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Digital Diversity 2015: Writing|Feminism|Culture

August 25, 2014

This conference may be of interest to many on this list:

Digital Diversity 2015: Writing | Feminism | Culture
Edmonton, Canada, May 7-9 2015
Celebrating the 20th anniversary of Project Orlando

http://digitaldiversity2015.org/cfp/

How have new technologies transformed literary and cultural histories? How do they enable critical practices of scholars working in and outside of digital humanities? Have decades of digital studies enhanced, altered, or muted the project to recover and represent more diverse histories of writers, thinkers, and artists positioned differently by gender, race, ethnicity, sexualities, social class and/or global location?  This conference examines the trajectory of feminist digital studies, observing the ways in which varied projects have opened up the objects and methods of literary history and cultural studies. It marks the twentieth anniversary of the start of the Orlando Project, an ongoing experiment in digital methods that produces Orlando: Women’s Writing in the British Isles, from the Beginnings to the Present (orlando.cambridge.org). Alongside pioneering projects such as the Women Writers Project, the Corvey Project, the Dickinson Electronic Archives, the Perdita Project, and the Victorian Women Writers Project, Orlando blazed a new path in the field, bringing together feminist literary studies with emerging methods of digital inquiry.  These twenty years have witnessed a revolution in how we research, produce, and circulate knowledge. It is time to reflect upon the impact of the digital turn on engagement with the literary and cultural past.

We welcome presentations that will together reflect on the past, present, and future of digital literary and cultural studies; examine synergies across digital humanities projects; and stimulate exchanges across such fields as literary history, history, art history, cultural studies, and media studies.

Potential topics include:

    • Transformations and evaluations of feminist, gender, queer and other recuperative literary studies
    • Digital manifestations of critical race studies, transatlantic/transnationalist or local/community-based approaches
    • Collaborations between digital humanities specialists and scholars in other fields
    • Born-digital critical and creative initiatives in cultural history (journals, blogs, electronic “branch” projects, crowdsourcing, multi-media, and interactive projects)
    • Editorial initiatives, digitization and curation of primary texts, representation of manuscripts and the writing process
    • Inquiry into texts, networks, and historical processes via visualization and other “distant reading” strategies
    • Authorship and collaboration: the work of women and other historically marginalized writers, traditional models of scholarship, and new conditions of digital research and new media
    • Sound and sight: sound and visual arts studies in digital environments
    • Identities and diversity in new media: born-digital arts in word, sound, and image, in genres including documentaries, blogs, graphic novels, memoirs, hypertexts and e-literature
    • Conditions of production: diversity in academia, publishing, library, information science, or programming, past and present
    • Cultural and political implications of particular tools or digital modes of presentation
    • Pedagogical objectives, practices, environments
    • Dissemination, accessibility, and sustainability challenges faced by digital projects
The conference will include paper/panel presentations as well as non-traditional presentation formats. Please submit abstracts (500 words for single paper, poster, or demonstration, and 1500 words for panels of 3 papers or workshops) along with a short CV for each presenter. We are applying for funding to support the participation of students and emerging scholars.

We welcome proposals for other non-traditional formats. Half- to full-day workshops will be held on the first day of the conference; demonstrations and poster presentations will be embedded in the conference program. Proposals for workshops should provide a description, outline, and proposed schedule indicating the length of time and type of space desired.

The deadline for all proposals is 15 September 2014. Submit proposals by email, to digdiv2015@gmail.com. Follow us on Twitter @digdiv2015.

Folger Digital Texts Now Online (and Other March Announcements)

March 15, 2014

This month has already seen a number of news items of potential interest to EMOB readers including Gale-Cengage’s announcement that will it offer STEM e-books from Springer and Elsevier (a potentially potent nexus of publishing forces in the subscription database world) as part of its Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL) and that it is launching a Proprietary Monograph Publishing Program; free access in March to Orlando: Women’s Writing Online that Anna announced here a few days ago; and a note from Dr. Ian Christie-Miller about digital imaging resources he has been developing and the interest it has received in the UK.

