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Lectures & Conferences
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Head diagram
"Head diagram," from an anonymous treatise on natural philosophy produced in Mainz, Germany, between 1485-1499 (Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection, LJS 429, p. i)

6th Annual Lawrence J. Schoenberg Symposium on Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age

November 21-23, 2013

Thinking Outside the Codex

In partnership with the Rare Book Department of the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Schoenberg Institute of Manuscript Studies at the University of Pennsylvania is pleased to announce the 6th Annual Lawrence J. Schoenberg Symposium on Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age. This year's symposium will encourage participants to "think outside the codex" and turn the tables on traditional approaches to manuscript study. We will explore such topics as how format shapes and limits interpretation, use, and production of manuscripts and how technologies have changed and challenged traditional methods of scholarship. We are especially considering instances of and responses to failure in the history of manuscript production and scholarship. In doing so, we hope to provoke new questions and forge new approaches to the study of the pre-modern book.

To kick off the event, a reception and the keynote address will be held Thursday evening, November 21, at the Free Library of Philadelphia. This year's keynote speaker will be Peter Stallybrass, Walter H. and Leonore C. Annenberg Professor in the Humanities, Professor of English and of Comparative Literature and Literary Theory, and Director of the History of the Material Text Seminar at the University of Pennsylvania.  The symposium begins Friday morning at the newly renovated Kislak Center of the University Pennsylvania Libraries. Speakers include:

  • Benjamin Albritton, Stanford University
  • Benjamin Fleming, University of Pennsylvania
  • Martin Foys, King's College, London, and Drew University
  • Evyn Kropf, University of Michigan
  • David McKnight, University of Pennsylvania
  • Kathryn Rudy, University of St. Andrews
  • Robert Sanderson, Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • Timothy Stinson, North Carolina State University
  • Elaine Treharne, Stanford University
  • Marie Turner, University of Pennsylvania

In addition, four workshops will be held throughout the symposium to offer hands-on exploration of problems and issues related to the study of manuscripts in the digital age.

The Handwritten and the Printed:  The limits of format and medium in Japanese premodern books
Leaders: Julie Davis and Linda Chance, University of Pennsylvania

Demo Workshop for T-Pen: Transcription for paleographical and editorial notation
Leader: James Ginther, Saint Louis University

Scholarship Outside the Codex: Citation-based digital workflows for integrating objects, images and text without making a mess
Leader: Christopher Blackwell, Furman University & The Homer Multitext

Of Apples and Apple Pie: Exploring the relationship between raw data and digital scholarship
Leaders: Dot Porter and Doug Emery, University of Pennsylvania

For program details, click here. Special exhibitions of manuscripts will be on view at both institutions.


Registration fee is $35 ($10 for students with valid student ID).  Online registration closes Thursday, November 21, at noon.

Walk-in registrations will be accepted for a fee of $45 ($15 for students with valid student ID) to be paid in cash.

 For further information, please contact Lynn Ransom at lransom@upenn.edu or (215) 898-7851.

For more information on the Schoenberg Symposium Series, click here.