Learning Community: Pop Culture and Bibliodigigogy in Early Modern England
The Team (Spring 2016)
Stonehill College: Kristen Abbott Bennett, Katie Joy (TA)
University of Victoria: Janelle Jenstad, Kim McLean-Fiander, Kylee-Anne Hingston
This class integrates bibliographic and digital humanities practices to reflect on the 21st Century shift into virtual worlds in the context of popular, generically diverse early modern texts. We will research early modern print culture and collaboratively publish an encyclopedia entry on a selected stationer (pending peer review). We will also learn how to access early modern digital texts and have the opportunity to publish an introduction to one of your own choosing on the Map of Early Modern London website (pending peer review). Additionally, students will dig deeply into bibliographic details of the popular texts we’ll study and move beyond using pre-fabricated web tools to learn the ins and outs of TEI and CSS encoding. In the culminating project, students will collaboratively apply their learning by encoding and publishing a digital text on the Map of Early Modern London website (pending peer review).
What you’ll do:
Work collaboratively with your classmates * Publish your work on the Map of Early Modern London website * Learn how to read early printed texts with wonky fonts * Touch history with your own hands in the Boston Public Library Rare Book and MS Room * Use oXygen XML encoding software to digitize and publish a book online * Think about the intersections of early modern print culture and 21st Century digital cultures * Prepare yourself for the next generation of digital culture studies!
Sequence of Events:
Unit 1: In the Author’s Absence? Early Modern Print Culture
In our first unit, we’ll work with The Stationers’ Register to learn about printing practices in early modern England. We will also go to the Boston Public Library Rare Book and Manuscript Room to work with material books from the period and learn how to conduct document analyses. You’ll learn about the idiosyncrasies in the spelling and formatting of these works – and how they’re not so different from the ways you text, tweet, Snapchat, and Instagram. (In fact, in 1558, “to twit” meant “to taunt” (OED) – makes us rethink our posts, no?). At the same time, we’ll learn how to navigate Early English Books Online, English Short Title Catalogue, British Book Trade Index, Six Degrees of Francis Bacon, and Shakeosphere. Your culminating project will be carefully research and collaboratively write an essay about one stationers’ output for publication on the MoEML site (pending peer review).
Unit 2: Early Modern Pop Culture
Have you heard the hit tune: “A Looking-Glass for Lascivious Young Men”? Well, in this unit, thanks to the English Broadside Ballad Archive, you will! We’ll read rarely studied texts to get a real idea about what people actually read at the turn of the seventeenth-century. In addition to ballads, we’ll read how-to books, pre-Googlemaps directions about the best route from York to London, plus plague and punishment proclamations, and funny laws about wool-winding. For your culminating project, you will write an introduction to a little known text you find using EEBO and edit it carefully for publication on the Map of Early Modern London website.
Unit 3: Thomas Dekker’s “The Wonderful Year” (NOT)
In this unit we’ll read, transcribe, collate, and use TEI and MoEML guidelines to encode Thomas Dekker’s popular pamphlet “The Wonderful Year (1603): Wherein is showed the picture of London ly-ing sicke of the plague” in partnership with our colleagues at the University of Victoria for publication on the MoEML website (pending peer review). At the unit’s close, you’ll write a metacognitive reflection essay about how your encoding experience changed, illuminated, and informed the way you digest digital information.