Just this week the Folger announced that all 38 of its digital texts of Shakespeare’s plays are now available, free of charge, online. As the homepage’s title Timeless Texts, Cutting-Edge Code suggests, a key feature of these texts is the robust coding that one can freely download. Besides the meticulously executed TEI-compliant XML structure of these plays, the texts are also attractively designed for reading as this opening of All’s Well That Ends Well illustrates. This page also displays the useful digital paratexts accompanying each work. Barbara Mowat and Paul Werstine offer a brief Textual Introduction to the site.

We would like to hear from others about how they are using this new resource–both in terms of its texts and the source code.

Women Writers Resources Free Access During March

March 1, 2014

Readers will be interested in Julia Flanders’ announcement that Women Writer’s Online will be free and open to the public during March.  WWO can be accessed by clicking here or by going to http://www.wwp.brown.edu.

Orlando will also be free and open to the public during March.  Orlando can be accessed by clicking here or by going to http://orlando.cambridge.org,

Gale Cengage Announces Essay Contest Winners

February 5, 2014

The results of the Fall 2013 Gale Cengage SUNY-wide essay competition are in.  Three awards were given: 1 for the best graduate essay ($500); 1 for the best undergraduate essay using ECCO ($250); and 1 for the best undergraduate essay using NCCO ($250).  Essays were read by an independent judge.

The winners are

Erin Annis, “The Scotch Intruders”: The Political Context for Scottish Integration into the Eighteenth-Century British Empire

HIST 600 Research Seminar, SUNY Binghamton (Dr. Douglas Bradburn)

Stephanie Boutin, “True Victorian Womanhood and Manhood”

ENG 316 Victorian Nonfiction & Poetry, SUNY Plattsburgh (Dr. Genie Babb)

Christy Harasimowicz, “Samuel Richardson’s Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded: Justification of Masculine Activity and the Avenue to Virtue”

ELIT 287 From Romance to Gothic, SUNY Oneonta (Dr. Jonathan Sadow)

Congratulations to all who submitted essays.

Using ECCO in the Undergraduate Classroom: Reviewing Gale Cengage’s Trial Access

December 21, 2013

Gale Cengage gave SUNY schools a great opportunity this semester by offering free trial access to ECCO, Burney, and NCCO.  I, for one, learned a lot from working with undergraduates in my Gothic Novels course as they searched ECCO for relevant material for their final research papers.  Those papers were mixed, with some outstanding essays and some less successful attempts.  I  summarize my experience below:

  • ECCO must be part of a strong digital collection in order to be fully usefuL.  Spotty digital holdings make using ECCO difficult.  For instance, without a subscription to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, new users find it difficult both to identify the author of a lesser known work and to assess that work’s historical or literary significance.
  • Using ECCO requires both competency with secondary sources and access to those sources.  Though some students used many secondary sources, even ordering books on interlibrary loan, many were more timid about using JSTOR and Project Muse than I anticipated.  Now that we purchase almost no books, galvanizing interest in scholarly books feels more difficult.  Am I imagining this?
  • Using ECCO was great for new critical readings.  My students wrote lively and insightful papers using the search function to demonstrate the significance of words, phrases, or images in a given text.  The search function, however imperfect, helped students “read” more attentively.
  • Using ECCO posed significant challenges for historical readings–ironically the very readings that would theoretically most benefit from such a resource.  I prepared handouts, explained key historical moments and figures, and discussed competing approaches to these novels, but finally students required written accounts of contexts that they could study on their own.  Printing excerpts from secondary sources, particularly secondary sources that provided differing points of view helped.  The take away: students using ECCO would benefit from a textbook/anthology that clustered primary and secondary sources and provided suggestions for further reading  in ECCO. This seems like a productive printing possibility.

Some found ECCO a chore; others liked it; some quietly noted that it grew on them.  All of them acquired an appreciation for the vastness and richness of the archive at their fingertips.  Most felt students should have access to it. Using ECCO stretched us all as readers and interpreters of eighteenth-century texts, never something to be dismissed.

