I handed in my Ph.D. dissertation “Interests and Arguments. Towards an Analytic Philosophy of Textual Scholarship” in September 2017: almost to the day 3 years ago. I defended in April 2018 – and immediately moved on to a new job that had nothing to do with what I had been researching during my Ph.D. period. I admit I was a bit fed up with both my topic and the academia at this time. My thesis was properly printed as a book, and the copies I received for my personal use were quickly stored away in a moving box in the basement.

Some time had passed when I decided to submit the pdf version of the book to the University of Oslo’s Research Archive – so it could be accessible for anyone interested, without having to ask me for a copy or trying to get a copy of the book via cumbersome interlibrary loan. Once you have submitted your thesis at UiO, there will be a review process discerning whether it can be published openly: many of current day theses are article-based, and there might be copyright-issues with re-publication. My dissertation is – partly – article-based, so I was expecting to have to wait until it will be released.

Again, time passed, then COVID-19 happened and I shifted my focus to other things, not checking in on the review process. When I finally did, I couldn’t find the thesis in the research archive, thinking it was likely due to the articles not being released yet. Or me having made a mistake when submitting the digital version.

However, since I work door-to-door with one of the admins of the research archive, I thought it would be good to investigate why it was still “stuck”. Turns out it wasn’t stuck after all! I had just been unlucky in finding it… So, I am happy to announce that my dissertation is available for download via the University of Oslo’s research archive via a stable link. The format is pdf, the file is quite large (ca. 33MB). The pdf version has not been changed or edited and mirrors the physical book publication, except for the book cover. There’s a summary in English, however, the thesis itself is written in (academic) German, so be warned. It’s also 600+ pages long and there are 1.443 footnotes…

Feel free to get your digital copy of “Interessen und Argumente” here: http://urn.nb.no/URN:NBN:no-80732.

I might, at some point, re-publish parts of it in a different, re-worked format, not least my bibliography of almost 7.000 items: as a re-usable data set as well as an open Zotero library.

Yesterday, I gave an introductory lecture on Digital Humanities to master students of history at the University of Oslo. I thought it would help to show how and when going digital could be useful by telling them about how I came to embrace DH from being a very traditional book history student. So I went back to my masters thesis project, a study on the first print run of the famous “Narrenschiff” (Ship of Fools), by Sebastian Brant, printed in 1494 in Basel for the first time.

While doing some browsing of images of said print, I found out that the Berlin copy (I used this copy of the 1494 print run mostly), had been digitized and made available open access by the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz. It included not only the full-color digital reproduction of the entire book (incl. the bookbinding and the Exlibris of former owners), it also included the IIIF-manifest and a link to the Mirador Viewer running on the SBB-PK servers.

I became really curious and checked out whether other libraries which held copies of the 1494 print had also digitized it, and yes: Basel, Heidelberg, and Darmstadt had – and to my surprise, the Library of Congress, Washington D.C. had digitized their copy, too! All of them also provided digitization with an IIIF-manifest. Awesome!

Today, I had the following idea which I shared on Twitter: (Since I cannot integrate Twitter-feeds into this website anymore, here’s the content of my tweets – or check them out on Twitter).

It’s a challenge that I put out there:

Reproduce (the Empirical Part of) My Study!

/1 I want to put a challenge out there (this is a primer, I have to flesh the thing out a bit): I want (someone) to reproduce the empirical part of my study on the 1494 print of the Ship of Fools.

/2 The study can be found here: https://peterlang.com/view/title/13048…, I will make it #openaccess but I have to negotiate with the publisher first. In the meantime, drop me a line if you want the pdf.Produktion und Drucküberlieferung der editio princeps von Sebastian Brants «Narrenschiff» (Basel…peterlang.com

/3 Now, many of the 12 surviving copies of the 1st edition of this famous print are digitized and accessible, which makes it significantly easier to compare the copies. I had to this manually, with no two copies in the same place.

/4 And for most copies, I had to rely on the old printed version of the Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke, where *some* of the differences between the copies of the 1st edition had been recorded; this also had been done manually (more than 100yrs ago).

/5 I think this #ReproducibilityTest could be done in the form of a BA or even an MA-thesis: Digital humanities, book history, print history – something like that.

/6 I will put ALL materials for this project online (I have started here: https://github.com/arockenberger/Narrenschiff…). I will also investigate if my alma mater @FU_Berlin can make a digital copy of my Magisterarbeit available open access.arockenberger/NarrenschiffMaterials for my finished project on the early German Ship of Fools prints – arockenberger/Narrenschiffgithub.com

/7 What do you think?

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.

06. March 2014 · Comments Off on Conference Summary: On the Uses of Scholarly Editions, Feb 19–22, 2014 · Categories: Conference Report, Textual Scholarship · Tags: , ,

“Vom Nutzen der Editionen” – 15. Internationale Tagung der Arbeitsgemeinschaft für germanistische Edition. RWTH Aachen University, February 19–22, 2014

Two weeks ago I attended the 15th biennial conference of the German Association for Scholarly Editing (AG-Edition). This time, the biennial event was held at the RWTH Aachen University, Germany and hosted by the department of German and literary studies and its head of department, Thomas Bein. The topic – On the Uses of Editions – couldn’t have been more up to date. It was received broadly and transdisciplinary with almost 60 long and short paper presentations ranging roughly from the early middle ages to contemporary German literature, from musical performance practices to DADA art, from contemporary Austrian theatrical productions to early 20th century film. The focus was, at least in most of the presentations, strongly on the uses (Nutzen) of editions, while the concept of edition was quite broad, iridescing between facsimlia, historical-critical or genetic scholary editions, and multimedia archives. The conference was accompanied by committee meetings and the biennial general assembly of the association.

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