Exploring Edinburgh’s Literary Cityscape

At last – definitive proof that there is such a thing as a free lunch!

Edinburgh

To mark the release of the new LitLong app for both Android and iOS we’re holding a couple of events about which I’m quite frankly unable to contain my excitement. LitLong is a unique digital resource that allows users to explore literary Edinburgh through more than 600 works which make the city their setting – it’s been put together and developed by a team based in English Literature here, and we’ve been remaking our interface and apps over the last year.

litlong-paths-flyer - 1One of the key features of the new LitLong is the ability to make and share ‘paths’ – customised strings of excerpts on any topic or theme that the resource makes possible. So this Saturday, 18 November, we’re holding a free event exploring and making paths through literary Edinburgh. There’ll be all sorts of different activities, a free lunch, and then a chance to explore the settings of Kaite Welsh’s fantastic new contribution to Edinburgh crime fiction, The Wages of Sin, on a tour guided by Kaite herself! You can find further info, and book a place, here. We’d love to see you there!

One of the other things that LitLong does is to bring a lot of long-neglected writing to the surface, much of it by women writers who are less well known than they should be. Since LitLong draws on Wikipedia to inform users about the writers whose work they encounter there, we’re making a concerted effort to create or improve Wikipedia articles on some of the women writers whose books we’re featuring. So on Friday 24 November we’re hosting an ‘editathon’ for anyone who’d like to help us bring these writers out of the shadows. Full training in writing and editing Wikipedia articles will be provided, as will a free lunch, plus LitLong goodies! Please book your place here. We have a Wikipedia page for the event, with practical info and suggestions for articles that might be created or improved, if you want to do some preparation beforehand!

We hope you can join us!

These events are part of the Being Human Festival, supported by the AHRC.

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Some Stories We Can Tell About the Digital Humanities

What is there left to say about the digital humanities? I found myself staring down the barrel of that question last week, as an invited speaker at the University of Oxford’s wonderful Digital Humanities Summer School. I gulped. So much has already been said, after all. There are journals, handbooks, and overviews, publishers’ lists, blogs, online communities, small colloquia and large scale annual conferences. There are centres and institutes and labs, research council themes, a ceaseless torrent of lively, exciting, innovative projects and initiatives with which it’s already impossible to keep up. Surrounded by all this whirl, it might seem forlorn for a relatively late entrant into the field like myself to have any hope of saying something interesting at all. Indeed, I may not have done. I could have kept my head down, I suppose, and focused on the minutiae of projects I’ve been involved with. But I find myself, despite the evident hazards, unable to resist the temptation to lift the gaze a bit – to try and see a story, an itinerary, plugging those projects into a broader movement or process. But what would that story be?

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