My summer at END

My summer at END

Katy Frank, 6/29/2016 My summer at END, pt. I Digital humanities: Not just using digital means to represent the humanities – e.g. a PDF of your thesis – but also using the digital to explore the humanities – using digital tools to look at trends in prefaces across vast quantities of non-canonical books, for example. The digital humanities is a nascent and highly contested field, and I am extremely happy that I’ve gotten to learn more about what it is, exactly, at my summer job, thanks to the Hurford Center. This summer, I’m working at END, the Early Novels Database, in UPenn’s Van Pelt Library. In the mornings, we catalogue old books using a library computer language called Marc XML, which resembles HTML. We record extremely detailed metadata about the books paratexts, authorship, publication, and more. This summer we’ve mostly been cataloguing books from the 1780s, though we’ve seen books from throughout the 18th century. We mostly look at books from England, though there are a few from Ireland and the colonial U.S.A. We’ve seen some great titles, including: Love and Madness: a Story Too True, In a Series of Letters, Between Parties Whose Names Would Perhaps be Mentioned Were They Less Known or Less Lamented Discipline: a Novel. By the Author of Self-Control. The History of Jemmy and Jenny Jessamy Memoirs and Adventures of a Flea The School For Husbands A typical day at work looks like:     In the afternoons, we have a more varied schedule. We have Theory Thursdays, where we – you guessed it! – discuss theory re: both early novels and digital humanities. There...
HCAH interviews Charles Woodard on his solo-exhibition opening tonight!

HCAH interviews Charles Woodard on his solo-exhibition opening tonight!

Charles Woodard The History of Photography in Pen and Ink, 1646-1990 June 28 – August 5, 2016   Higher Pictures is pleased to present the work of Charles Woodard. The 60 four-by-six-inch flashcards on view here comprise the complete set of drawings Woodard made as an undergraduate in 2007 when he was a student in Nick Muellner’s notoriously difficult history of photography survey course at Ithaca College. This is the first time these original pieces have been shown and this is Woodard’s first solo gallery exhibition.     HCAH: Can you let us in on the history of how these works came to be? C. Woodard: The original drawings came to be due to a rather monstrous History of Photography course I took in undergrad coupled with a broken printer. Since I didn’t want to pay the printing charge at the library, I opted to draw the photos that I had to study out on flash cards, and used them. After the course was finished, I presented them to my professor at the time, since I knew he found them funny. A month later I got an email from him and his publishing partner, saying they wanted to turn the work into a book. HCAH: So, because of these note cards, you have your first solo-exhibition…but did they actually help you pass your exam? C. Woodard: Yes, they actually did help, which is why people like them I assume. I got an A in the class. HCAH: What was the card that you had the most fun drawing? Which image was the hardest to memorize? C. Woodard: My personal,...
Poetry, Ecology, and (Dis)possession: Joan Naviyuk Kane at Haverford College

Poetry, Ecology, and (Dis)possession: Joan Naviyuk Kane at Haverford College

We’re revisiting Joan Naviyuk Kane’s incredible poetry reading during her Spring residency, Poetry, Ecology, and (Dis)possession! Check out the video and peruse through recordings of some of our favorite events this year on the Hurford Center’s Vimeo page! Special thanks to Joan and Visiting Assistant Professor of Writing John Hyland for organizing this residency. And thanks to Shawn Korhauser for filming and editing this video for our archive!...
An interview with Professor Kristen Mills by Lydia Gingerich ’19

An interview with Professor Kristen Mills by Lydia Gingerich ’19

Though spring has just begun, forecasting for Fall 2016 is rapidly approaching. We asked Professor Kristen Mills to talk a bit about the two courses she’s offering through the Hurford Center next year. Living with the Dead: Attitudes Towards Death in Medieval Britain How have individuals and communities conceptualized their relationship with the dead? This course will examine changing attitudes towards death by considering entwined discourses about burial, the dead, and the afterlife, from the early Middle Ages to the early modern period, focusing on Britain. The medieval Church’s teachings about the place of the soul in the Christian afterlife vied with a range of popular beliefs about restless spirits and walking corpses. Topics to be studied include burial practices, the location of graves, saints’ bodies, the doctrine of purgatory, and tales of the restless dead. Vikings: Facts, Fictions, and Fantasies Horned helmets, dragon-prowed ships, goblets made from enemy skulls, magical hammers: In this course students will study depictions of the Vikings from the Viking Age to the present day. The Viking Age spanned less than three centuries in the early medieval period, yet the idea of the Viking has been deployed almost continually in the intervening centuries. What is it about the Vikings that continues to fascinate successive generations? We begin in the Viking Age, studying the Vikings through the scant textual records that the Vikings themselves left behind, as well as through the writings of the English who were continually attacked and invaded by Northmen until the Anglo-Norman Conquest in 1066. We will then read a selection of texts written in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, including...