English | Professional Scholarship in Literature
L501 | 28051 | Marsh

Professional Scholarship in Literature

4:00p – 7:00p R


This course will be exactly what its title suggests—a hands-on,
practical class squarely aimed at investigating the expanding field
of the Digital Humanities as they impact and intersect with literary
studies, with regard to key activities and skills of our scholarly
lives, current and future: research, editing, teaching, and
professional development.  To take advantage of our backgrounds as
convenors of the course, and our current research and editorial
activities, it will be focused, temporally speaking, on the long
nineteenth century, though the skills we learn and the debates we
join will be of broader use and interest.  The course will also (as
that term “convenors” implies, together with the explosion of
activities in this area) be exploratory and collaborative in

The course will have several components:

1.  A limited but targeted amount of reading, to be undertaken by
the group as a whole, perhaps 12 essay-long items.  These readings
will include reviews of digital scholarly resources (which shall
serve as models for our own practice in undertaking our own
reviews), position papers and reflective essays on issues attending
the assessment of digital work for tenure and promotion (which shall
assist our own final deliberations as to what “best professional
practice” may be likely to be, on the digital front, in the near
future), and broader theoretical investigations.

2.  Conversations and round-tables with digital theorists and
practitioners, to include faculty and staff from the IUB Digital
Libraries Program (including, if possible, metadata specialist Jenn
Riley), the Institute for Digital Arts and Humanities (including, if
possible, current and recent directors Suzanne Lodano and Ruth
Stone), our SLIS Victorianist colleague John Walsh (creator of the
Swinburne project), faculty from our own departments of English and
History (including, if possible, our graduate colleague Adrianne
Wadewitz, a senior editor of Wikipedia), and (with luck) external
speakers such as Professor Laura Mandell (a specialist in eighteenth-
century literature and affiliate of Armstrong Interactive Media
Studies at Miami University of Ohio), and Patrick Leary (a
specialist in the history of the book, the founder of VICTORIA, and
the author of such essays as “Googling the Victorians”).   Some of
our reading will be decided, in collaboration with our visitors, to
inform and energize these conversations.

3.  Most importantly, practical projects aimed at expanding
participants’ digital range and expertise.  These shall include (in
such combinations as seem appropriate, but including items [iii] and
[iv]) three of the following:

(i)	The preparation of a teaching unit on a subject of the
participant’s choice, with regard to whom a broad array of digital
resources are available (eg. William Blake, D.G. Rossetti).

(ii)	The preparation of a professional presentation (such as a
conference paper, website, or essay) using such programs as Zotero,
PowerPoint, Dream-weaver, or MONK.

(iii)	The reviewing of digital resources and sites, both open-
access and commercial (eg. NINES, publications by Adam Matthew).
Our reviews will form one collective resource we take away from the
course—and, perhaps, add to afterwards.

Participation in a “live” digital project—which we hope will give
participants the benefit of combining professional training with a
tangible product/publication.  Two IUB projects are available for
participation.  One is the newly relaunched Victorian Women Writers
Project of the Indiana University Libraries.  With our assistance,
participants will select a 19th-century text (novel, play,
collection of poetry, series of essays) that is out of print and no
longer under copyright, write an introduction to it, and develop a
bibliography to accompany their encoding of the digital text.  The
other project is the Magic Lantern Project—which aims to build a
virtual museum of this neglected but vital medium, drawing (in the
first instance) on the resources of a locally owned and housed
private collection, in collaboration with DLP and the Lilly
Library.  In this case, with our assistance, participants will
develop materials towards the “curating” of specific areas (eg. the
lantern and childhood, Empire, Theatre), and (with luck, during the
period of the course) mount those materials on a development site.