The Materiality of the Digital Text:
At the Intersections of Digital Humanities and the History of the Book

This graduate course will combine theory and praxis as it explores the applications and implications of the field of book history to digital editing and interface design. The course will commence with a general introduction to the theories and practices of the Digital Humanities, including text encoding, markup, and scripting languages, before engaging in a more detailed exploration of the ways in which digital textuality can be informed by our understanding of the insights offered by book historians and textual critics such as D. F. McKenzie, Jerome McGann, Johanna Drucker, and Matthew Kirschenbaum. Evaluation for the course will be based upon a seminar presentation, a book review, an individual course blog, one major research paper, and participation in a digital editing project upon which the seminar group as a whole will collaborate. Some prior understanding of markup languages, scripting, and programme language is, of course, useful, but is not required.

[While parts of this course will resemble in most regards a traditional graduate seminar, about half of the time will be devoted to lab work and praxis: learning and employing markup, code, and interface design. The final project is collaborative in part because the digital humanities is ideologically invested in the idea of collaboration. Blogging is a required component of the course because, similarly, blogging and tweeting are almost obligatory forms of research dissemination in the field.]

Instructor: Mark McDayter
Office: UC 281
Email: mmcdayte@uwo.ca
Phone: (519) 661-2111 x.85784

Seminar Time: Wednesdays, 12:30-3:30pm
Seminar Place: University College 377 (Seminar); University College 186 (Lab)

Required Texts:

Piper, Andrew. Book Was There: Reading in Electronic Times.  Chicago and London: U of Chicago P, 2012.

Vandendorpe, Christian. From Papyrus to Hypertext: Toward the Universal Digital Library. Topics in the Digital Humanities. Trans. Phyllis Aronoff and Howard Scott. Urbana and Chicago: U of Illinois P, 2009.

Additional materials available through Western Libraries and a variety of online open access collections and resources.


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