A Bag of Words. Social Perspectives on Scholarly Editing - paper @ Social, Digital, Scholarly Editing, Saskatoon, 12/07/2013
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A Bag of Words. Social Perspectives on Scholarly Editing - paper @ Social, Digital, Scholarly Editing, Saskatoon, 12/07/2013

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The text has long been the nucleus of scholarly editing which, in their print or digital products, serves two goals: establishing the best possible text for transmission and making sure it reaches as ...

The text has long been the nucleus of scholarly editing which, in their print or digital products, serves two goals: establishing the best possible text for transmission and making sure it reaches as many people as possible. This transmissional and communcative function of the scholarly edition is joined by a third one when digital and social editing is applied: engaging. Not the authoritative fixed text of the scholary edition, but the social proces of textual interaction by its participants becomes the centre of social digital editing. This social function challenges the activities of experimental modelling, and reshapes the edition in a multifunctional and multidisciplinary bag of words to be explored by students and scholars.

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A Bag of Words. Social Perspectives on Scholarly Editing - paper @ Social, Digital, Scholarly Editing, Saskatoon, 12/07/2013 A Bag of Words. Social Perspectives on Scholarly Editing - paper @ Social, Digital, Scholarly Editing, Saskatoon, 12/07/2013 Presentation Transcript

  • Edward Vanhoutte Director of Research & Publications, Royal Academy of Dutch Language & Literature Hon. Research Associate, UCL Centre for Digital Humanities Editor-in-Chief, LLC: The Journal of Digital Scholarship in the Humanities (OUP) edward.vanhoutte@kantl.be @evanhoutte Social, Digital, Scholarly Editing – Saskatoon – 12/07/2013 A Bag of Words Social Perspectives on Scholary Editing
  • No edition is more social than the full blown conventional printed scholarly edition
  • No edition is more social than the full blown conventional printed scholarly edition 1. Accessible 2. Clearly targeted audience 3. Explicit
  • 1. Accessible ● Well known technology ● Book shops ● Libraries
  • Myth 1 Digital editions are more accessible
  • Nuances Digital editions are more accessible ● may provide faster accessibility
  • Nuances Digital editions are more accessible ● may provide faster accessibility ● may provide better & direct accessibility to representations of source materials
  • Nuances Digital editions are more accessible. ● may provide faster accessibility ● may provide better & direct accessibility to representations of source materials ● may provide better accessibility for analytical tools
  • More accessible? Only when the digital edition overcomes the problems connected with the technology of reading
  • Conclusion Digital editions do not provide a quantitative higher accessibility than printed editions but a qualitative different accessibility
  • Myth 1 Digital editions are more accessible.
  • 2. Clearly Targeted Audience [implied] ● Domain specialists: ● Fellow textual critics ● Fellow textual/literary scholars ● Students ● Publishing professionals
  • 2. Clearly Targeted Audience ● Different audience = Different type ● Different intent = Different type ● Student edition ● Reading edition ● Facsimile edition → Typologies → Formal orientations of editing
  • 2. Clearly Targeted Audience Problem 1: Digital edition is not a type of edition → 'Most digital scholarly editions were just souped up books' [O'Donnel] [Descriptive Classification Generator – 2007]
  • 2. Clearly Targeted Audience Problem 2: Exploration of technological possibilities replaced Clear articulation of intent and audience → Everything for everyone
  • Nuance Digital editions reach a wider audience than printed editions ● may potentially reach a wider audience
  • Nuance Digital editions reach a wider audience than printed editions ● may potentially reach a wider audience ● Audience ≠ online world ● Audience ≠ pagehits ● Audience ≠ crowd sourcers
  • Conclusion Digital editions reach/attract a different audience And pagehits don't prove anything!
  • Myth 2 Digital editions reach a wider audience
  • 3. Explicit ● Editorial principles ● Citeable text ● Critical apparatus / Record of variants
  • 3. Explicit ● Editorial principles ● Citeable text ● Critical apparatus / Record of variants
  • 3. Explicit Critical apparatus / Record of variants ● Formalized ● Formulized ● Representation of research data ● Account for editorial choices
  • 3. Explicit Critical apparatus / Record of variants ● explicit invitation for engagement with ● The edition ● The editorial choices / the editor ● The text/work ● Peers → Scholarly debate / publications
  • 3. Explicit 2 Problems: ● Economics ● Emotion
  • 3. Explicit Central aim of textual scholarship: Provide the humanities with the foundational data for any sensible statement about texts/works Scholarly edition [functions]: ● Transmissional: establishing the best possible text for transmission over time ● Communicative: make sure it reaches as many people as possible
  • 3. Explicit Problem 1: Economics ● Reduction to meaningful variants only ● Stripping out all scholarly apparatus
  • 3. Explicit Problem 1: Economics ● Reduction to meaningful variants ● Stripping out all scholarly apparatus 'Scholarly editing is a transaction between editor & reader' [Eggert] → taking out the evidence of this transactional act removes the main instrument for engagement
  • 3. Explicit Problem 2: Emotion ● Barbed wire [Mumford] ● Cemetery of variants [Friedhofen – Koopmann]
  • 3. Explicit Cemetery ● Historical function: testimonies of our past ● Social function: places to mourn ● Cultural function: record of meaningful lives ● Esthetic function: place for monumental art
  • 3. Explicit Cemetery ● Historical function: testimonies of our past ● Social function: places to mourn ● Cultural function: record of meaningful lives ● Esthetic function: place for monumental art ● Freely accessible ● Very well organised layout ● Tools: find any tombstone within walking distance
  • 3. Explicit Cemetery ● Confrontational place to engage with life Cemetery of variants ● Confrontational place to engage with the text → But people fear confrontation → Clear best text editions were preferred model for publishers whose main goal is to sell books
  • Myth 3 Communicative and transmissional function is best fulfilled by the clear best text edition
  • Myth 3 Communicative and transmissional function is best fulfilled by the clear best text edition
  • [Social] Digital Edition ● Engaging researchers ● Engaging readers / general public
  • Teleurgang van den Waterhoek [2000] ● User choice of orientation text ● User text/image annotation ● User text/image links ● User link annotation ● Reading paths → Exchangeable between users
  • SGML [TEI] / HyTime ● Hard to produce ● Hard to deliver ● Hard to engage researchers / readers Targeted audience: researchers → False presumption: there is a readership that wants to engage with the edition/text in a social way
  • In Oorlogsnood [2005] ● Calender driven ● No further dynamic user interaction Targeted audience: general public Huge success → 2 editions in print ● Theme: WW I ● Looking up birthday
  • De trein der traagheid [2012] ● Dynamic views on textual archive ● Dynamically generated scholarly ● Full record of variants ● Fully annotated ● Stable citeable edition included Targeted audience: researchers → Request for clear text print edition for general public
  • Correspondence of Stijn Streuvels [2013] 2,500 letters ● Archive: extension to catalogue ● Edition: fully annotated / images / indexed ● Text-base Targeted audience: researchers / general public
  • Correspondence of Stijn Streuvels [2013] → Failed attempt at crowd sourcing ● Profound distrust of amateur editors ● Overvaluation of professional editors
  • Correspondence of Stijn Streuvels [2013] A bag of words ● Corpus of ego-documents ● Exportable subcorpora ● XML files → Analytical tools
  • De Leeuw van Vlaenderen [2012] ● Text-critical reading edition ● Genetic essay ● Selective scholarly apparatus Targeted audience: specialized readers / researchers → Engagement: citations / scholarly debate