Digitizing the nineteenth century: scholarly editing, interface design, and affordances for public engagement

Meiman, Meg
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University of Delaware
Over the course of this dissertation, I argue that digital thematic literary collections provoke questions about authorship, editorship, and readerly engagement via their structure and design, and in ways that prompt reconsiderations about the nature of print and digital texts, as well as what these reconsiderations mean for literary scholarship. By providing a critical look at the arguments implicit in the interface design, the editorial and textual practices, and the literary theories underwriting the structure and presentation of these digital collections, I contend they provide connections between the “literary” and the “digital” in a way that helps realize D.F. McKenzie’s vision of a history of texts that can account for the meanings those texts acquire over time. More importantly, I show how these collections serve as representative examples of the way in which the digital literary studies may continue to provide avenues for engagement with a wider public in the twenty-first century.
Nineteenth-century American literature , Scholarly editing , Interface design , Public engagement , Literary studies , Literary history , Digital humanities , Digital scholarship