Mapping and Measuring Twentieth-Century Correspondence | Modernist Studies Association Conference (29 August-1 September 2013):
How can digital methods and scholarship help us to capitalize on the everyday genre that is twentieth-century correspondence?
This MSA exhibition aims to showcase, explore, and promote the possibilities of digital tools for scholarship on modern epistolarity.
Letters are uniquely ill-suited to codex publication, and letters scholarship should thus be uniquely bold in its deployment of digital tools. Current software has multiplied the possibilities. Among other things, digital methods allow us to
• Organize and reorganize letters by various attributes—recipient or writer, location or date—and thereby find connections that might otherwise go missing.
• Mark and collate letters more efficiently and flexibly.
• Deploy location data to expand the spatial theorizing of literary work.
• Trace and analyze the material practices that might otherwise be erased in print publication.
• Quantify metadata in ways that provide new insights.
This exhibition will describe examples of current digital humanities work about twentieth-century letters—both scholarly findings and procedural challenges. It will offer audience members the chance to ask questions about the outcomes and processes of these projects. It will provide some hands-on experience for audience members with the software available.
We seek submissions from scholars who are currently using digital tools to study, map, or explore correspondence and who would like to be part of a conversation about their work in an innovative format.
Please send a 200-word description of your project, along with a brief scholarly biography (4 sentences maximum), to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 9.