Keynote: “Shakespeare's Hard Drive: Our Born-Digital Literary Heritage”

Professor Matthew Kirschenbaum (University of Maryland)

“A writer working today will not and cannot be studied in the future in the same way as writers of the past because the basic material evidence of their authorial activity---manuscripts and drafts, working notes, correspondence, journals---is, like all textual production, increasingly migrating to the electronic realm. This talk, which should be of interest to anyone with a stake in future literary studies, will discuss these issues and challenges, with examples of major writers whose computers, hard drives, diskettes, and cell phones are already being archived alongside the rest of their ‘papers.’”

Matthew G. Kirschenbaum is Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Maryland, Associate Director of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH, an applied thinktank for the digital humanities), and Director of Digital Cultures and Creativity, a new “living/learning” program in the Honors College. He is also an affiliated faculty member with the Human-Computer Interaction Lab at Maryland, and a Vice President of the Electronic Literature Organization. His first book, Mechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination, was published by the MIT Press in 2008 and won the 2009 Richard J. Finneran Award from the Society for Textual Scholarship (STS) and the 2009 George A. and Jean S. DeLong Prize from the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing (SHARP). Kirschenbaum speaks and writes often on topics in the digital humanities and new media; his work has received coverage in Wired, Boing Boing, Slashdot, and the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Panels I and II

Panel I: 10:30-12:15 (Hamilton 603)

Histories of the Discipline

Chair/moderator: Marina Graham

A moderated discussion of short selections from Adam Smith and Hugh Blair on rhetoric and belles lettres, along with brief excerpts by Thomas Miller (The Formation of College English), Gauri Viswanathan (Masks of Conquest) and Maureen McLane (Romanticism and the Human Sciences). Readings will be available via a wiki (we will also make a few hard copies, available in 602) – details to follow.

Panel II: 2-3:30 (Hamilton 603)

Digital experiments

Chair/moderator: Alice Boone

Each panelist will bring something from a digital database – a text, a list of hits, an example of interface – and narrate or explicate some possibility opened by technological change for research and reading. Several eighteenth-century collections are widely used: ECCO, EEBO, the Sabin Americana collection, and other periodicals. Aside from convenience in retrieval and dissemination, how does our use of these media transform our processes of investigation as well as our objects of study? How do we take advantage of the things they let us do that are not traditionally a strength of English studies?

Guest Panelists:

Mary Kate Hurley on blogging and literary studies

Ashley Brinkman on the boons and banes of searching EEBO

Ivan LupĂ­c on the classical page in the digital age