Extra Credit – Professionalization Project

Extra Credit Project

Students interested in participating in the development of an NEH-funded grant project, Literature in Context: An Open Anthology of Literature, can earn up to ½ a letter grade on your final calculated grade (wowzer!). The EC project option will involve working with me and a graduate assistant on a machine-readable and authoritatively annotated classroom edition of one of the following texts:

  • Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley (1818 edition, with 1831 additions)–group project
  • Fantomina, by Eliza Haywood (1725)–individual or pair
  • Anne Bradstreet, “The Author to Her Book” or “The Prologue”–individual
  • Margaret Cavendish, “The Poetess’s Hasty Resolution” or “An Excuse for So Much Writ upon My Verses”–individual
  • Katherine Philips, “Friendship in Emblem, or the Seal”–individual
  • Aphra Behn, “To the Fair Clarinda, Who Made Love to Me, Imagined More than Woman”–individual
  • Anne Killigrew, ”Upon the Saying that My Verses Were Made by Another”–individual
  • Anne Finch, ”The Introduction”; “The Spleen”; or “The Apology”–individual

Your job will be to create a basic TEI-encoded version of the text (we’ll learn how!), identify portions to annotate, and write brief researched and (if appropriate) media-rich annotations to unpack and contextualize the portions in need of explanations. You will also be, where possible, locating a first-edition print copy of the source for digital photographing and inclusion into the database. Here is a sample project that students in a prior class completed. 

Here is more information about the project!

Literature in Context: An Open Anthology of Literature will start with the years 1650-1800, a key period in the history of the transatlantic world and of the development of American and British literature, but our framework will be designed to be expandable so that future iterations of the project can add works from before and after this period. This anthology, designed for the use of students and teachers at the college and secondary school levels, will be a born-digital product, an Open Educational Resource that can take the place of costly print anthologies and proprietary databases. We will also use the grant to create carefully-designed Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) templates establishing clearly-defined transcription, imaging, research, and annotation parameters. These will enable students and faculty at institutions across the country to add entries to the anthology. Literature in Context: An Open Anthology of Literature in English will not only be accessible online; it also makes faculty-generated printable coursepacks and anthologies available for classroom use. Our project intends to 1.) improve the quality of literary texts of the early modern period available for students, general readers, and scholars, 2.) enlist students, scholars, and the public in the project of producing them, and 3.) by so doing, address inequities of access that limit engagement with our cultural heritage.