Picture of Peter Robinson

Peter Robinson Dip. Ed., (Monash), M.A. & Ph.D. (Oxford)


Faculty Member in English

Arts 311

Research Area(s)

  • Digital methods for humanities research
  • Scholarly editing
  • Methods for editing and analysis of large manuscript traditions--particularly, application of techniques from evolutionary biology
  • The textual traditions of Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" and Dante's "Commedia"

About me

Peter Robinson is interested in three areas of research: the works of Geoffrey Chaucer; the study of large textual traditions; and the impact of the digital medium on how we communicate with each other. All three intersect in his work on Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, where he uses digital and other quantitative methods to make sense of the more than 80 manuscript and print versions surviving from before 1500. This project has received major funding in Canada and the UK and is approaching completion of transcription of the 30,000 manuscript pages of the Tales. He leads the development of the Textual Communities system for collaborative online editing of texts in many versions.


Book, monographs and equivalents

(Edited) Geoffrey Chaucer.  The Wife of Bath’s Prologue on CD-ROM. The Canterbury Tales Project. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996. [Winner, English Association Beatrice White Prize 1998 for the outstanding publication in medieval and renaissance studies of 1996-7]

(Edited, with Hans Walter Gabler) Making Texts for the Next Century  Special Issue, Literary and Linguistic Computing 15:1, 2000.

(Edited) Geoffrey Chaucer.  The Miller's Tale on CD-ROM.  Leicester, Scholarly Digital Editions, 2004.

(Edited, with C.Larrington) Sólarljóð in Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages, vol VII, Part 1, gen. ed. M. Clunies Ross (Turnhout: Brepols, 2007), pp. 287-357.

SDPublisher: An Electronic Scholarly Publishing System
.  Computer Program.  Open source, 2009. (with A. West and Z. Green)

Textual Scholarship and the Canon. Variants 7. Rhodopi, 2010 (with H. W. Gabler and P. Subacius)

(Technical editor: design and fulfillment) Dante Alighiere. Commedia. A Digital Edition. Ed Prue Shaw. Second Edition. Fondazione Ezio Franceschini (Florence) and Inkless Editions (Saskatoon), 2021.


‘The Phylogeny of The Canterbury Tales.’  Nature 394 (1998): 839. (with A. Barbrook, N. Blake, C. Howe) 

‘Where We Are with Electronic Scholarly Editions, and Where We Want to Be’  Jahrbuch für Computerphilologie Online at http://computerphilologie.uni-muenchen.de/ejournal.html, January 2004. In print in Jahrbuch für Computerphilologie 2004, 123-143.

‘Testing Methods on an Artificially Created Textual Tradition’ Linguistica Computazionale XXIV-XXV (2005) (with C. Macé and P. Baret)

 ‘Current issues in making digital editions of medieval texts—or, do electronic scholarly editions have a future?’ Digital Medievalist 1.1 (2005)  at http://www.digitalmedievalist.org/article.cfm?RecID=6

 ‘Making electronic editions and the fascination of what is difficult’ Linguistica Computazionale XX-XXI (2004), 415-438.

 ‘Current Directions in the Making of Digital Editions: towards interactive editions.’ Ecdotica 4 (2007), 176-190.

'Dante's Monarchia as a test case for the use of phylogenetic methods in stemmatic analysis.' Literary and Linguistic Computing 23 (2008), 443-463 (with: Heather F. Windram, Prue Shaw, and Christopher J. Howe) [http://llc.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/23/4/443]

 ‘Towards a Scholarly Editing System for the Next Decades.’ Lecture Notes in Computer Science: Sanskrit Computational Linguistics. 2009, 346-357. [http://www.springerlink.com/content/a345h3564227x641/?p=5a0b3536535c481a85725b6d4e5cdd61&pi=21 ]

‘What Text Really is Not, and Why Editors have to Learn to Swim.’ Literary and Linguistic Computing 24 (2009), 41-52. [http://llc.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/24/1/41]

'The Ends of Editing'.  Digital Humanities Quarterly. V3n3, summer 2009.  At http://digitalhumanities.org/dhq/preview/index.html

‘Editing without walls’.  Literature Compass. Vol. 7, February 2010, 57-61.

‘Response to Roger Bagnall paper: Integrating Digital Papyrology’.  In J. McGann et al. (ed.) Online Humanities Scholarship: The Shape of Things to Come.  Houston: Rice University Press, 2010. At http://rup.rice.edu/cnx_content/shape/m34325.html.

‘Electronic Editions for Everyone.’ In Willard McCarty (ed.) Text and Genre in Reconstruction. Cambridge: Open Book Publishing. 2010, 145-64.

‘How we have been publishing the wrong way, and how we might publish a better way.’ In Gabriel Egan (ed.) E-Publishing: Politics and Pragmatics. Medieval and Renaissance Text Series. 2010, 139-155.

‘The Phylogenetic Analysis.’ In Prue Shaw (ed.) Dante Alighieri: The Commedia. A Digital Edition. Birmingham: Scholarly Digital Editions and Florence: Sismel, 2010. (with Prue Shaw)





Chaucer Dante Digital humanities editing

Digital methods for humanities research, scholarly editing, methods for editing and analysis of large manuscript traditions (particularly, application of techniques from evolutionary biology); the textual traditions of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and Dante's Commedia