Free Access to the Women Writers Online for March

February 27, 2017 by
EMOB is following its tradition of announcing free access to WWO for the month of March. The announcement comes from Sarah Connell, Assistant Director of the W0men Writers Project, and this access is a good follow-up to the previous post on Erasures, Recoveries, and the Futures of Women’s Book History :

Women Writers Online (http://wwp.northeastern.edu/wwo/) will once again be free during March, in celebration of Women’s History Month. This collection includes almost 400 texts written and translated by women, first published between 1526 and 1850. For more information on getting started with WWO, please see this post (http://wwp.northeastern.edu/blog/free-march/) on our blog.
In addition to WWO, we also have several publications that are always open-access, including:
  • Women Writers in Review: a collection of almost 700 reviews of and responses to works by the authors in WWO. WWiR is linked with WWO, so that readers can easily navigate between both collections. http://wwp.northeastern.edu/review/
  • Women Writers in Context: a collection of essays exploring topics related to early women’s writing. WWiC provides core background information for the texts in WWO and WWiR, while highlighting shared themes and historical interconnections and helping readers to discover new works by women writers. http://wwp.northeastern.edu/context/
  • Teaching materials: We have recently begun an initiative to partner with faculty on developing assignments and activities using WWO and WWiR. You’ll find more information on our teaching partner program, along with an initial set of assignments here: http://wwp.northeastern.edu/wwo/teaching/pedagogical-dev.html
Please feel free to contact us if you would like more information about WWO or any of the Women Writers Project’s publications.
We hope that you enjoy these collections!
All my best,
Sarah
Sarah Connell
Assistant Director
Women Writers Project
Northeastern University
617-373-3219
wwp@neu.edu
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Review: “‘She Wrote It, But…’: Erasures, Recoveries, and the Futures of Women’s Book History,” November 2016 Symposium, Texas A&M

February 10, 2017 by

Posted on behalf of Kate Ozment. EMOB is grateful to Kate Ozment, doctoral candidate, Department of English, Texas A&M University, and Co-Editor, Women in Book History Bibliography, for the following review.

In November 2016, Texas A&M University hosted a symposium titled “‘She Wrote It, But…’: Erasures, Recoveries, and the Futures of Women’s Book History.” The two-day event included a showcase of women-centered digital projects hosted by the Initiative for Digital Humanities, Media and Culture, and a panel with speakers Margaret J. M. Ezell, Helen Smith, Laura Mandell, and Michelle Levy.

The panel brought together these four scholars to imagine how the intersection of book history and women could shape the future of areas such as material culture, digital humanities, and authorship. The panel’s discussions focused on the issues that stem from gender and materiality: recovery of women, manuscript and print, the place and capabilities of digital projects contrasted against traditional scholarship, and how women fit into book history’s larger historiography. The speakers’ topics clustered geographically in England and spanned chronologically from Early Modern through Romantic. Despite the temporal breadth, there were several threads that wove together to create a picture of the prospects of women’s studies and book history: the reality of increased representation of women’s writing; the possibilities of the archive; and the opportunities that de-centering the author has created for women’s labor.

Exploring the implications of increasing women’s representation was a major theme for both Mandell and Ezell. Mandell (IDHMC at Texas A&M) asked “Eighteenth-Century Women Poets: Were There Any?” The answer is a resounding yes, despite poor representation in older editions of the Norton Anthology, and Mandell’s presentation outlined the women’s editing and reception. Women’s reputations seem to not have saved them from problematic framing, as Mandell noted that the poet Felicia Hemans was actually quite famous while she was being “forgotten.” Discussing her ongoing work with the Poetess Archive, Mandell noted the importance of digital projects in closing the gender gap for access and representation when traditional methods, such as print anthologies, have lagged behind.

This was a similar point for Ezell (Texas A&M), who offered a perspective on how the field has developed as we have increased the volume of women’s writing. Her paper, titled “I Wrote It But … What Was I Thinking?” discussed the shifts in attitude about the inclusion of women from the publication of her The Patriarch’s Wife: Literary Evidence and the History of the Family in 1987. She has seen wholly male reading lists in graduate school evolve into the multiplicity of sources offered by the Orlando Project and Perdita Manuscripts. She also emphasized the challenges that such work will face to avoid cyclical erasure. Ezell has pushed at the limits of the methods feminist scholars have used to recover women writers, and there is significant weight to her call to meld digital repositories and tools with institutionalized scholarship to preserve the longevity of this work.

The materiality of women’s writing and returning to the archive also permeated the panel, emphasized by Levy and Smith in particular. Echoing Ezell’s call to return to the archive without agenda, Levy (Simon Fraser) emphasized that women have remained under-represented in anthologies. Looking at the Romantic period in her paper titled “Why We Need a History of Women’s Books,” she argued that even as women have increased in number, in volume of pages they still lag significantly behind their male counterparts. Levy also returned to Robert Darnton’s classic communications circuit, noting that such abstract models have led to a genderless book history and the belief that bibliographic codes are separate from our gendered history. Building off of the arguments in her article, “Do Women Have a Book History?”, she noted that whereas men have occupied all areas at all times in Darnton’s circuit, women have not, and she calls for further scrutiny of this asymmetry. Often, practices common to women writers such as self-financing collapse areas of the circuit, opening up new questions for how we understand the lifecycle of texts and authorship.

