Rethinking Digital Editions: A Movable Archive of Readings

Title page of 1596 Quarto
Title page from The Raigne of King Edward III (1596) Copyright: The British Library Board, C.21.c.50, A2r

Books – in the form of tangible, material objects that collect in vertical and horizontal arrangements on my shelves and desks – are my most conspicuous possessions. In the context of my research, which looks at the publication of sixteenth and seventeenth-century history plays, and draws on bibliographic studies and the (affectionately dubbed) ‘New Boredom,’ my attachment to the printed text is perhaps understandable.

I relish the feel, texture, dimensions and physical presence of a printed book, and the ways in which my books contain little histories of my reading experiences. Pages are downturned in the corners and covered in markings and marginalia, recording my thoughts, ideas and tangential observations, many of which I have silently ‘updated’ to improve upon the inarticulate musings of my undergraduate days. Rather than replacing my worn editions, I am still drawn by these old, faded texts bearing layers of comments and providing a context for nostalgic reminiscences, as well as the occasional insight or grimace. Continue reading

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Keynote: Ego-Media – A Group Portrait

who-does-the-internet-think-you-areEds’ note: we chose our inaugural Online Symposium theme ‘Digital Selves’ because we as PhD researchers wanted to think more critically about how we engage with our subjects of study.

We wondered how we were different as researchers because of how we access and create our work: how does working between books and pixels, pens and touchscreens, affect our methods and conclusions? How does being able to look more closely than real life at manuscripts with a pinch and zoom, relying on journal search algorithms over catalogue cards, or using ctrl+F to skim for keywords make our work different to the pre-digital academic?
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Call for Submissions: Digital Selves in Research

Digital Selves in Research // Online Symposium // July 2016
Open for submissions now – 31st May 2016

Do you feel like a machine?
Do you feel like you can’t ‘see’ anymore, but instead ‘scan’?
Has too much scrolling on jstor sent your eyes permanently rolling?
Do you feel like your hands have fused with your keyboard?
When was the last time you went to the library without your laptop?
Can you touch your notes? [1]

Our research combines papers and screens, inks and apps, books and blogs. Our explorations go behind doors and hyperlinks. Our heads are in the clouds and the Cloud. We inhabit spaces digitally and IRL, but sometimes the line between these spaces seems blurred. This has got us thinking: what effect does environment, these processes, have on us as researchers? Are we living in a researcher’s utopia or dystopia?

We invite creative responses to the experience of researching across analogue and digital, between real and virtual worlds. In parallel to our forthcoming print Issue #2: The Researcher’s Notebook, we want to explore how digital spaces and tools shape our thoughts in surprising ways. Continue reading