sometimes, despite our best intentions, relationships just don’t work out. words, much as i love them, can get in the way, and paragraphs, intended to fit snugly within an argument, well, sometimes, they muddy rather than continue the point. here’s a recent passage I was sad to excise, but, really, in the end, it was time to break it off:
In 2007 Walt Whitman Archive co-editor Ed Folsom argued for the database as the new genre, extolling its ‘rhizomorphous’ capacity. In 2009, his co-editor, Kenneth Price, unpacked this term and others, including edition, project, archive, and thematic research collection, concluding that we need a new term and contending that “we should not strive to fit our work to one or another existing term but instead expect that, in time, terms will alter in meaning – or new ones will come into existence – so as to convey the characteristics of a new type of scholarship.” Siemens et al. have written recently about the ‘social edition,’ summarizing their analysis of “the intersection of social media and the scholarly edition in electronic form.” Designation can and does signify a set of project expectations, and it can and does influence whether we select a platform designed as a digital object repository, a database, a teaching and research tool, or something entirely new, and this decision ultimately shapes public as well as scholarly understanding of and interaction with the front-end deliverable.
- Folsom, Ed. 2007. “Database as Genre: The Epic Transformation of Archives.” PMLA, 122: 1571-1579.
- Price, Kenneth. 2009. “Edition, Project, Database, Archive, Thematic Research Collection: What’s in a Name?” Digital Humanities Quarterly, 3:3, accessed 13 Nov. 2012, http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/3/3/000053/000053.html.
- Siemens, Ray et al. 2012. “Toward modeling the social edition: An approach to understanding the electronic scholarly edition in the context of new and emerging social media*.” Literary and Linguistic Computing, 27(4): 453.