Kalamazoo 2014: Medieval Texts and Digital Editions: Obstacles and Opportunities

full name / name of organization: 
Society for Early English and Norse Electronic Texts (SEENET)
contact email: 


49th International Congress on Medieval Studies
Kalamazoo, Michigan, May 8-11, 2014

Session title: Medieval Texts and Digital Editions: Obstacles and Opportunities
Session sponsor: Society for Early English and Norse Electronic Texts (SEENET) and the Piers Plowman Electronic Archive
Session organizer: Jim Knowles (jrknowle@ncsu.edu)

Since being founded in the mid 1990s, SEENET has published a total of ten electronic editions of medieval English texts and/or manuscripts and two reference works, including editions of Piers Plowman, William of Palerne, The Destruction of Troy, and Caedmon's Hymn.  These editions were published on CD-ROM in conjunction with the University of Michigan, the Medieval Academy of America, and Boydell and Brewer. Both SEENET and the Piers Plowman Electronic Archive (PPEA), a branch of SEENET that accounts for seven of the twelve publications to date, are in the process of migrating to the web (see, for example, the new PPEA site under development at http://piers.iath.virginia.edu/index.html).  At this juncture, SEENET seeks not only to migrate past content to an online environment, but also to launch a large-scale initiative to present online scholarly editions of as many important literary works in Old English, Middle English, and Old Norse as possible.

But SEENET is only one of many such projects aimed at revolutionizing the way scholarly editions are created and used. This proliferation of digital and digitized editions of medieval texts available online poses new questions about the forms, uses, and scholarly objectives of critical texts. For this session at Kalamazoo, we invite scholars and editors engaged in digital text projects to discuss new work in any of the following areas: editorial theory and practice in digital environments; intellectual, technical, and institutional challenges posed by born-digital textual projects (along with proposed solutions); and interpretive work on medieval literature that is made possible by the availability of digital text corpora.

Please send a one-page paper proposal, the Congress Participant Information Form, and any AV requirements by email to Jim Knowles (jrknowle@ncsu.edu) by SEPTEMBER 15, 2013.