Last weekend, quite literally half a world away, my grandmother died. She had survived a long illness many years ago—had come back stronger. But this was not that. This was her heart. And it happened very quickly.
Hours after I hear the news, I walk alone to campus to pack up my office. I'm changing jobs and moving states at the end of the month, more specifically, on the day I'm now scheduled to return from her memorial service. Everything has to be ready to go, so I switch into organizational overdrive, which is good because it's distracting. I want to be distracted because I'm too far from the rest of my family who are processing their grief together.
Then, among the books in my teaching collection, I find her high school copy of As You Like It. Read More
Anyone who doubts that extra-curricular humanities programming can draw a crowd should have been at VCU's James Branch Cabell Library last Friday, November 13, where upwards of 100 people—most of them undergraduates—spent the afternoon transcribing seventeenth-century manuscripts for the Folger Shakespeare Library's crowd-sourced and soon-to-be web-accessible Early Modern Manuscripts Online (EMMO) project.
As the Folger's Curator of Manuscripts Heather Wolfe reminded us in her opening remarks, the ability to read hand-written historical documents informs how we understand our cultural, social, political, religious, and economic inheritance. Wolfe stressed that manuscripts didn't die out with the rise of printing, Instead, manuscript production flourished. Printed texts were "just the tip of the textual iceberg." What would happen, she asked, if more people could read the manuscripts that are only currently accessible to a select few with special paleography training? What would we be able to learn about our past? Read More
I will be celebrating VCU's very good luck this Friday the 13th when the Folger Shakespeare Library's Early Modern Manuscripts Online (EMMO) project team visits Richmond to lead a transcribathon for faculty, students, staff, representatives from local institutions, and interested members of the general public. Read More