Getting Students Started on ECCO

October 7, 2013

Our SUNY experiment using ECCO (and, in other courses, NCCO) has begun.  The initial difficulty was getting students to use ECCO.  To that end, I designed the introductory exercise listed below, which resulted in thoughtful papers that often used proximity and wildcard searches.  Best of all, not only do students seem more comfortable using ECCO after completing this exercise, they also are more attuned to Radcliffe’s craft.

The assignment is designed for an undergraduate class on the Eighteenth-Century Gothic Novel.

I would love to hear about other successful exercises or assignments using ECCO, NCCO, or Burney, especially exercises asking students to study historical contexts.

Word Searching in ECCO (Eighteenth-Century Collections Online)

Due:                  Monday, 7 October, in class.

Length:            1 page, typed and double-spaced

  1. Go to the Feinberg Library home page
  2. Click on “Find Articles”
  3. Click on “Databases by Subject”
  4. Click on “English/Literature”
  5. Click on “Eighteenth-Century Collections Online”
  6. Do a title search for “Romance of the Forest” with “1792” as the date [it was published in 1791, but the earliest edition ECCO has is the 2nd edition, published in 1792].
  7. Note that each of its three volumes comes up as a different book; each volume will need to be searched for the word you select.
  8. Select a word that seems important to the novel: “forest,” “romance,” “labyrinth,” “asylum,” “tears,” “door,” “hidden,” “fear,” “beauty,”
    “prayer,” “road,” “convent,” “reason,” “rational,” “imagination,” and so forth.
  9. Do a word search for every occurrence of that word in each volume.  Remember that words with “s” might need false searches: “case,” for example, requires a search for “cafe.”  Consider synonyms.  Consider alternate spellings of words.
  10. When necessary, look up the eighteenth-century meaning of words in the Oxford English Dictionary, also available on the Feinberg Library English Department web site.
  11. Write a brief (1 page) account of the role of that word in Radcliffe’s narrative, in her construction of character, in her construction of tone, or in other key aspects of her artistry.

Searching Guidelines

Truncated searches:

*            A search for “poet*” searches for words with “poet” as the root: “poet,” “poetic,” “poetess,” “poetical,” “poets,” etc.

?            A search for “wom?n” calls up “women” and “woman”

!            A search for “nun!” calls up “nun,” “nuns,” “nunn,” “nune”

Proximity searches:

A search for “ladies n6 asylum” calls up texts with “ladies” and “asylum” within 6 words of one another.

A search for “ladies w6 asylum” calls up texts with “ladies” appearing within 6 words before “asylum”

An Information Literacy Pre- and Post-Assessment for a Research-Intensive Undergraduate Class Using Primary Sources

August 21, 2013

Hi folks,

This is Dave Mazella, posting a follow-up to Anna and Eleanor’s previous discussion of teaching with ECCO. As we talked about pedagogical strategies for including ECCO in eighteenth-century courses, the question arose of how one might assess these kinds of activities and their impact on student learning.

Julie Grob, a UH special collections librarian and a collaborator of mine, has generously agreed to share this IL pre-course assessment that she designed for a research-intensive course we developed together. This kind of assessment, taken at the beginning and end of the semester, can help you assess the impact of a semester’s work in primary sources.  These questions were administered through surveymonkey.

The background to the course can be found in this co-written article we published in portal, a scholarly library journal available on JSTOR and Project MUSE. Julie developed these questions as we both worked through the ACRL Research Competency Outlines, which were very helpful for designing both assignments and assessments.

***

 

1.

  • Have you previously taken ENGL 3301, Introduction to Literary Studies? [this is my Intro the Major course, which includes some work in Spec Collections]
  • Have you ever visited Special Collections, either with a class or on your own? If the former, for which class?
2. From the answers below, which is the best definition of primary sources?
  • materials from the 18th century only
  • the first sources you should look at when doing your research
  • sources that contain contemporary accounts of an event, written by someone who experienced or witnessed that event
  • any sources held by a library, regardless of format

3. From the answers below, which is the best definition of secondary sources?

  • any materials held by a library that are not rare
  • sources that are not relevant to your particular research
  • sources that interpret an event, written by someone at least one step removed from that event
  • any materials that were published after the 18th century

