This reading, though apparently a mere introduction to TEI, proved difficult to digest. Though many terms such as entities, delimiters, and markup language were explained, as I progressed through the reading I had trouble remembering their meanings. I found myself overwhelmed at the little knowledge I have regarding coding, and I hope that perhaps lectures will provide some insight that I did not grasp in the reading. Reading this and finding how little I understood the concepts, I continue to believe that coding is necessary education for the younger generations to have nowadays.
Despite the difficulties, I was able to understand some information we previously discussed in class that applied to TEI markup language. For example, TEI catalogues the actual text and the information about the text, known as meta-information. Therefore, I applied my previous knowledge regarding metadata with this technology of tagging and meta-information in TEI. Some of the twenty-one modules the reading discussed contained different subjects that also made sense when connected to the concepts about metadata that we have discusses previously such as the TEI Header which I believe we will have to tackle when we look at the life histories for our project.
The most interesting part of this reading, however, stems from the history of its standardization because it relates once again back to the notion of rhetoric and its power. Similar to Couch’s outline for his writers in the Federal Writer’s Project, TEI as a standard tagging markup language provides the same rhetorical power for writers. TEI organizes metadata for a text in a standard that is meant to be efficient yet still is under the bureaucratic control of a minority of experts with its creation and adaptation over time. How do we adapt the standard to fit our needs when we tackle the life histories? As we questioned the indigenous ontologies and the more democratic means of documenting native history, how will we document these life histories so that we can claim full authenticity while also making these stories easy to search for future researchers?