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Keynote to take place at the Cassandra Voss Center with later sessions split between there and the Mulva Library.
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Tuesday, June 7 • 1:30pm - 2:20pm
Reviving the Fiction Factory: Editing a Penny Dreadful as an Undergraduate Research Project & Replacing the Essay: Introducing Digital Project Suites in the Undergraduate English Classroom

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Frankenstein, Dracula, and "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" are all staples of the college curriculum, but one enduring nineteenth-century horror story is rarely taught or read in its original form: James Malcolm Rymer's "penny blood" The String of Pearls, or the Barber of Fleet Street--the source of the legend of Sweeney Todd. There is currently no complete scholarly edition of the 1850 complete version of this 734-page illustrated serial. That lack is currently being rectified by an enterprising group of undergraduate students in majors ranging from English, History, and Drama to Chemistry. We are collectively transcribing, encoding, and annotating this work as a documentary digital edition, which conforms to the TEI guidelines and features a student-designed and produced graphical user interface (GUI). Pedagogically, the 'Sweeney Todd' project builds research, teamwork, and problem-solving skills, and gives some students experience in project and team management. As for myself, I'm learning from my students not only how to crowdsource a digital edition, but how to review and reflect upon my teaching and research methods, and how to network effectively in a community full of potential, curiosity, and creativity--the undergraduate population at my own institution.


This talk will describe how I rebuilt my undergraduate literature classrooms around the concept of digital project suites. The goal was not simply to displace the over-determined centrality of the "essay," but also to enhance and extend collaboration; to introduce and evaluate digital tools; to emphasize writing in new media formats; and ultimately to, via these experiences, begin approaching and interpreting literature in new and different ways. 

Tuesday June 7, 2016 1:30pm - 2:20pm CDT
Mulva Library - 314

Attendees (3)