This will be far from a comprehensive post about the topics in the title – and how could it be! But I want to share my two cents on the issues at hand against the backdrop of the current debate. Drawing from my own experience and my own research and teaching projects.

Last year I decided to move all my projects to GitHub. GitHub was originally a platform for developers and before I took my first Software Carpentry course in early 2016 I had never heard anything about it. Since I am not a developer (at least: I don’t see myself as such), it didn’t come naturally to me to use GitHub for much else than keeping track of a couple of projects from the field of digital humanities I thought were cool and creating the occasional ‘guacamole recipe’ or ‘moon base’ repository when learning and teaching versioning with git and GitHub with The Carpentries.

I don’t remember exactly when it happened – or what triggered the decision, but at some point I decided to embrace GitHub as a platform not just for storing my few attempts at coding with Python but as a home for all of my research and finally ‘moved’ all my stuff there. Which also means spreading it out in the front of the world: in all its unfinished, unpolished, fragmented, interrupted, re-written, edited, occasionally aborted and often halted, and eventually finished and published state.

Since my background is in the humanities, my research has been mainly about gathering historical texts, reading and analysing them, and then publishing articles, chapters, or books about them. Not much of this is suitable for being ‘put online’, if not for copyright issues then mainly because it is too many too large files which are not machine-readable and will result in too large repositories that few other researchers will have use of but me. And since ‘open science’ hasn’t been much of a thing in the humanities, releasing my research data (texts in various stages of ‘old’) hasn’t been seen as necessary or even recommended. Also: who wants to store all this stuff, and where? If it’s available in digital form, it’s usually libraries which offer some form of access and thus, I don’t need to re-publish it. If it’s in analogue form (which, unfortunately, most of my research material is…), I am simply not allowed to make a digital copy and put it just anywhere online. Or, if copyright isn’t the issue, it is webspace (which I don’t want to pay for to have an abundance of) and accessibility (just putting it somewhere isn’t helpful if you want it to be easily findable and re-usable).

So, I came up with the following workflow for research projects:

Zotero Reference Manager

All reference material – as well as source material in textual form – will be collected, stored and maintained with Zotero. For those who don’t know this: Zotero is awesome! Not only does it allow to grab bibliographical data from the web and extracts metadata from uploaded pdfs, it also lets you tag and categorise the items and create sophisticated queries. Apart from being easily integrated into your word processor of choice of Google Docs! It can also be used with a couple of analytical plugins, for example doing topic modelling by using the Zotero-Voyant-plugin or doing a form of citation network analysis using ZotNet. – The best part is: you can publish your references as a (curated) bibliography and share it online! Which makes the often invisible part of a research project not only visible (and thus opens up for critique) but easily re-usable. When you are done with your research project, someone else might want to carry on and can build on your collections. I’ve been doing this for my book historical project “Ethica Complementoria” as well as for the “Norwegian Correspondences” multi-partner project and will release the mega bibliography I created for my Ph.D. dissertation on modern German textual scholarship alongside its open access publication after some necessary editing.

GitHub

On GitHub, the research project will be hosted. This includes for example all files that I create for the digital edition of the Ethica Complementoria, all style sheets for later publication in the open access repository “Deutsches Textarchiv” but also the .xml versions of my book on the transmission of the Ethica and other digital publications. It will, in addition, contain scripts for analysing texts and other data sets. For the Norwegian Correspondences project, the data is stored in .xml files as well as in .csv files – which, for now, are also hosted on GitHub. In addition, there’s schema files here too for creating structured data sets. The repositories for the drama network analysis project I contribute to DraCor (IbsDraCor and NorDraCor) only contain XML TEI P5 encoded texts of Norwegian dramatic texts that will be integrated into a larger corpus. The repository of my project on Medieval Religious Plays contains a couple of jupyter notebooks where I develop code for doing network analysis with Python and store network data in different data formats.

These projects are pretty much all “works in progress”. I would have developed them on my local machine and only once they were finished I would have sent them on for publication. I will not do this any more. Everything I do, I will develop openly – be it on GitHub, GitLab or some other platform. Because most of my projects never got any funding I have to work on them on weekends and in my free time – or during vacation. It means they will take significantly longer than a funded project would take, where you can dedicated 100% of your work time and resources to it. It also means that they are always in danger of never being finished: because time runs out, energy is depleted or one has simply moved on. But why throw the research that has been done until then into the trash bin? If I cannot finish a project – perhaps someone else can? That’s why I share it online so that people can pick it up – or contribute with their time and effort.

