HIST Semineri: “LexiQamus: A Digital Humanities Project, Challenging Long-Established Definitions and Methodologies”, Ahmet Abdullah Saçmalı, 15:30 30 Kasım (EN)

You are cordially invited to a seminar titled “LexiQamus: A Digital Humanities Project, Challenging Long-Established Definitions and Methodologies” organised by the Department of History.

Date: 30 November 2022, Wednesday
Avenue: AZ- 31 Seminar Room
Time: 15.30-17.30

Title: LexiQamus: A Digital Humanities Project, Challenging Long-Established Definitions and Methodologies

Speaker: Ahmet Abdullah Saçmalı


Ahmet Abdullah Saçmalı entered Boğaziçi University in 2002 and received his Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and History. He completed his first master’s degree in the History department at the same university. Saçmalı, in 2010, joined the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Arizona in the USA and received his second master’s degree from this institution. In 2014, he started his doctoral studies in the School of Government and International Affairs at Durham University in the UK. He received his PhD degree in 2020. While working on his PhD, in 2016, he created LexiQamus, which is an online tool aiming at deciphering illegible words in Ottoman manuscripts. The tool attracted much attention from academic circles all around the world. He continues to work with his team on LexiQamus and other software projects.

Digital humanities have been on the rise for the last decade. Especially, in the last five years, the projects have considerably increased in this field. Prior to the proliferation of the studies, in 2016, we created LexiQamus, a web application with the aim of helping academics and researchers decipher illegible words especially in manuscripts composed in Ottoman Turkish. When LexiQamus was born, there were not many attempts to make use of digital tools in this field. Therefore, back then it was like working on an unplowed field where one was facing with many challenges and making astonishing discoveries at the same time. This process has still been going on. In this talk, I will be discussing both the challenges we faced and how we have been dealing with them. In addition, I will elaborate on the consistent methodology that we have created and to which we stick at all times during the project. Last but not least, I will challenge the long-established definitions as to different forms of Arabic letters and offer a new one. I will end my speech, starting by describing the problems, dilemmas and obstacles, with an optimism and hope, by addressing the possibilities brought by digital humanities.