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.

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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).

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