I feel like I’ve “cheated” on this entry, only because I’ve looked over other people’s thoughts/ideas already, and so have lots of samples of where people are at, their goals, etc. Next week I’ll try to go first!
Anyway, my main goal and interest relate mostly to “textual” elements, in terms of thinking about and exploring how a text goes from 14-century handwritten manuscript (with no spaces between words, for e.g., and letters/words that are unrecognizable to modern readers) to an on-line HTML document. That’s why I like the idea of transcribing/annotating, as we had discussed in class, although like everyone else, I’m curious to try some basic programming just in order to get a bit of practice.
Now that we’ve been through a few classes, and due to other online databases I’ve worked with recently, I realize that the project isn’t as daunting as I worried at first.
Some of the other work I’ve done this past year (the Media Poetics class, as well as Victorian literature) had me working in online databases, as well as asking questions about how they are constructed, to what end, whether academically or ideologically. In that regard, our medieval class last semester explored nationalism in Beowulf scholarship, how academic–and purportedly objective–exercises like literary criticism and the creation of databases, have an underlying ideological basis. So in filling the transcribing/annotating role, and sharing it with others, I hope to explore the question of choices– the long series of editorial choices that produce a finished document, and what those choices might reveal about the editor and his/her process.