SHARP 2018

SHARP is coming to the southern hemisphere! We are very excited to share the news that the annual conference for the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing will be hosted by the Digital Humanities Research GroupSchool of Humanities and Communication Arts (SoHCA) at Western Sydney University, 26-29 June 2018.

Picture yourself here… (Photo credit: Willard McCarty)
…and here too. (Photo credit: iMedia)

To date, organizing committee members include:

  • Dr Jason Ensor (Convener and Chair, SoHCA, Western Sydney University)
  • Professor Simon Burrows (Convener, SoHCA, Western Sydney University)
  • Professor Anthony Uhlmann (Writing & Society Group, Western Sydney University)
  • Mr Michael Gonzalez (Western Sydney University Library).
  • Dr Anne Jamieson (SoHCA, Western Sydney University)
  • Dr Matthew McGuire (Writing & Society Group, Western Sydney University)
  • Associate Professor Sara Knox (SoHCA, Western Sydney University)
  • Dr Helen Bones (SoHCA, Western Sydney University)
  • Professor Martyn Lyons (Emeritus Professor of History & European Studies, University of New South Wales)
  • Ms Kerry Kilner (Director, AustLit: the Australian Literary Gateway, University of Queensland)
  • Dr Simone Murray (National Centre for Australian Studies & Centre for the Book, Monash University)
  • Dr Julieanne Lamond (School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics, Australian National University)
  • Professor David Carter (Chair of the AustLit Board and Professor of Australian Literature and Cultural History, University of Queensland)
  • Richard Neville (Mitchell Librarian, State Library of New South Wales)

Start planning your trip and counting all those frequent flyer miles. (But we’ll see you first in Victoria, BC, for SHARP 2017.)

MPCE Launch, SHARP, Newcastle, and New Postdoc

Introductory note from Project Director Simon Burrows: Regular readers of this blog will have noticed the loving makeover it has received in recent weeks from Katie McDonough. She, other MPCE project partners, and of course myself (until now I have run the blog solo), will all henceforth be collaboratively posting updates, workshop announcements, and other news here. We look forward to using this blog to reflect on the process of growing a DH project. Add us to your feed, or follow Katie on Twitter (@khetiwe24) to get the latest updates. Welcome to the MPCE journey.

The month of July was a busy one for the Mapping Print, Charting Enlightenment (MPCE) project. In conjunction with the 20th George Rudé Seminar held at Western Sydney University, Simon Burrows and Jason Ensor officially opened the next phase of FBTEE. From a database and suite of visualization tools based only on the archive of the STN, FBTEE will transform into a digital archive for a range of bibliometric data with new visualization options and links to other 18th c. DH projects. And this is just one piece of the MPCE project. In summary, the five strands of the project are:

  1. Piracy and Publishing in Pre-Revolutionary France;
  2. The Illegal Book Trade Revisited;
  3. Mapping the French Novel;
  4. Connecting Cultural Datasets;
  5. Conceptual Assessment of Digital Humanities Techniques.

Over the next several months, we will be updating the MPCE site with recent publications, partnership announcements, researcher bios, and tutorials. Stay tuned.

About our acronyms: “FBTEE” refers to the original database and project on the French book trade in Enlightenment Europe. “MPCE” is the umbrella project supporting updates to FBTEE, the creation of new databases for European book history, and other intellectual work related to 18th c. DH studies.

Late July was filled with SHARP 2016 in Paris and meetings in the Netherlands (in particular with Alicia Montoya and her project collaborators at Radboud University). The SHARP panel brought together several MCPE partners and highlighted our ongoing work to produce a digital edition of the Bibliographie  du Genre Romanesque Français.

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At SHARP 2016: “Mapping the French Novel” Panel

In August, the team travelled to the University of Newcastle to deliver a seminar on MPCE. Thanks to our host Kate Ariotti and the History@Newcastle Research Seminar for the opportunity to share our work in progress and discuss possible collaborations.

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At Newcastle: Jason Ensor describing the process of extracting records from 1980s software for a database of 18th c. French novels.

Looking forward, we are happy to announce that the second postdoc for MPCE will touch down in Australia in September. Dr. Laure Philip completed her Masters and PhD at the University of Warwick in the UK. Her background is in Eighteenth-Century Studies, with a particular focus on the French Revolution and the British-French relationships during the 1790s. Her thesis, supervised by Katherine Astbury, took a more literary turn, exploring the prose and memoirs of three women exiles in London in the 1790s.

Dr. Philip will work with us on the strand of the project entitled ‘The Illegal Book Trade Revisited.’ Her expertise on the French novel in the long eighteenth century will be valuable to exploring the geographical structure of the trade and its relative thematic composition, in order to discern the prevalence of Enlightenment philosophie in comparison with other illegal genres. We look forward to welcoming her next month.

