ENG 5807: Electronic Scholarly Editing
Fall 2012 Course Syllabus

Weekly Schedule of Readings and Exercises


Class Details

Meeting: Tuesdays & Thursdays Room: Williams 225
Time: 12.30-1.45 PM
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Instructor: David L. Gants Office: Williams 316
Telephone: 6I7-379-O987 (Skype) E-mail: dgants(at)fsu.edu
Office Hours: Wednesdays and Thursdays 9.00-10.30 AM or by arrangement

Course Overview

Course Goals. The aim of this seminar is to introduce students to the historical, theoretical, and practical concerns surrounding the preparation of literary databases and electronic scholarly editions. The first thread of inquiry consists of a brief survey of the history of books and book production, focusing especially on the means of textual reproduction and the effect that the physical circumstances of printing had on textual forms. The next thread examines the past 100 years of Anglo-American textual criticism, beginning with the seeds of the New Bibliography and what became known as copy-text editing, then covering the emerging resistance to editorial rationales championed by scholars such as Greg and Bowers and the rise of the current social and collaborative approaches developed by McKenzie and McGann. The final thread of the course investigates the use of emerging digital technologies in the creation of new modes of textual transmission, focusing on the mechanics of reproduction (text mark-up strategies, database structures, and hypertext/hypermedia design) and on the critical theory that emerges from existing forms while simultaneously inspiring new modes. In particular the digital element of the course will concentrate on the creation and manipulation of literary archives using XML and its related technologies (CSS, XSLT, and Schemas). The goal of the course will be a collaborative electronic edition of a work to be chosen by the seminar participants. This course does not presume any prior experience with electronic texts or mark-up, although students should be comfortable using a computer.

Note: Since a substantial portion of your work will involve creating and developing electronic materials, it is highly advisable that you have a personal computer, preferably a laptop. You are encouraged to bring laptops to class.

Course Requirements and Grading Schema.

Primary Texts.We will use four books for this course:

Additional readings will be in the Blackboard Course Library or available through links on our Weekly Schedule.

Recommended Readings. Modern textual criticism is a diverse and contentious field. Students interested in the past 30 years of scholarship and arguments should read the following critical surveys:

Course Policies.