Also picking up classic book history articles, Smith (York) urged us to expand our conceptions of book history scholarship and embrace the “capaciousness” of D. F. McKenzie’s sociology of the text and the ways that the de-centering of the author figure allows us to recover women’s labor. Her paper, titled “Rethinking the Miscellany,” emphasized the uniqueness and diversity of the genre and how it defies easy categorization. Women’s writing often appeared in miscellanies, a term that Smith argues is deceptively orderly for such diverse collections. As compilers and translators, women’s labor is hard to grasp through archival records, but she concludes that their persistence on the margins deserves to be conceptualized more fully.

The second half of the symposium was a Digital Project Showcase, which exhibited some of the databases and digital tools available for work in this area. In addition to demonstrations of Voyant and Gelphi, participants looked through three women-centered digital projects: the Women in Book History Bibliography, edited by Cait Coker and Kate Ozment; the Poetess Archive, edited by Mandell; and Women’s Print History Project, 1750-1836, edited by Levy. The Women in Book History Bibliography is a newer project, launching in May 2016, which collects and curates lists of secondary sources on women’s writing and labor. As of November, it has collected 600 sources organized by time period and subject. Mandell’s Poetess Archive collects work by “poetesses,” defined as category and not a biological marker of the author. The archive hosts more than 4,000 bibliographic records for the years 1750-1900. Lastly, the Women’s Print History Project is an ongoing effort to provide data on women’s participation in print through the Romantic period. All three of these projects use bibliography as a feminist intervention into book history, blending old and new methods to continue to increase access to women’s labor and print.

The symposium was organized by Laura Estill and Margaret J. M. Ezell and sponsored by the Department of English, IDHMC, Women’s and Gender Studies, Glasscock Center for Humanities Research, Early Modern Studies and New Modern British Studies Working Groups, and the Sara and John Lindsey Chair in Liberal Arts.

NEH-Funded KairosCamp Institutes

January 19, 2017 by

EMOB Members who also receive ASECS emails have no doubt already seen this announcement for a new institute series at West Virginia University aimed at providing both authors and editors with the training that will enable them to produce a variety of digital forms of scholarships. That the project is a joint effort of the journal Kairos and the English department and library at West Virginia is especially promising. So too is its targeting of authors and editors. Deadline for proposals is February 15th…

KairosCamp! A Digital Publishing Institute for Authors and Editors
24 July – 4 August 2017

Thanks to a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Digital Publishing Institute (DPI) at West Virginia University is proud to host two sets of institutes for authors and editors in the digital humanities over the 2017-18 academic years. KairosCamp’s goal is to help authors and editors produce digital scholarship in all forms. These workshops aim to help authors and editors build, edit, and maintain digital humanities projects. By offering hands-on workshops, we hope to spread best practices in scholarly multimedia production through sustainable and collaborative publication outlets. Feel free to check out our grant narrative, explaining what-all we have planned!

KairosCamp has been a long-time dream of the editors of Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy, the longest, continuously running scholarly multimedia journal in the world. Kairos celebrated its 20th anniversary on January 1, 2016, and the staff of KairosCamp come from the staff and editorial board members of the journal. These digital writing studies and rhetoric scholars have the most significant amount of expertise when it comes to teaching and mentoring scholars to build scholarly projects grounded in digital media. The Digital Publishing Institute at WVU Libraries and the English Department at West Virginia University are excited to offer, through the generous support of the National Endowment of the Humanities, this first series of KairosCamps.

http://www.kairos.camp

National Endowment for the Humanities

West Virginia University Libraries
West Virginia University English Department
WVU Eberly College of Arts and Sciences

Teaching Digital Computation?

December 28, 2016 by

Suppose one were to ask undergraduates to engage in the most basic of digital computational projects–say measuring the percentage of words used in dialogue in a given novel compared to percentage of words dedicated to narration.  How would one calculate that and what tools are needed?

What other elementary computational exercises might one use in an undergraduate classroom?

Finally, how many of you ask undergraduates to explore digital computation of any kind?  Which digital tools are necessary for such projects?  And how useful is this kind of exercise in the classroom?

Mediate: Identifying the real bestsellers of the 18th century

October 8, 2016 by

EMOB readers may be interested in a new digital humanities project, Mediate, based at Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Funded by the European Research Council, Mediate is headed by Professor Alicia C. Montoya. Through the use of a robustly designed database of library auction catalogs, this multi-component project seeks to develop a new avenue for Enlightenment studies. While prior lenses for studying the Enlightenment have focused on either the canonical, history-of-ideas texts or the forbidden, underground works of the time, Mediate aims to study the middlebrow bestsellers and their overlooked role in shaping the Enlightenment. In doing so, the project seeks to “propose a new conceptual framework that takes as its starting-point the heuristic concept of middlebrow culture” (http://mediate18.nl/?page=home).