Academic Blogging

Another outlet for my research has been blogging. Initially, I had been very sceptical of blogs; that was, before I learned about academic blog platforms like Hypotheses.org. Hypotheses is a fantastic outlet for smaller research publications as well as it can serve as a “face” of your project and a place to share information about the status quo. I’ve been starting my first academic blog on Hypotheses in 2014 to accompany my digital edition project Ethica Complementoria. I had hosted a website for this project on my own domain since 2012 but decided to move to a curated platform that not just indexes each blog and website but also archives everything and has an editorial board actively maintaining and promoting quality contributions. Hypotheses has a variety of search functions that make a blog easily findable and since it is a such a vast platform, it is likely the first place where someone would look for a research blog. Another benefit is that with having a weblog on Hypotheses one isn’t connected to an institution. In the age of fixed-term contracts and academic nomadism, I wouldn’t want to publish my blogs on an institutions website that I will loose all editing rights once my contract has expired. Hypotheses is independent of this and it doesn’t exclude independent researchers without institutional affiliations either. Since 2014, I have been creating another thematic weblog for my digital humanities interests and projects, called Digital Textology and I have been creating and using another weblog for my master seminar on Digital Humanities at the University of Oslo in spring 2018.

Twitter, Google+ etc.

In addition to all the above, I have been using Twitter and Google+ for sharing milestones and publications. I’ve joined (academic) Twitter in July 2012 at the International Conference for Digital Humanities in Hamburg, Germany, after witnessing almost all scholars there using it. Mainly for sharing news about research, publications, but also following along conferences, workshops, seminars and panels when one cannot be physically present. I’ve since established quite the network, following conversations in Norway, Germany, and the English speaking world, with the occasional French, Spanish, Russian and Japanese tweet in between.

I also have a social media account on Google+ which I rarely use but nevertheless share my blog posts on. I has created some traffic on my blogs, though, which I count as a success in reaching audiences. It’s a strictly professional profile though and serves mainly as a point of entry with links to my personal website, blogs and research platform profiles.

Research Gate, GoogleScholar etc.

Having been an early user of Academia.edu and Mendeley and other, much less known platforms due to my status as independent researcher, I have been following the trail of academic nomads making their camp here and there. I like the option of not just sharing some professional information about myself and creating another point of entry for an audience for my research but also sharing papers and other publications online. We have the same problem here that we have with institution hosted websites: once your contract has expired and you’re forced to move on, you loose access to your university repository. Sure, all the papers and articles that you archived there while you were working at said institution are still there, but keeping some form of personal collection of research publications in one place is not possible this way. Self-hosting is another option, but – in my view – might make it harder for your audience to find what they are looking for because they will not look on your personal website. So I’ve been using ResearchGate now for all of my publications even though not all have pdfs or other files attached. I use GoogleScholar little, but take a peek at my citations semi-regularly (it’s bad at tracking citations in print-only or paywalled publications, who would have thought!). I also have an ORCID profile – and lately joined Zenodo (where you don’t have a profile, but can archive your stuff!). I’m not 100% happy with any of these, and will likely move on to something else when the cons outweigh the pros.

Unlike, for example, the bio sciences, the humanities have not yet established a culture of online archiving and sharing of (pre-)publications on platforms like arXiv or biorXiv and our publication habits are still strongly attached to print culture and publishing houses. The digital humanities have opened this up a bit, but are far from embracing open access fully.

Conclusion

So, what’s the conclusion? I believe that research should be shared openly. From the perspective of the public institution, I don’t think I have to repeat the arguments for fully embracing open science and open data. This has been done ad nauseam and there’s hardly anything that serves as a substantial and strong counter argument. As for research conducted by private companies and other non-publicly funded institutions: I don’t know. I think it depends on a number of variables and decisions cannot be made without taking these variables into account. It is also something I have very little knowledge about or insight into, so I leave it at that. When it comes to the individual researcher though, I would urge them to share as much of their research as openly as possible. Without an institutional affiliation it is already hard enough to get resources and access to academia. Without affiliations it can be extremely hard to “get in”, that is: getting published or even considered for publication, attending conferences etc. Sharing your research openly increases your and your research’s visibility and adds credibility – because it can be assessed and critiqued by peers without having to squeeze through the institutional bottleneck. Publishing and sharing your data, your scripts for analysis, your research design and results online will help them get archived (remember: the cloud is just someone else’s computer!). You will make a contribution, even if your projects don’t reach their goal because you run out of funding, time, or energy. Someone else might pick up where you left or might build on your material. In any case, it will be of more use than it is on your local hard drive!