Report on Digitizing Enlightenment Symposium

The Digitizing Enlightenment Symposium was held from 12-13 July, 2016 at Western Sydney University. Convened with the collaboration of  Glenn Roe (ANU), the Digitizing Enlightenment Symposium brought together venerable and youthful, big and small, personal and collaborative digital humanities projects that focused on 18th-century France. The meeting preceded the “launch” of the ARC project “Mapping Print, Charting Enlightenment” at Western Sydney University during the 20th George Rudé Seminar.

Along with Glenn Roe, Simon Burrows, Jason Ensor, and Katie McDonough welcomed participants for the first instance of a series of meetings for scholars who engage with DH as they study and teach the French 18th century.

Simon Burrows presenting on plans for FBTEE 3.0

Day one included presentations from the major 18th c. French DH projects such as ARTFL, Electronic Enlightenment, Mapping the Republic of Letters, the Comédie Française Registers Project (with its predecessor CESAR), and the French Book Trade in Enlightenment Europe.

We continued with introductions to new projects such as Alicia Montoya’s “Middlebrow Enlightenment”/MEDIATE and a digital edition of all 18th c. French romanesque works (the third generation, if you will, of this work).

Continue reading “Report on Digitizing Enlightenment Symposium”

Digitizing Enlightenment, 12-13 July 2016

We are pleased to announce that details and how to register for the Digitizing Enlightenment symposium to be held at Western Sydney’s Parramatta campus on 12-13 July are now available here.

The symposium brings together representatives of several leading Digital Humanities projects dealing with the Enlightenment in France and/or Europe to discuss the development of the field, findings, technologies and methodologies, and where our research is heading.

Projects represented will include ‘Mapping the Republic of Letters’; the Electronic Enlightenment; the Comédie Française Registers Project; ARTFL’s Encyclopédie project; MEDIATE and of course FBTEE itself.

The symposium precedes the George Rudé Seminar, which will take place at Parramatta from 13-16 July.

Welcome to FBTEE

The FBTEE team is proud to announce the appointment of Dr Katherine McDonough as Research Associate on our Australian Research Council’s Mapping Print, Charting Enlightenment (MPCE) project.


Katie McDonough is currently based at Bates College in Maine, but she did her doctoral work at Stanford (and much else besides) under the mentorship of Keith Michael Baker and Dan Edelstein.

She has thus worked with two of the most intellectually innovative Enlightenment/French revolutionists from two different generations, and has participated in some of the projects of the Mapping the Republic of Letters team.

Katie is already an accomplished digital humanist, and has a particular expertise in mapping and spatial history which grows out of her innovative doctoral work on infrastructure development and provincial society in late seventeenth- and eighteenth-century France. This is all experience that will be invaluable to the FBTEE project.

Katie will be working with us on the ‘Mapping the French novel‘ strand of the MPCE project.

FBTEE is delighted at Katie’s appointment from a strong field, and we look forward to welcoming them to Western Sydney. They should both be here in good time to participate in the George Rudé Seminar and Digitizing Enlightenment symposium in July.


Digitizing Enlightenment

Digitizing Enlightenment is the name of a symposium we are holding at Western Sydney’s Parramatta campus on 12-13 July 2016. It will bring together a stellar cast of chief investigators and participants on some of the most exciting digital projects around, including our old friends Mapping the Republic of Letters, the Comédie francaise registers project, ARTFL, FBTEE, Electronic Enlightenment, as well as some newer players in the field. We will be talking about the history and development of these projects, the methods and techniques they have developed, key findings and lessons, future collaborations and how digital scholarship has and is changing eighteenth-century studies. It promises to be a great curtain-raiser for the George Rudé Seminar in French History and Civilization, which will be held at the same venue on 13-16 July. There will be podcasts of the discussions for those who cannot make it in person, and there will be a book, too. We are also looking for scholars and students who have made innovative use of the resources to be discussed as potential participants … much more will follow in July. Can’t wait.

FBTEE in Russian

A couple of years ago, I was invited to submit a piece to the Annuaire d’études françaises, for a special edition to mark the 225th anniversary of the French Revolution, to be edited by Alexandre Tchoudinov et Dmitri Bovykine. And as a free bonus they have even translated it into Russian. For those of you who missed it, the title is ‘БИБЛИОМЕТРИЯ, ПОПУЛЯРНОЕ ЧТЕНИЕ И ЛИТЕРАТУРНОЕ ПОЛЕ ИЗДАТЕЛЯ ЭПОХИ ПРОСВЕЩЕНИЯ’ and my name has been rendered in Russian as Саймон Барроуз. I think that must be right, but as my name has been mistranscribed in English in the table of contents as Sidney Burrows, I’m not quite sure. Ironically, I was indeed nearly named Sidney, as my mother is a primary teacher and felt that it would help me to write my name by the time I went to school if it was composed of the three very different letter shapes S-I-D. And for those more interested in the article, its original English title was ‘Bibliometrics, Popular Reading, and the Literary Field of an Enlightenment Publisher’. I suspect that sounds better in Russian!