As the project’s website explains,”The MEDIATE project is organized in six interrelated subprojects:

  • MEDIATE database construction (Van de Camp)
  • Mapping the field: library auction catalogues, books and their circulation (Blom)
  • Readers: Library owners, reception networks
  • Still to be determined
  • Texts: Sampling religious works
  • Synthesis: Toward a new history of “the” Enlightenment (Montoya)”
    (See Mediate website, “about”)

Not surprisingly, its project partner is Western Sydney University, the new home of Prof. Simmon Burrows and his The French Book Trade in Enlightenment Europe (FBTEE) database that we have previously written about.

Mediate project members have begun to present their work, with this past July seeing a number of demonstrations including at the SHARP 2016 conference in Paris and the Digitizing Enlightenment Symposium at Western Sydney University.

BSECS Prize for Best 18th-C. Digital Resource

September 25, 2016 by

This following announcement from Daniel Cook (University of Dundee) may interest those working on digital resources.

The British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies is pleased to call for nominations for the annual prize for the best digital resource supporting eighteenth-century studies.

The prize is sponsored by Adam Matthew Digital, and is judged and awarded by BSECS.

This prize promotes the highest standards in the development, utility and presentation of digital resources that assist scholars in the field of eighteenth-century studies broadly defined. Nominated resources should meet the highest academic standards and should contribute in one or more of the following ways:

    • by making available new materials, or presenting existing materials in new ways
    • by supporting teaching of the period at university level;
    • by facilitating, or itself undertaking, innovative research.

The prize is intended to benefit the international research community, and the competition is open to projects from any country. Resources supporting any scholarly discipline are eligible. Websites or other resources and projects may be nominated by either creators or users.

They must have been first launched on or after 1 January five years prior to the year in which the prize is awarded. The winner will be announced at the BSECS Annual Conference.

The award of £200 is made annually. The winner is announced at the annual conference in January.

Nominations open: 1st September in any year

Deadline: 13th December in any year

The nomination form and a list of past winners can be found on the BSECS website at: https://www.bsecs.org.uk/prizes-and-awards/

best,
Daniel

Mapping Frances Burney’s Evelina

September 17, 2016 by

Brittany Miller has created an interactive map of France’s Burney’s Evelina using David Rumsey’s 1836 map of London.  Miller’s map may be helpful for those teaching Evelina.  

WWP Intertextual Networks Seeking Collaborators

August 15, 2016 by

Humanities Scholars Interested in Digital Publishing: A National Survey

July 29, 2016 by

This invitation to participate in a national survey and posted on SHARP-L may be of interest to EMOB readers:

Researchers at the University of Illinois are working as part of a scholarly publishing initiative to develop a service model for university libraries that supports scholar-driven, openly accessible, scalable, and sustainable scholarly publishing practices.

You are invited to participate in a national survey of humanities scholars with an interest in digital publishing: https://illinoislas.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_3K81QduAtOFRYaN

In order to develop a service model that meets your needs, we are hoping to learn more about your current publishing practices, your objectives for publishing, and how you consume and want to consume research results.

The survey should take no longer than 30 minutes.

“Understanding the Needs of Scholars in a Contemporary Publishing Environment” is a Mellon-funded initiative, in partnership with the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, and the African American Studies Department at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Find out more about the project.

Outcomes of this research will inform the development of a library-based scholarly publishing service model. Our findings will be disseminated broadly through conference presentations and journal articles within the domains of library and information science, the digital humanities, and scholarly publishing.

Link to survey.

Thank you for your participation!

Questions? Please email research team via Maria Bonn (mbonn@illinois.edu) or Katrina Fenlon (kfenlon2@illinois.edu).

PWW research team:
Aaron McCollough
Megan Senseney
Maria Bonn
Harriett Green
Chris Maden
Katrina Fenlon

Principle Investigators:
John Wilkin
Ronald W. Bailey
Antoinette Burton
Allen Renear

NEH Digging into Data Challenge

May 19, 2016 by

Readers may be interested in the NEH Digging into Data Challenge Grant, which can be found at http://www.neh.gov/grants/odh/digging-data-challenge.  It is designed for projects using large-scale digital analysis.  With a funding ratio of 16%, it’s certainly worth a try.  I would love to hear what sorts of digital analysis projects are underway.

On a separate note, during a recent visit to the Massachusetts Historical Society, currently celebrating its 225th year, I saw “The Private Jefferson” exhibit, which placed digital facsimiles next to original documents.  Viewers could magnify the digitized text so as to better read it.  Jefferson remained as enigmatic as ever, but the exhibit provided a rich conduit into the archival clues to his life.  It was superb.  I would love to hear about how readers use digital technology for teaching or in library exhibits.