With that being said, I will continue putting my research online, using many different channels. Not all will have a home on GitHub (but some and many of my future projects), not all will live on institutionally run servers (but I will use them whenever I am allowed to). And I will more openly invite people to contribute and make use of my stuff: it’s a lot, go play with it!

The attentive reader of this website will have noticed that I haven’t been publishing a blogpost since March – ouch! I have been busy doing other stuff, mainly finishing and handing in my doctoral thesis in analytic philosophy of edition philology, delivering an extensive descriptive bibliography of early modern prints of a famous book on etiquette, reviewing a 1000+ pages edition of the writings of Charlotte Schiller and reviewing the online resources in the Austrian Baroque Corpus. I have also been taking a postgraduate training in university pedagogy and did some teaching with the Software Carpentry initiative at University of Oslo.

I’ve had the pleasure to be invited to a workgroup on Digital Humanities teaching in the Nordic Countries in which I will continue my survey on DH at Norwegian higher education institutions. I went to the Nordic eInfrastructure Collaboration conference in Umeå, a presentation on virtual and mixed reality for industry in Oslo, the bi-annual conference of the Nordic Network for Edition Philology in Espoo, Finland and a small-scale Digital Humanities conference in Tromsø, Northern Norway (incl. northern lights) and will give a guest lecture at the University of Stuttgart in December. I’ve worked as a board member of DHN and as a representative of DHN at the EADH associated organisations forum with conceptualising and starting a journal metadata aggregator for non-english content digital humanities journals; in this capacity I have initiated the preparation and edition of the entire run of the first Norwegian ‘DH’ journal, Humanistisk informatikk (1973–1991).

For the next year plans have already been made: I will teach a master seminar at the University of Oslo on Digital Humanities within the European languages program and guest lecture in the master seminar Europe as a Knowledge Community. I will co-teach a full-day workshop in programming with Python and version control with Git at the DHN2018 conference in Helsinki. Apart from my teaching here in Norway I will give a talk in Frankfurt/Main at the bi-annual conference of the German Association for Edition Philology and introduce the newly established commission for DH and edition philology at the AG’s members meeting. I will also take part in the DHd2018 conference in Cologne and the IGEL (society for the scientific study of literature) conference in Stavanger in summer 2018. I’ve submitted abstract to two more conferences and – acceptance granted – present my research in Copenhagen and Prague, too.

I have four articles in the pipeline that are to be submitted in 2018 as well as the continuous work on my digital edition (including a collaboration with the Norwegian National Library’s digital scholarly edition series). I’m also working on an application for a research grant.

However, I have dialed back on my presence in social media (esp. Twitter) and deleted my Academia.edu account. I’m still maintaining my ResearchGate profile and sporadically post something to my Google+ account. I mainly disseminate my work via my website and the Greflinger weblog as well as the website for the master seminar.

12. October 2016 · Comments Off on A Thought Experiment on Scholarly Editing and ‘Discourse’ · Categories: Research Dissemination · Tags: ,

A while ago I, when German edition philology had become saturated by French post-structuralist ‘theory’, there was – here a there – some whispered talk about a ‘Diskursedition’ or discourse edition. Nothing concrete had been presented or published yet, but the idea had been tossed around, though in a very early stage of conception. So I decided to investigate the issue within my larger project on Editorial Pluralism – and since there were no actual examples of discourse editions or edited ‘discourse(s)’ around, I came up with a thought experiment instead: How would an endeavour like that of ‘editing a discourse’ look like? How would it have to be conceptualized, framed, justified and then: realized? What would the specific challenges be, and what (new/different) kinds of answers would it help find? More so: given the notorious vagueness of the term and of the concept ‘discourse’ (as coined by Michel Foucault and then wildly appropriated), what would serve as the object(s) of the edition? I presented my thoughts first at the international conference of the Society of Textual Scholarship and Textual Cultures (STS), ‘The Objects of Editing’ at the Loyola University in Chicago in 2013 and put them down in writing shortly after. Due to the rather unusual nature of the paper (after all, thought experiments as such are not a common genre of academic text in edition philology nor are they exercised often in literary studies) it took me a while to find a publication outlet that would sit well with both the content and the form.

