Amanda Visconti (Purdue University Libraries) has posted her dissertation defense talk, “‘How can you love a work, if you don’t know it?’ Critical code and design toward participatory digital editions,” delivered in April 2015. Visconti’s dissertation project, Infinite Ulysses, explores the ways in which digital editions can support social reading, annotation, and other affordances of reading and interaction on the web, and is exemplary as a fully digital dissertation. The talk is structured into three modes of inquiry:
- First, questions about making the humanities more public and more participatory (that is, welcoming public participation, in addition to making resources theoretically publicly available). How can we design digital editions that are not just public, but invite and assist participation in the scholarly love of a text?
- My second set of questions focused on the design of digital editions, using Bethany Nowviskie’s idea of edition “interfacing” to do critical textual scholarship work through design, that is different from textual editing tasks. If we design editions for the public, how do we design to handle an influx of readers and annotations on texts (questions of moderation, curation, and personalization)? And what might we learn about digital editions and their texts from the accompanying influx of site use data?
- My third set of questions stem from looking at Infinite Ulysses and asking, “is this an edition?” I considered whether we could separate the values of textual scholarship, from the common embodiments of these values. How might this clarification help us imagine new types of digital edition?
Visconti devotes attention to communities of readers interacting with digital interfaces, the effects of interface design on reading, and issues of openness and public humanities.