Dr Catherine Smith

Dr Catherine Smith

Department of Theology and Religion
Research Fellow and Technical Officer
Institute for Textual Scholarship and Electronic Editing

Contact details

Address
ITSEE
Dept. of Theology and Religion
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

I am a Research Fellow and Technical Officer in the Institute for Textual Scholarship and Electronic Editing (ITSEE). I support the online editing tools used within ITSEE and by our collaborators to transcribe texts and produce critical editions. I am also the primary develop of the collation editor, one of the key tools in our workflow. I am interested in the use of computers for text processing and analysis and in the history of humanities computing. I have a particular specialism in XML and related technologies and do most of my development in Python and Javascript.

In 2019 I became a fellow of the Software Sustainability Institute.

Qualifications

  • MSc in Computer Science (Birmingham)
  • PhD in Biblical Studies (Birmingham)
  • MA in Biblical and Theological Studies (Roehampton)
  • BA in Biblical and Theological Studies with Psychology (Roehampton)

Biography

I was introduced to linguistics as a theology undergraduate and specialised in the linguistic analysis of the Greek New Testament in my postgraduate studies. In my PhD thesis I examined the synoptic problem using a model from systemic-functional linguistics. After my PhD I completed an MSc conversion course in Computer Science specialising in language analysis and my career has made the most of these two areas of interest.

I have held several postdoc positions include working on metaphor detection in Computer Science at the University of Birmingham, software development for the Incunabula Short Titles Catalogue, the Archive Hub and Cheshire3 for Corpus Linguistics at the University of Liverpool, and Health communication research, and corpus stylistic analysis of Dickens at the University of Nottingham. In 2011 I came back to Birmingham to work in ITSEE and have been involved in many projects since then. Further details of the projects I have worked on in ITSEE can be found in the research section. 

Teaching

I have taught an MA module on the Electronic Book and co-organised and taught a number of workshops on Python for corpus linguistics I have also been an instructor at a collateX workshop.

In 2019 I will complete my software carpentry instructor training and join the pool of instructors teaching programming skills at the University.

Postgraduate supervision

I co-supervise a number of students working with digital tools or techniques as part of their research. Most of the students are based in ITSEE but I also co-supervise students with members of staff in the wider theology department and in other departments at Birmingham.

  


Find out more - our PhD Theology and Religion  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.

Research

I am currently a member of the research teams for the following projects:

  • CATENA - a five-year project on Greek New Testament commentary manuscripts funded by the European Research Council.
  • Codex Zacynthius - a new edition, transcription and translation of the earliest New Testament catena manuscript using multispectral images.
  • MUYA - a project examining the performance and written transmission of the core ritual of the Zoroastrian tradition, the Yasna.

As a member of ITSEE I have contributed to the following research projects:

  • COMPAUL - a five-year project investigating the earliest Latin and Greek commentaries on the Pauline Epistles as sources for the biblical text funded by the European Research Council. The project examined the commentators' treatment of the biblical text, the manuscript transmission of these works and the re-use of these texts in later writings.
  • The Workspace for Collaborative Editing - an online environment for editing evidence for the text of the New Testament,  developed in Birmingham and Germany.
  • The International Greek New Testament Project - working towards the Editio Critica Maior, the fullest presentation of the evidence for the Greek New Testament.
  • Estoria de Espanna Digital - an AHRC funded project to make a digital edition of Alfonso el Sabio’s most renowned chronicle the Estoria de Espanna.
  • The CLiC Dickens Project - a collaborative project which demonstrates through corpus stylistics how computer-assisted methods can be used to study literary texts and lead to new insights into how readers perceive fictional characters.

Previously I have also contributed to:

Other activities

  • Software Sustainability Institute Fellow 2019
  • Fellow of the Centre for Biblical Linguistics, Translation and Exegesis (McMaster divinity College)
  • Editorial board member of Biblical and Ancient Greek Linguistics.

Publications

Selected Publications

  • Smith, C.J. "Old wine, new wineskins: digital tools for editing the New Testament" in G.V. Allen (ed.) The Future of New Testament Textual Scholarship. (WUNT, 417) Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2019. pp. 407-434.
  • H.A.G. Houghton, C.M. Kreinecker, R.F. MacLachlan, C.J. Smith, The Principal Pauline Epistles: A Collation of Old Latin Evidence. (NTTSD 59). Leiden: Brill, 2019.
  • Mahlberg, M, P. Stockwell, J. De Joode, C.J. Smith & M.B. O'Donnell. "CLiC Dickens – Novel uses of concordances for the integration of corpus stylistics and cognitive poetics" Corpora, 11.3 (2017) 433-463.
  • Smith, C.J., & M.B. O'Donnell. "Computer-Aided Linguistic Analysis for a Single Manuscript Witness: Preparing to Map the Opentext.org annotation" in L. Dow, C. Evans, & A. Pitts (Eds.), The Language and Literature of the New Testament: Essays in Honour of Stanley E. Porter's 60th Birthday. Leiden: Brill, 2016.
  • Houghton, H.A.G., and C.J. Smith, “Digital Editing and the Greek New Testament” in Claire Clivaz, Paul Dilley and David Hamidović (edd.), The Ancient Worlds in A Digital Culture. Washington DC: Center for Hellenic Studies, 2015.
  • Smith, C.J., S. Adolphs, K. Harvey and L. Mullany, ‘Spelling errors and keywords in born-digital data: a case study using the Teenage Health Freak Corpus.’ In Corpora 9.2 (2014) 137–154
  • Mahlberg, M., C.J. Smith, and S. Preston, "Phrases in literary contexts. Patterns and distributions of suspensions in Dickens's novels." International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 18:1 (2013) 35–56.