The article “Editing a Discourse, Not a Text: Meta-Methodological Remarks on an Editorial Endeavour” has now been published in the Journal of Literary Theory (JLT), Vol. 10, Issue 2. Via the publishers website, both the long abstract and the bibliography are freely accessible. The full text can be downloaded via institutional subscription or individual payment, however, as usual I provide anyone with a free copy (.pdf-file) who requests one!

25. April 2016 · Comments Off on New Publication: Paratext & New Media – A Conceptual Transfer · Categories: Research Dissemination · Tags: , ,

I am happy to announce that my article ‘Paratext’ und Neue Medien. Probleme und Perspektiven eines Begriffstransfers (Paratext and New Media. Problems and Perspectives of a Conceptual Transfer) has been published with the online journal PhiN – Philologie im Netz. It is my first open access publication which makes me especially proud!

You can read the complete article for free here: http://www.phin.de/phin76/p76i.htm. It is in German, though.

Are there paratexts in the realm of new (audio-visual, digital) media; and, if so, which? Focusing on conceptual analysis and terminological clarification, I try to show that any answer to these questions will depend on the underlying definition of the pivotal term ‘paratext’. Someone simply assuming the definitional criteria originally suggested by Gérard Genette will end up with a different answer (and a different set of ‘media paratexts’) than someone putting forward their very own stipulative definition of the term. I argue that, for the sake of communicative clarity and mutual understanding, it is crucial to explicitly bring to mind the correlation between terminological determinations, practical deliberations and empirical research, and to map the prospects of and limits to the conceptual transfer in question.

I have elaborated on the concept of ‘paratext’ in earlier articles, namely the 2009 journal publication Typographie als Paratext? Anmerkungen zu einer terminologischen Konfusion (Typography as Paratext? Remarks on a Terminological Confusion), co-authored with Per Röcken and more recently the 2014 book chapter Video Game Framings. In: Examining Paratextual Theory and its Applications in Digital Culture. Edited by Nadine Desrochers & Daniel Apollon. ()

12. January 2016 · Comments Off on What to Expect in 2016 – a Rough Sketch · Categories: Research Dissemination · Tags: , ,

Neues Jahr, neues Glück!

My last blog post was a while ago and I haven’t been able to stick to my blogging schedule, too. However, since it’s only 12 days in the new year 2016, it’s still fine to make some resolutions. Shall we?!

#1 First of all, I want to update this blog more often, I guess, at least once a month should be reasonably doable. (Also: this post will serve as the once per month for January, unless I decide to create another, more thematic one later.) The main reason I do that for is to keep track of my various academic activities and at the same time tell my audience about what it is I do: too often I found myself taking for granted that people I meet, on-line as well as off-line, know what a humanities researcher does in her day-to-day work. They don’t. So I decided to talk about it more!

#2 Finish THE project aka the doctoral dissertation. I have invested a lot in this project and I am at the point where I want it to be finally done: and out of the way. I will use this year to present my work at a couple of specialist conferences, discuss it with my supervisors and colleagues, but mainly: finish the write-up. The database, which is a pivotal part of my dissertation, will get updated and edited, too; I hope to get all the relevant publications of 2016 in before I deliver the thesis.

#3 Finish a couple of articles that are not related to my doctoral dissertation but I agreed on doing. This will be: an article (comprised of a series of blog posts on my Georg Greflinger project blog) on the Nordischer Mercurius and the spreading of news in C17th Germany. An article on the digital scholarly edition of early modern prints (from the perspective of German edition philology). Additionally, there are three articles in submission/peer review that I hope to get published in 2016.

#4 Publish the inaugural volume of the Georg Greflinger digital edition, the Ethica Complementoria edition. It looks like the edition, incl. studies on the Ethica and its transmission and transformation will be published within a book series as well as (the edited texts) online and open access. A lot of work has gone into making this project happen that has had no and still doesn’t have any funding or institutional affiliation. I am confident that it will see the light of day in 2016. More on this project can be found on the project website blog.

