publishing, and Access Service (hosted by Northeastern University Library's Digital Scholarship Group). TAPAS focuses on making digital editions easy and supporting teachers who want to use TEI with their classes. 

“Being elected to the Text Encoding Initiative’s Board of Directors means being part of strategic planning for the TEI,” Dr. Penner says. “We aim to serve the worldwide community of digital humanists who produce and process transcribed texts mainly by establishing standards that enable the computer data and tools to work with each other. I’m honoured to become part of the decisions that will make digital work on texts that much more efficient, and to represent StFX together with Dr. Estill in an initiative of such global scope.”

Dr. Estill says she is honoured to be on the TAPAS board and looks forward to working with a fantastic team. “I have had the pleasure of teaching TEI before in multiple contexts and I am certain this will also help me improve as a teacher.”

She says this is a real honour for StFX to have both faculty members elected. 

TEI is an international standard for creating digital text projects, Dr. Estill says. 

The TEI is an active scholarly community, with a journal (jTEI), annual conference, and many training sessions around the world. Many digital humanities projects use TEI to share and represent information. This includes TextTHREAD (Toolkit for Humanities Research & Editing Ancient Documents) by Dr. Penner and StFX computer sciences professor Dr. James Hughes and Dr. Estill’s DEx: A Database of Dramatic Extracts, co-edited with Dr. Beatrice Montedoro, University of Zurich. 

To read Dr. Penner and Dr. Estill’s candidate statements, please visit:


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