Keystone DH 2017 has ended
Now in its third year, Keystone DH is an annual conference and a network of institutions and practitioners committed to advancing collaborative scholarship in digital humanities research and pedagogy across the Mid-Atlantic.
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Thursday, July 13 • 11:15am - 12:30pm
#s1c Digital Studies

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Collaborative Notes for Session (add your own thoughts!)

Documenting the Creative Process (Tim Gorichanaz)

Genetic (from "genesis") criticism is a branch of textual scholarship that seeks to disentangle and reconstruct authors' creative processes, which it does through analyzing drafts, manuscripts, and correspondence. One of the fruits of this inquiry is the digital scholarly edition, which benefits from the hyperlinking capabilities of digital technology (for a sample, see http://www.digitale-edition.de/vlet_interesting.html). In this paper, I offer a conceptual analysis of the digital scholarly edition as a genre, highlighting its affordances and constraints. To date, scholarly editions have only dealt with text documents. However, as visual and other non-textual forms of documents are beginning to predominate, genetic criticism has the opportunity to trace the genesis of film, paintings, interactive digital art, and more. Some recent French work has explored music composition and painting through genetic criticism, but there are not yet online systems akin to digital scholarly editions for these forms. To be sure, online tools that allow scholars to trace the creation process of non-text documents may require different features than for text documents. Based on a study of the process of contemporary artists creating drawn and painted self-portraits, I present some of the experiential features that such "editions" may need to show, and I discuss some technical solutions that may lead to their realization.  

The Personal Computer as Archival Artifact and Collection (Chelsea Gunn)
In recent years, Emory University and the University of California, Los Angeles have been recognized for their work preserving and providing access to the born-digital papers of Salman Rushdie and Susan Sontag, respectively. While the contents of each of these collections are significant in their own rights, the means by which they have been made available to researchers has been of particular interest. In both instances, born-digital materials are presented not only through finding aids and searchable databases, but through emulations of the writers’ original computing environments. The physical computers used by the creators are also maintained and sometimes exhibited publicly by the collecting institutions. These modes of access allow researchers to view records through the same visual interfaces used by the record creators, providing access both to records and to more interactive, affective experience. In my paper, I explore the archival functions of the personal computer as both artifact and collection of records, taking into account the work of archival and humanities scholars who have addressed the informational and artifactual values of personal computers and computing environments in general, and those of literary figures in particular. By considering the affordances and constraints of providing access to the emulated interfaces of figures like Rushdie and Sontag within the broader context of the history of personal computing, my paper suggests that archival artifact-collections such as these are specific to a period of time after the adoption of the personal computer and prior to the advent of increasingly cloud-based computing, and identifies implications for professional archival practice.

World Wide Writing: Digital Humanities Meets World Literature (Christian Howard)
Technology has profoundly changed global networks and literary systems. Indeed, writers have begun using technology as an integral part of their storyworlds, thereby transforming both the role of the writer and the role of the reader/user. The twitter fiction and Instagram narratives created by Teju Cole, for instance, are dependent upon collaboration between author and reader for their creation. For his Twitter story, “Hafiz,” Cole relied upon 31 of his friends to tweet out parts of the story, which he then retweeted in order to compile the story as a whole. Cole states: “‘Hafiz’ was a small attempt to put a number of people into a collaborative situation, to create a ‘we’ out of a story I might simply have published in the conventional way.” While scholars such as N. Katherine Hayles, Espen Aarseth, and Marie-Laure Ryan have already begun to examine this new kind of technological literature, they approach this literature from narrative, material, and modal perspectives. Yet digital spaces are increasingly used as collaborative publishing platforms that are not bound by economic, national, or linguistic boundaries. The global reach of digital and technological advancements is thus defining an alternative structure of globality that is divorced from national and cultural borders, and that has profoundly altered the shape of the reading public along socioeconomic and generational lines. Using Teju Cole’s experimental work as exemplar, my paper will thus focus on how what I am preliminarily calling “born-digitally-global” literature (to riff off Kirshenbaum and Walkowitz) necessitates a worldwide audience that is defined not by nation but by particular online or digital communities. My paper will confront how changes in technological literature are creating an alternative structure of globality that fundamentally relies upon collaboration.


Tim Gorichanaz

PhD Candidate, Drexel University

Chelsea Gunn

PhD Student, University of Pittsburgh

Christian Howard

PhD Candidate, University of Virginia

Thursday July 13, 2017 11:15am - 12:30pm EDT
Franklin Chemical Heritage Foundation