#5 And last but not least: Have the 1st conference and members meeting of the association for Digital Humanities in the Nordic countries (DHN) here in Oslo in March. I am very much looking forward to see the product of our combined efforts and experience a thriving, vibrant DH community in Norway and Scandinavia!

So: stay tuned!

[a little out of the ordinary, this bloggage is in German]

Am 24. Juli war ich zum Expertengespräch und Workshop im neuen Digitalisierungs- und Editionsprojekt Narragonien digital der Universität Würzburg, welches im Rahmen des Würzburger Digitalisierungszentrums Kallimachos gefördert wird, eingeladen. Anlass war eine erste Orientierung sowie Sondierungs- und Konsultationsgespräche in Vorbereitung der Digitalisierung und editorischen Bearbeitung der für das Projekt ausgewählten Narrenschiff-Drucke. Gemeinsam mit zwei weiteren externen Kollegen (aus der Latinistik und der Romanistik) fand der Workshop im kleinen Kreis mit den Projektleitern und -mitarbeitern in informellem Austausch statt. 2009–2011 hatte ich mich bereits umfänglich mit der sog. editio princeps (Basel 1494) des Narrenschiffs von Sebastian Brant unter druckanalytisch-medienhistorischen Gesichtspunkten sowie programmatisch zu einer Neuedition im und für das digitale Medium geäussert, und es war schön zu sehen, dass in einem so groß aufgestellten Projekt wie Narragonien digital meine Überlegungen zur Wahl der Editionsgrundlage, zur Transgraphierung und zu den editorischen Beigaben Eingang finden werden (vgl. hierzu: A.R.: Sebastian Brants »Narrenschiff«Kritische Würdigung vorliegender Editionen und prinzipielle Überlegungen zu einer Neu-Edition. In: editio 25 (2011), p. 42–73).

Narragonien digital fokussiert vor allem auch die Übersetzungen, Übertragungen und Bearbeitungen des Narrenschiffs um 1500 (in verschiedene deutsche Druckersprachen, aber auch ins Lateinische, Französische, Englische), die bisher von der Forschung eher vernachlässigt worden sind und auch keine editorische Aufbereitung erfahren haben. Darüber hinaus versucht das ambitionierte Projekt, eine OCR (optical character recognition) für Frühdrucktypographie zu trainieren, die zuverlässig Drucke der in Frage kommenden Offizinen, in Antiqua- und gebrochenen Schriften, erkennen – und die Texte damit auch maschinenlesbar zugänglich machen – kann. Eine funktionierende und in ihren Resultaten zufrieden stellende OCR für gebrochene Schriften (der Frühdruckzeit) ist seit langem ein Desiderat und es bleibt zu hoffen, dass im Rahmen des Würzburger Projekts hier signifikante Fortschritte gemacht werden, von denen die community der Frühneuzeitforscher und -editoren – auch und vor allem in kleinen und Kleinstprojekten – wird profitieren können.

Meine Beschäftigung mit dem Narrenschiff war und ist zunächst druck- und buchgeschichtlich, genauer: typographiegeschichtlich. Vor diesem Hintergrund würde ich mir vor allem wünschen, dass die OCR nicht “nur” den Text möglichst fehlerfrei erkennen kann, sondern auch die jeweiligen Schriftklassen: für eine computergestützte Analyse der Typenverteilung im Narrenschiff-Erstdruck wäre dies enorm hilfreich und könnte wesentlich dazu beitragen, den Satz und die Korrekturfolgen der editio princeps für alle Bogenseiten zu rekonstruieren (mir war dies im Rahmen meiner Studie nur für die Lage E möglich). Die Buch- und Druckforschung, insbesondere die Inkunabelkunde, könnte hier in der Breite neue Erkenntnisse zur Frühdruckzeit gewinnen und gesicherte(re) Schlüsse aus dem überlieferten Material auf dessen Herstellung sowie die Verbreitung und den Handel mit Drucktypen ziehen!

Nach dem Workshop und den vielen intensiven Gesprächen plane ich, meine Arbeiten an der causa Narrenschiff-Erstdruck in naher Zukunft wieder auf zu nehmen und stelle diese gerne dem Narragonien-Projekt als Addendum der digitalen Edition sowie zur Weiterarbeit zur Verfügung.