4. What kinds of materials are found in the UH Libraries’ Special Collections? (Please check any that apply).

  • old books
  • new books
  • journals/magazines
  • newspapers
  • maps
  • letters
  • documents
  • photographs

5. How would you find out if a book about Benjamin Franklin is located in Special Collections?

  • Come to Special Collections and look at the paper card catalog
  • Come to Special Collections and wander through the book stacks
  • Search for books about Benjamin Franklin in the library catalog, then “limit” your search to Special Collections
  • Search for Benjamin Franklin under “archival finding aids” on the Special Collections website

6. Which of the following are common features of an 18th century book? (Select four).

  • printed on vellum (animal skin)
  • printed on paper
  • bound in leather
  • bound in colorful bookcloth
  • illustrated with engravings
  • illustrated with photographs
  • words have a “long s”words have a “double y”

7. What kind of source would be most important for a scholar to consult if he or she wants to do original research (that is, research that creates new knowledge in their field)?

  • an electronic source
  • a primary source
  • a secondary source

8. Which of the following databases would be most useful for finding articles about literature? (Select three).

  • ERIC
  • JSTOR
  • MLA
  • Philosopher’s Index
  • Project Muse
  • PubMed

9. If you search one of the Library’s electronic databases using a keyword and get back 500 hits, how might you most effectively change your search to get back a more manageable number of results?

  • use a totally different keyword
  • add a second keyword
  • do a keyword search using Google instead

10. Where are you most likely to find accurate information about a famous person from the 18th century?

  • Wikipedia (web site)
  • MLA (database)
  • Dictionary of National Biography (database)

We used this as part of our documentation of student learning for the SACS QEP, which helped fund the acquisition of some special collections material for the course.

DM

Free Access to Orlando during the Month of March

March 22, 2013

In honor of Women’s History month, Cambridge University Press’s Orlando: Women’s Writings in the British Isles from the Beginnings to the Present is offering free access during March. Orlando “provides entries on authors’ lives and writing careers, contextual material, timelines, sets of internal links, and bibliographies. Interacting with these materials creates a dynamic inquiry from any number of perspectives into centuries of women’s writing.”

To gain access, the login is womenshistory2013, and the password is Orlando.

EEBO Interactions Ends

March 11, 2013

EEBO Interactions, the web site that fused social networking and digital bibliography, is shutting down at the end of March 2013.

ProQuest’s decision to decommission EEBO Interactions should come as no surprise.  If traffic indicates success, the site received too little to certify its academic or commercial value.   The small core of contributors who worked brilliantly and doggedly to improve bibliographic entries was not enough to prove that value.  Why should it be?  In a world where crowd-sourcing promises instant and free correction, EEBO Interactions‘ small stream of corrections proved too little and too slow.

Nevertheless, the decision to shut down EEBO Interactions is a disappointment because it ends a promising and visionary venture on ProQuest’s part.  Proquest accomplished at least two great things.  First, it offered a rare joint venture uniting academic and commercial worlds.  Second, it conjured up the first bibliography to offer relational cataloging.  If this  iteration of that vision  did not quite take off, it is to be hoped that later iterations will.  Traffic may be one indication of success, but vision is another.

As an editor for EEBO Interactions, I would like to thank EI‘s contributors.  They are a special group of readers, experts willing to put time into a promising experiment.  I have told Stephen Brooks that I would ask emob readers what EEBO Interactions could have done to encourage traffic or otherwise improve.  What might a second iteration include or not include?  Is an unedited, crowd-sourced version of EEBO that runs parallel to EEBO the way to go for such interactions?  Or is an ESTC-led editorial board the way?  An option in between these two poles?

One note of caution.  Anyone interested in preserving information recorded on EEBO Interactions should download material before the end of the month.   ProQuest will save material contributed to EI in some form, but it will be difficult  to access.

Those interested in correcting EEBO entries in the future will want to use http://eebo.chadwyck.com/about/webmaster.htm, or click here.

