Tuesday, August 11, 2015

“The Exeter Book’s Digital Decade”

“The Exeter Book’s Digital Decade”

Co-organized by Brian T. O’Camb and Matthew T. Hussey
sponsored by Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts in Microfiche Facsimile

The 2006 publication of Bernard J. Muir's "The Electronic Exeter Anthology of Old English Poetry: An Edition of Exeter, Dean and Chapter MS 3501" (Exeter) represented a remarkable milestone in the history of Exeter Book studies and prompts thoughtful reflection ten years later. As far back as 1980, Fred C. Robinson sharpened the necessity of looking at Old English poetry in its manuscript context, and his call was reinvigorated by Joyce Tally Lionarons’ 2004 volume of essays on the same subject. This session seeks to stimulate a conversation about the significance and utility of Muir's digital edition of the Exeter Book---and by extension all digital manuscript editions---by assessing how scholarship of the Exeter Book’s paleography, codicology, history and poetry has developed in the decade-long wake of access to stunningly high-resolution images of the Exeter Book.

We invite paper proposals that respond to the following questions: How has our knowledge of the Exeter Book developed, changed, or been reshaped with access to quality images of this important Anglo-Saxon manuscript? What can looking at the manuscript in light of these last ten years of technological advancements and critical/theoretical developments, tell us? Do high quality digital images really change scholarship or is sustained and detailed attention to the manuscript itself still necessary? If so, how? If not, why not?

The Exeter Book is one of the major cultural artifacts of the Anglo-Saxon period, and the ways in which it is studied are always evolving. The tenth anniversary of the manuscript's digitization marks an opportune moment to assess how the tools we build to study literature and its material contexts condition our discoveries.

Send paper proposals to Matt Hussey: mhussey @ sfu.ca by September 1, 2016.  

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