03. March 2015 · Comments Off on Video Game Framings – Examining Paratextual Theory and Its Applications in Digital Culture · Categories: Game Studies, Research Dissemination · Tags: , , ,

Finally!!

My chapter contribution to the anthology “Examining Paratextual Theory and Its Applications in Digital Culture“, edited by Nadine Desrochers (Université de Montréal, Canada) and Daniel Apollon (University of Bergen, Norway) has been published by IGI Global (promised for April 2014, actually accessible since January 2015). The book which contains 16 chapters and an introductory part by the editors tries to cover a broad variety of disciplines (mostly in the humanities with some social sciences and information science) and tackles the often rather vaguely employed concept of paratext or paratextuality, respectively, in ‘digital culture’, meaning anything from electronic literature, to new media, from video games to online pornography platforms and from digital ‘objects’ to fanfiction in online forums.

Here’s the original abstract to my 35 pages long chapter titled “Video Game Framings

This chapter discusses the applicability of the concept of ‘paratext’ (as coined by Gérard Genette) to audio-visual media in general and to video games in particular. In the first section, some potential elements of a video game’s ‘paratext’ are singled out by means of ‘auto-ethnographic’ description of the introductory sequence(s) of the first-person shooter game BioShock Infinite. Several segments of the game’s ‘threshold’ are differentiated employing a rather tentative ad-hoc terminology. In the second section, Genette’s definitional stipulations, posing the point of reference for everyone actually using the term ‘paratext,’ are reconstructed, clarified and constructively criticized. Here, the author also discusses potential objections to Genette’s definitional criteria and briefly touches upon some media-theoretical constraints of his approach. Ensuing from these meta-terminological considerations, the author turns to the questionable use of ‘paratext’ in video game studies. As critical examination reveals, the terminology in this field of research is rather vaguely connected to, and sometimes even completely detached from, Genette’s definition. As an objection to such redefinitions of the term, the chapter suggests (1) that its use be restricted to communicative signals meeting the following criteria only: (a) functionally subservient to (which obviously implies specifically referring to) ‘the game proper,’ (b) authorized by entitled members of the game’s production collective, (c) verbal, (d) (at least partly) extra-diegetic. Additionally, (2) the chapter proposes supplementing ‘paratext’ as an analytical tool with the higher-order umbrella term ‘framings’ (as coined by Werner Wolf).

The chapter is a close reading of Genette’s main terminological contributions to the concept of ‘paratext’ and an in-depth, analytical discussion of it and it’s appropriation, especially in new media studies. It will thus, hopefully (I dare say!), be an incentive to a discussion that is notably absent but necessary nonetheless. – If you’re only interested in the terminological clarifications and the discussion of the concept and its appropriation, you can skip the first part. However, if you want to follow me along entering the video game world of Bioshock Infinite™ in an auto-ethnographic narrative, you should definitely immerse yourself in part 1!

You can purchase the article or the complete book at IGI Global’s webshop. But I suggest that if you’re interested in my contribution and don’t want to or simply cannot afford to purchase it, to ask me and I will gladly provide you with a personal copy! Just send me an email!

07. August 2014 · Comments Off on Published: co-authored article in collection on typography, materiality, literature, and meaning · Categories: Research Dissemination, Textual Scholarship · Tags: , ,

Few days ago I received the print edition of long-awaited collection of articles (or: edited conference proceedings)

Text – Material – Medium. Zur Relevanz editorischer Dokumentationen für die literaturwissenschaftliche Interpretation. Ed. by Wolfgang Lukus, Rüdiger Nutt-Kofoth, Madleen Podewski. Berlin, Boston: de Gruyter 2014 (Beihefte zu editio. 37). 303 pages.

The collection contains 16 original articles in six thematic sections, and a comprehensive introduction (pp. 1–22) by the editors. (A link to the pdf-file of the table of contents can be found here).

My (co-authored) article is one of two in the opening section “Aspekte zu Theorie und Geschichte” (theory & history),

Annika Rockenberger, Per Röcken: Wie ‘bedeutet’ ein ‘material text’. In: Text – Material – Medium. Zur Relevanz editorischer Dokumentationen für die literaturwissenschaftliche Interpretation. Ed. by Wolfgang Lukus, Rüdiger Nutt-Kofoth, Madleen Podewski. Berlin, Boston: de Gruyter 2014 (Beihefte zu editio. 37), pp. 25–51.

