Thoughts on an STS day

Spent the day in conference. Click for program. Rose too early. Does anyone in conference hotel sleep until alarm goes off? Started Jerome Loving’s biography of the yawper when could not sleep. A bit late to breakfast. Started Twittering with a yawp as I’ve been wearing Whitman hat recently. We Stowe scholars feel pretty thorough when when we’ve read three or four biographies. To be a Whitmanian, it seems like you’ve got to pick your top seven.

Enjoyed keynotes (David Stork and Will Noel) on light, math, and reading paintings and Archimedes. And attended presentation of Jason Rhody of (ODH and NEH). From tweets on Rhody, a new implementation grant planned for NEH on 2012, Feb, 50K-300K, 2 to 5 offered, competitive, after Startup (or not), depends on budget. (Write your congressperson). What DH startups can do: research, tools, impact of, scholarly communication. See scripto.org for transcribing historical papers (a crowdsource project) which my students in Civil War memory course might be interested in). Maybe that’s a way to edit all eleventy-seven editions of UTC. What the heck, guess I’ll write Scripto contact and imagine.

After lunch, with Andrew Jewell who filled me in on progress with Scholarly Editing (forthcoming remixed journal of Association for Documentary Editing), yes, Andy Jewell, he who in presentation co-written with Amanda Gailey yesterday confessed to preferring a 5-year old technology called TEI to the new stuff. Andy once told me that nothing in world of scholarship is as tough as working at Wal-Mart. And I was able to agree and think in my mind—but not tell him because it’s an old story—that nothing in scholarship is as bad as working in a chicken processing plant freezer, as extruding foam box inserts, as using an inverted pipe to put up barbed wire fence posts, as painting a house, as working as Mcdonald’s fry cook. Pass silently by as you wipe a tear.

After lunch to presentation by Natalie Kalich and Russell McDonald. Kalich offered a neat reading of Woolf and British Vogue but also turned to Corravubias, who also illustrated Stowe, and in Vogue published type-sketches entitled “Enter the New Negro” (1925) and “Negro de Nos Jours” (1927) Fascinating stuff (to me) because Thomas Kemble, illustrator of Huckleberry Finn (and later Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin) is criticized for racism of Twain images but praised for for Stowe images. What is this “type” thing that illustrators were doing in the 1920s? Fascinating because of my own other work about type and stereotype.

Tried to be too fancy for afternoon session and split between Daphna Atias, Meg Meiman, and H Wayne Story (had to switch sessions twice) and thus made door noises. Atias fascinating on authorial selection rather than intention (derived from Schulze on Moore), and on natural selection. Time to go back and read Mays on Coleridge, McGann on Mays (doing what reads to me—when I began it—as a riff on what Patterson did to Kane-Donaldson) and Schulze’s introduction to Moore), because Stowe, I think, was working “local fitness to environment, not fixing” (Schulze by way of Atias). Meiman reminds us that what scholars do differs from what they say, but I’m happy I just send students straight to JSTOR and ProjectMuse, because that’s what scholars do. Storey confirms same type of work that Atias illustrates with Dickinson goes on with Dante and Boccaccio. Regret missing Bornstein, Schulze, and West, and so toss a little disgruntled under-my-breath grrrh at Matthew Kirshenbaum, who schedules three of my favorite sessions at the same time. He didn’t even ask me. I’m really not complaining because he has done a phenomenal job of re-mixing STS. Learned later from Peter S. that I had reason to regret missing Schulze’s presentation, but what’s one to do?

Get grumpy and skip out the late session, and thus offering permission tomorrow for anyone who needs to skip mine for same reason. Fortunately, one of the great scholars of typography, T. H. Howard-Hill, was reading the newspaper in a too-sunny chair, and I wanted to ask him about ways to think about typographical space. Was schooled, and humbled. Told George Bornstein a little story about spacing and typography, which he appreciated. I owe him more than one story for what he’s done on Gates edition of UTC. Had dinner and nice chat with Barbara Bordalejo and Alex Gils. Regret that I have not yet talked to Jessica De Spain, who is working on another great sentimental text, Wide Wide World. Back to my room to call home, say Hi to family, and prepare this post. Wonder why I signed up for DH Day, because it looks like a lot of work.

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One Response to Thoughts on an STS day

  1. Pingback: Day of Wesley Raabe » STS G2 Afternoon

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