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For the first Digital Scholarship Commons (DiSC) talk of the year, Amy Earhart, Asst. Professor of English at Texas A&M, will speak on "Recovering the Recovered Text: Digital Canon(s) and Lost Texts." The talk will take place at 4pm on 30 October in the Research Commons of the Woodruff Library.
In short, Earhart presents the difficulties of recovering the many digital projects from the 1990s that featured the work of people outside the canon since many of these projects are no longer working. See an abstract for the talk below.
In addition to her lecture, Earhart will also lead a lunchtime discussion / Q&A with graduate students about preparing for careers in the digital humanities. That discussion will take place at noon on 30 October in the Research Commons, and lunch will be provided. Please RSVP using this form if you plan to attend so we can plan for the right amount of food.
This talk examines the state of the current digital humanities canon, provides a historical overview of the decline of early digitally recovered texts designed to expand the literary canon, and offers suggestions for how the field might expand the digital canon. The early wave of small recovery projects has slowed and, even more troubling, the extant projects have begun to disappear. We should find it troubling that the digital canon is losing the very texts that mirrored the revised literary canon of the 1980s. If we lose a large volume of these texts, and traditional texts such as Whitman, Rossetti, and Shakespeare are the highlighted digital literary texts, we will be returning to a new critical canon that is incompatible with current understandings of literature.
We need to examine the canon that we, as digital humanists, are constructing, a canon that skews toward traditional texts and excludes crucial work by women, people of color, and the GLBTQ community. We need to reinvigorate the spirit of previous scholars who believed that textual recovery was crucial to their work, who saw the digital as a way to enact changes in the canon. Preservation of existing digital recovery projects needs to begin immediately.
"Recovering the Recovered Text: Digital Canon(s) and Lost Texts." The talk will take place at 4pm on 30 October in the Research Commons of the Woodruff Library.
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