On Tuesday, November 13 at 5:00pm in 110 Memorial Hall, the Center for Material Culture Studies "Media Old and New” working group presents Whitney Trettien, assistant professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania.
Trettien will present her talk, “Edward Benlowes’ Queer Books: Experiments in Digital Book History,” which examines the transmedia bookwork of Edward Benlowes and his companion and domestic secretary Jan Schoren. Together, they built a collection of books and technologies, and through their collaborations, also built a “homosocial network of poets, printers, engravers, and composers.” Trettien explains, “in this talk, I will share what I’ve learned about what we might call Benlowes’ poetics of the codex while also demonstrating some of the digital tools and methods I’ve used to better understand his queer collaborations. These include social network analysis and a new platform Manicule, designed with the web engineer Liza Daly, for building web-based “tours” of an unusual book like “Theophila.” Motivating this work are big-picture questions like: how can multimedia publishing and digital editing make visible the creative labors of seemingly idiosyncratic or marginalized figures like Benlowes? And how can data help us place their work within broader histories of reading and writing?”
Whitney Trettien is an assistant professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, where she teaches on digital humanities and book history. Her current book project, “Cut/Copy/Paste,” unpacks the history of three fringe communities that assembled books from fragments in seventeenth century England. It is a hybrid print/digital project being staged on the Manifold Scholarship platform of University of Minnesota Press, where the monograph is enriched with digital editions, videos, sounds, maps, and datasets related to each community. She recently co-edited "Provoke!," a web-based collection of sonic scholarship. A print companion, “Digital Sound Studies,” is out this Fall from Duke University Press. She is also the co-editor of thresholds, an occasional digital zine for poetry, art, and creative/critical scholarship.