Tag Archives: textual scholarship

Happy FUSE Conference Week!

It’s finally here! From everyone on the staff at the Blue Route and all those in the English & Creative Writing department and beyond, we cannot wait to welcome everyone to Widener to have an awesome FUSE conference!

The theme of the conference this year, “Will You Look at That?” places a focus on aesthetics and its interactions with such topics as individual publications, the process of evaluating submissions, the digital realm, and the community. We’ve got two and a half days packed with panels by student editors from 14 different universities around the country, as well as some awesome special events such as:

  • Keynote speaker Lisa Funderburg, the author of Pig Candy, speaking on Thursday afternoon
  • Special Presentations by professional editors and Widener faculty, as well as one by Widener students engaged with textual scholarship
  • Fun evening activities like an Open Mic hosted by the English Club and a concert by Smart Barker (rock-n-roll with a literary twist)
  • A Saturday morning excursion to the Brandywine River Museum to finish out the conference

Remember to take tons of pictures and hashtag everything with #FUSE15 on social media so we can live tweet the conference!

It’s going to be the best FUSE conference yet…see you soon!

Written by Emma Irving

The Pursuit of Understanding Classic Reading from A Modern Perspective

My freshmen year of college introduced a new element of the publication of books that, I am certain, had I not pursued the furthering of my education, I never would have known. Reflecting now, as a junior, on my wealth of knowledge and inherent lack of it as well, I do know that I can never regress into not knowing what I have learned.

Textual scholarship is a layer of the publishing world that focuses on the origin of texts, usually manuscripts when considering the works of authors done in the 19th century and before, and preserving them as they were first originally published. (That is my favorable approach to textual scholarship but I will say some scholars approach texts with different means.) So imagine my excitement when having a conversation with a professor and he mentioned that Charles Dickens had published his novels in monthly installments! As a modern reader in the modern world there is hardly any piece of literature that is trickled out slowly to me, especially Dickens. I can pick up, say, David Copperfield and flip through every chapter until I’m satisfied. But Dickens wrote David Copperfield in a way that reflected how it was published.

So, in the pursuit of finding out what it is like for a modern audience to read the text of David Copperfield in a very slow, un-bingeful way, a small group has taken a step towards preserving its original structure. Each installment of David Copperfield, there being 19 of them, is distributed monthly with all engravings provided to recreate the response Dickens was going for originally. Each piece of this installment has significance that is lost to many readers when trudging through Copperfield in its complete form. But that’s where the purpose of pursuing the preservation of this novel begins to gain momentum.

Here’s to hoping that a modern audience learns more about their modernity when reading something in a very classic, out-of-date, bizarre way. Here’s to hoping the readers engage with and understand Dickens on a deeper level, like his original readership did. Here’s to preserving, and here’s to textual scholarship.

By Kimberlee Roberts