In the article, I investigate how a material text (or: materiality in general regarding works of literature, be they printed, handwritten, engraved, painted, or even digital) means, that is: I shed some light on the notoriously vague and ambiguous term ‘meaning’ and its use, and following this clarification I tie the term to a production-oriented (communicator/sender-oriented) sign theory. Ensuing from this, I distinguish three classes of signs and show where, when, and how they are to be used when analyzing or ‘interpreting’ material aspects of (literary) texts. I exemplify, reconstruct, and critically discuss a couple of cases from (German) literary studies where material aspects have been part of or are the main focus of the interpretation of a literary text.

Once I am in the possession of a pdf-version of the printed collection, I’ll send it to anyone interested upon request! The pdf-version is accessible via the De Gruyter website (paywall) here.

The other thematic sections of the collection are: “Skriptografische Materialität: Entwurfshandschriften” (scriptographical materiality: draft manuscripts) with articles by Almuth Grésillon, Burghard Dedner, Johannes Barth, Johannes John, Gabriele Sander, and Kai Bremer. Followed by section III “Typographische Materialität I: Buch” (typographical materiality I: book) with contributions by Thomas Rahn, Gabriele Wix, and Franziska Mayer. Section IV “Typografische Materialität II: Buch vs. Zeitung/Zeitschrift” (typographical materiality II: book vs. newspaper/journal) with articles by Barbara von Reibnitz, Michael Scheffel, and Gustav Frank. The last two sections have only one contribution each: section V “Nichtschriftliche Materialität I: Audiophone Varianz” (non-scriptural materiality I: audiophone variants) with an article by Andreas Meier and section VI “Nichtschriftliche Materialität II: Die ‘Schreibszene’ jenseits des Textes” (non-scriptural materiality II: the ‘scene of writing’ beyond the text) with a witty essay by Bodo Plachta about writers’ desks, inkpots, pens, and paperweights.

You can buy the collection via de Gruyter (hardcover/e-pub) or seek out a library that has a copy. If you’re interested in my article, just send me an email and I will provide you with a pdf-version!

P.S. Due to a rather long production process of the collection (the conference was held in February 2011), I was not able to include any references to literature newer than 2012. Last changes to my article were made in October 2012!

24. June 2014 · Comments Off on Review of: Editorische Begrifflichkeit. Ed. by Gunter Martens. Berlin, Bosten 2013 · Categories: Research Dissemination, Textual Scholarship · Tags: , ,

I just published a review of the German anthology or conference proceedings:

Editorische Begrifflichkeit. Überlegungen und Materialien zu einem ‘Wörterbuch der Editionsphilologie’. Ed. by Gunter Martens. Berlin, Boston: de Gruyter 2013 (Beihefte zu editio. 36)

The review is about to appear in the latest issue of Zeitschrift für Germanistik XXIV.3 (2014), pp. 690–692.
Although I am much in favour of a German dictionary or lexicon of edition philology / textual scholarship, I was a little disappointed with the anthology: the theoretical and methodological articles as well as some of the material and sample entries were frustratingly heterogenous, unfocussed, and partly outdated. (The anthology assembles conference papers and articles from the late 1990s that were, in some cases, slightly updated and edited.) In my view, the best and most useful part of the anthology is Martin Boghardt’s systematic collection and preparation of sample entries from the fields of analytical and descriptive bibliography and print history:

Martin Boghardt: Begriffe aus der analytischen Druckforschung. In: Editorische Begrifflichkeit. Überlegungen und Materialien zu einem ‘Wörterbuch der Editionsphilologie’. Ed. by Gunter Martens. Berlin, Boston: de Gruyter 2013 (Beihefte zu editio. 36), pp. 163–192. – Access to article here (attention! paywall!)

This mini-lexicon could be the point of departure for a comprehensive new lexicon of edition philology / textual scholarship for German and Germanic studies. It should, however, NOT become another print-only, publishing company directed endeavour, but instead make use of the technologies and established and proved practices of online lexicology and be as open access and as collaborative as possible!

My review can be found here, soon. (Or you could ask me to send you a pdf!) The reviewed anthology can be accessed (attention! paywall!) here or purchased.