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2011 Marco Manuscript Workshop

5th Annual Marco Manuscript Workshop
Editions and E-ditions: New Tools for Old Texts
February 4-5, 2011

The Fifth Marco Manuscript Workshop will be held Friday and Saturday, February 4 and 5, 2011, at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville; the workshop is organized by Professors Maura K. Lafferty (Classics) and Roy M. Liuzza (English).

In this year’s workshop we hope to consider how the tools we use to study texts have shaped, and continue to shape, our practice of editing. Do the editorial principles we adopt arise from the reality of medieval texts, or do they construct that reality? Does our choice of one convention of presentation over another predispose us and our readers to certain kinds of interpretations? Are concepts like ‘variant’, ‘apparatus’, even ‘text’, a reflection of the material we study, or the social history of printed editions?

Meanwhile, changing technology for presenting and organizing texts and images make it seem that the most venerable principles might suddenly be negotiable and the most basic conventions unnecessa be imagined can be achieved. But do new tools for studying manuscripts require new rules for reading and making editions? What are the new principles and conventions used to create electronic editions? And if these new tools free us from the constraints of traditional printed text, do they impose other constraints not yet apparent to us? We welcome presentations on any aspect of this topic, broadly imagined.

The workshop is open to scholars and students at any rank and in any field who are engaged in textual editing, manuscript studies, or epigraphy. Individual 75-minute sessions will be devoted to each project; participants will be asked to introduce their text and its context, discuss their approach to working with their material, and exchange ideas and information with other participants. As in previous years, the workshop is intended to be more a class than a conference; participants are encouraged to share new discoveries and unfinished work, to discuss both their successes and frustrations, to offer both practical advice and theoretical insights, and to work together towards developing better professional skills for textual and codicological work. We particularly invite the presentation of works in progress, unusual manuscript problems, practical difficulties, and new or experimental models for studying or representing manuscript texts. Presenters will receive a stipend of $500 for their participation.

The deadline for applications is October 15, 2010. Applicants are asked to submit a current CV and a two-page letter describing their project to Roy M. Liuzza, preferably via email to, or by mail to the Department of English, University of Tennessee, 301 McClung Tower, Knoxville, TN 37996-0430.

The workshop is also open at no cost to scholars and students who do not wish to present their own work but are interested in sharing a lively weekend of discussion and ideas about manuscript studies. Further details will be available later in the year; please contact Roy Liuzza for more information.

Sponsored by the Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, with support from the Hodges Better English Fund and the Office of Research at the University of Tennessee