19 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2017
    1. cholars face certain choices when technologies and methodologies interface, and in the case of WWO, there are many choices: to efface material difference or incorporate its difficulty; to acknowledge issues of incompleteness explicitly or "paper" them over; to engage with genre-busting texts on their terms or attempt to wrangle such texts into conventional boxes.

      How would we want to make these choices? What would be our priorities in constructing an archive of women's rhetoric? Why?

    2. his grappling both foregrounds the heterogeneity of women's writing and requires digital humanities theory and practice to attend to the ways in which earlier forms of categorization and accumulation in brick and mor- tar archives were fundamentally insufficient-

      The goal is not necessarily to replicate brick and mortar archival structures—there will be things that the physical archive does that the digital archive cannot do. However, we ought to ask whether (and how) the inverse might be true? What can digital archives do that, perhaps, physical archives cannot?

    3. hile a collection of women's work is clearly still necessary to help make women's contributions visible, we need to consider if this archive of women's writing constitutes a simple "addi- tive approach," as well as whether and to what degree it resolves the issues around systematic exclusion.

      How does the WWO move beyond the "additive" approach to feminist rhetorical or literary history?

    4. The project's emphasis on canon reformation through expanded access to rare materials (a theme that runs through much early digital humanities work) mirrors the early feminist sense that literary scholarship on the work of women was itself a kind of activist project that proceeded, fairly straightforwardly, by bringing lost information to light

      Is "recovery" or the addition of women writers to the canon, or to existing archives, an activist practice? What might be the limits of such a practice?

    5. If we say of a digital collection like WWO that it opens up new approaches to the study of women's writing, we must immediately ask what we mean by these terms. "Study" by whom and in pursuit of what kinds of questions? Is the term "women's writing" a deliberate sidestep from more specific formulations - from words like "literature" or firm designations of authorship and publication? And what do we mean by "new"?

      We must be careful to interrogate whatever terms we use to describe the potential and power of the digital archive.

    6. the impact of technol- ogy on serious scholarship is not simplistically progressive

      Technology does not necessarily move scholarship or scholarly methods "forward," but simply changes them in ways that must be analyzed and dealt with.

    7. How do we make legible the inclusion and exclusion of texts so that "the archive" does not inadvertently appear to claim comprehensiveness

      For example, what is the value of making selection criteria visible to the user?

    8. e advent of the web has shown us, in a sense, that "access" is not a simple problem of inclusion but a complex adjudication of competing views. We need ways of reintroducing an awareness of discipline, theory, and method into our understanding of access, rather than seeing digital production as a form of transparency

      "Access" is not only a question of our ability to (digitally) access a document. While this will be important for many researchers, it is also important to consider what an archive gives access to, and what it conceals from its users. What is the value of making the "craftedness" of an archive visible?

    9. While WWO satisfies a certain initial project to recover women's voices, even if that project has to be problematized, it runs up against an archival limit when asked to satisfy later feminisms that require more than just the recovery of white women's voices

      What might it look like for an archive to move beyond these earlier perspective on "feminist" representation?

    10. For the WWP, however, the project of broad recovery serves precisely to highlight and capture the generic and formal diversity of this writing and hence to destabilize the traditional categories of value on which con- cepts like "the literary" depend.

      But these critiques can (and must) be both anticipated, answered, and justified.

    11. The early modern period is particularly amenable to the inclu- sion of non-belles-lettristic texts in literary analysis given that the concept of "the literary" as such was a production of the seventeenth century and did not solidify into a disciplinary category until some time later.6 This might open WWO to criticism, like that made by Lillian S. Robinson, that a focus "merely on women" - or on the writing of women - is not only not feminist enough, it is also, and perhaps primarily, not literary enough.

      Selection always opens an archive to critique, especially critique about what the selection criteria has excluded, and the implications of those exclusions for various forms of inquiry (e.g. "feminist," "literary," etc.)

    12. cholars use tools that exert consti- tutive pressure on the acts of reading and interpretation; as Ellen Rooney observes, reading is transitive, which is to say that it is an interested and generative act (pp. 7-8).

      Provide new ways of reading the texts that are discovered or recovered in the archive.

    13. A number of questions might be generated here: What is the historical context for a yoking together of history and romance? Is there a political or religious perspective that unites these women, or are people from several differ- ent positions concerned with history and romance after the English civil war? Are all of these instances actually about genre or even about a single genre

      As we read in the Eichhorn text (Chapter 3), the new relationships that are established in digital archives (e.g. between "riot grrrl" and the "avant-garde," or between "romance" and history") allow users of the archive to ask new questions.

      The challenge of constructing an archive, therefore, is to facilitate these connections without overdetermining them. To make them possible without constraining what else (what we may not have thought of) might also be possible.

    14. "women's writing" rather than "women's literature.

      This is an example of the application of selection criteria, and an accompanying justification.

    15. the kinds of literary technologies and strategies

      In other words, the processes of cultural production—the processes and strategies by which historical women produced and disseminated texts.

  2. Oct 2015
    1. the “came out”

      Hmm. Interesting to borrow this phrase, usually associated with LGBT and queer identities, in the context of a presence/absence, real/pseudonymous. etc.

    2. In a March 7, 2007, blog post, Andrew Keen compared Wikipedia’s dealings with Essjay to the Czechoslovakian Communist Party’s ability to make people vanish: “The communists, of course, were particularly adept at forgetting.”

      This passage shows the ease of conflating "anonymity" with an absence of presence; what is interesting here, though, is how the lapse in anonymity (the becoming present of the ostensibly absent subject) is met (or is characterized as having been met) by the desire to make the subject absent again, in this case, by "disappearing" him.

    3. Further, as with most websites, Wikipedia is continually archived by the Internet Archive, a site that should remind us how difficult it is to “disappear” online.

      The connection between anonymity and the archive is interesting—what is the place of anonymity in the archives? Can an absent subject be archived? Is this business of the archive to make present?

    4. I use scare quotes because Jordan was not really anonymous. Rather, he created another identity that would help him navigate Wikipedia. Thus, these edits were not written anonymously—they were written by Essjay. Further, even those Wikipedians who do not register for a username can still be traced to an IP address (an IP address is included next to each edit on Wikipedia).

      Very smart move to deconstruct the concept of "anonymity" as a lack or absence of identity. I'm reminded of some of Derrida's thinking about the essential presence of subjectivity; in Spurs, he writes:

      "...there is, after all, no thinking of an historical subject that does not necessarily refer to “the concept of substance—and thus of presence—our of which it is born” (Derrida, Spurs 229).