English Broadside Ballad Archive (EBBA at UCSB)

February 25, 2013

This is the second of a two-part series on free digital archives featuring English ballads.  It follows Eleanor’s discussion of the JISC-funded Broadside Ballad Initiative at Oxford.

The University of California at Santa Barbara has created a free digital ballad collection called The English Broadside Ballad Archive (EBBA), which provides access to more than 8,000 seventeenth-century ballads.  The collection includes ballads from the Pepys Collection, the Roxburgh Collection, the Euing Collection, and the Huntington Library.  EBBA is directed by Patricia Fumerton at UCSB.  This project was supported by the N.E.H.

Individual entries provide links to  sheet facsimiles, facsimile transcriptions, and often recordings.  These features facilitate introducing students both to ballads’ visual details–ornaments, woodcuts, columned verse–and to their tunes.

Cataloging is full and includes the following:

EBBA ID: An internal identifier. Each individual ballad in the archive has a unique EBBA ID.

Title: A diplomatic transcription of the ballad title as it appears on the ballad sheet. The title consists of all ballad text before the first lines of the ballad, including verse headers but excluding text recorded elsewhere under other catalogue headings (such as the license or author, date, publisher and printer imprints).

Date Published: The year—or, in most cases, range of years—during which EBBA believes the ballad to have been published. See Dates.

Author: The recognized author of the ballad in cases where an indication of authorship has been printed on the ballad or, in the case of Pepys ballads, when Weinstein has identified an author from external sources (e.g., Wing, Rollins).

Standard Tune: The standardized name for the melody (according to Claude M. Simpson or other reliable sources). Clicking the standard tune name will return all ballads with the same melody, including alternate tune titles.

Imprint: A diplomatic transcription of the printing, publishing, and/or location information as it appears on the ballad sheet.

License: A diplomatic transcription of the licensing or permission information as printed on the ballad.

Collection: The name of the collection to which the ballad belongs. In cases where the ballad is not part of a named collection, the name of the holding library plus “miscellaneous” will appear. For example, Huntington Library ballads that are not part of a collection are grouped as “HEH Miscellaneous.”

Sheet/Page: For ballads that are collected as independent sheets, the citation page displays the word “Sheet” and lists the sheet number given to it by its holding institution (usually part of its shelfmark). For ballads bound in a book, the citation page displays the word “Page” and lists the page number within the bound volume.

Location: The name of the holding institution.

Shelfmark: The shelfmark assigned by the holding institution.

ESTC ID: The Citation Number for the English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC). Use this number to find the full ESTC citation for any given ballad at http://estc.bl.uk/.

Keyword Categories: The keywords from EBBA’s standardized keyword list that relate to the ballad’s theme and content.

Notes: Clarify potential areas of confusion for users, such as ballads that have print on both sides of a sheet.

MARC Record: A link to our MARC-XML records

Additional Information: Information specific to each part of the ballad.

Title: Separate titles for multi-part ballads.

Tune Imprint: Tune title(s) as printed.

First Lines: A diplomatic transcription of the first two lines of the ballad text proper, below any heading information included in the title or elsewhere under other catalogue headings.

Refrain: Repeated lines at the end of or within ballad stanzas.

Condition: Description of ballad sheet damage and the current state of the sheet. (This information is from Weinstein and is currently for the Pepys collection only.)

Ornament: A list of decorations made of cast metal that appear on the ballad. Frequently used to fill empty spaces in the forme and/or to delimit parts of the ballad text, these ornaments include vertical rules, horizontal rules, and cast fleurons. (This information is from Weinstein and is currently for the Pepys collection only.)

Ballad scholars working with EEBO or ECCO will be familiar with the difficulty of finding ballads, making English Broadside Ballad Archive and Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads necessary.

Together with new printed resources, such as Patricia Fumerton and Anita Guerrini’s Ballads and Broadsides in Britain, 1500-1800 (Ashgate 2010) and Angela McShane’s Political Broadside Ballads of Seventeenth-Century England: A Critical Bibliography (Pickering & Chatto 2011), these digital resources provide a robust and growing archive  for the systematic study of a format whose transiency may have discouraged such studies in the past.


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