Playing the Margins
By Anne Welsh, on 18 March 2011
As the clock ticks to midnight, I thought I would start the Day of Digital Humanities with a post about Playing the Margins, a public engagement project led by MA LIS students Paris O’Donnell and Sian Prosser. Sian and Paris have both taken Digital Resources in the Humanities and Historical Bibliography, and we are delighted to see them putting their learning (and previous experience) into practice in this project, funded by UCL’s Train & Engage Scheme.
Paris and Sian write:
The aim of Playing the Margins is to bring drama students and actors into UCL Special Collections to engage with early printed books relating to their interests. The project is being supported by the Public Engagement Unit and Special Collections at UCL. The workshops concentrate on readers’ marks and annotations, and give participants insights into how earlier readers left traces of their engagement with dramatic (as well as non-dramatic) texts. Inspired by our studies of digital humanities and historical bibliography at UCL DIS, Playing the Margins is an experiment in using digital tools to explore reading practices and dramatic performance.
In the workshop, participants will be invited to reflect on their own marking practices in scripts and play-texts, and to think about taboos or proscriptions relating to writing in books. Then, participants are presented with examples of interesting annotations, ownership marks and other readers’ marks taken from UCL’s Special Collections, so they can explore the continuities between their reading/annotating practices and those of early readers. The workshop concludes with participants inscribing virtually a photographic image of a text they have encountered, using a digital tablet which captures handwriting. Their recorded hand-written engagements will form the basis for an online blog and exhibition, which will also showcase participants’ further written and/or spoken reflections on the workshop.
We’re really looking forward to hearing more about Sian’s and Paris’s experiences and findings through the project, and especially, to following the blog that they are in the process of setting up. Watch this space (and Sian’s Day of DH blog) for more.