Scholarly editing in the 21st century: challenges and debates

Chair: Professor Jennifer Richards, School of English, Newcastle University


Dr Katharine De Rycker,School of English, Newcastle University – ‘Thomas Nashe and disrupting the collected edition’

Professor Mark Philp, University of Warwick – ‘On negotiating competing imperatives in digital representation and analysis — William Godwin and after’

Professor Lynda Pratt, Nottingham University – ‘Editing Robert Southey’s Letters for the Twenty-First Century – Challenges and Opportunities’

Professor Abigail Williams, University of Oxford – ‘Pedantry or enlightenment? Editing the eighteenth century’

The four panellists have been invited to consider the following question (for no more than ten minutes each): ‘What for you are the central challenges in scholarly editing in your period currently and how are they are best addressed?’ We have encouraged them to give bold and incisive responses leaving us with half an hour for questions, comments and discussion. We are particularly keen to promote awareness of the issues at stake in scholarly editing amongst graduate students and Early Career Academics.

The objectives of this session are twofold.

Firstly, we wish to stimulate debate about the place of scholarly editing (or ‘textual editing’ as it is sometimes described) in the academy. We wish to articulate collectively the value of editing, its illumination of the ethical responsibilities of scholarship, and its deepening of a critical understanding of the means by which language (particularly pre C20) is written, reproduced, transmitted, read, and preserved.

Secondly, we wish to promote discussion of how scholarly editions are produced and published in our own day and will be in the future. Our primary concern is to provide a forum for a wider debate about what editors wish for from digital technology over and above the commonly recognised benefits of high-quality digital editions as intelligent ways of curating archives. What are the intellectual research questions scholarly editors need to ask in order that the digital enhances our understanding of the way that the literature of the past was composed and published?

Friday 7th July, 3.30