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English 814
The Hypertext Edition: Theory and Practice

Course Description


This course will introduce students to the theoretical foundations and mechanics of electronic and hypertext editions. The treatment of theory and practice will be introduced concurrently: the course will be comprised of both practical hands-on sessions, and a more conventional, seminar-based component that will address the implications of the application of electronic technologies to literary editions. The practical component of the course will train the student in the fundamentals of HTML, XHTML, and XML markup and delivery, with the focus upon the encoding guidelines for humanities texts devised by the Text Encoding Initiative; additional technologies touched upon will include such subjects as digital imaging and manipulation. The theoretical portions of the course will introduce students to hypertext theory, with an emphasis upon the intersections between this and recent developments in editorial practice and theory. The occasional contributions of guest lecturers will provide students with a variety of perspectives on the subject.

Students will be expected to apply their new skills through the production, by the completion of the course, of a functioning hypertext edition of a brief work of their choice. Other components for evaluation will include one oral seminar on hypertext and editorial theory, and an oral book review. Written work (in addition to that associated with the hypertext edition itself) will include a final essay, a briefer book review essay, and a "prospectus" for the edition. Students will, as well, be asked to submit drafts of their edition at set intervals through the course.

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Mark McDayter, The University of Western Ontario, 2004