Justin Tonra (NUI Galway) will be presenting his paper, ‘Ossian Online: Building an Interdisciplinary Research Environment’, at 5.30pm on Tuesday, 6 May 2014. The talk will take place in the Cardiff University’s John Percival Building, Room 2.48.
This presentation will introduce the early stages of Ossian Online, a new research initiative to archive and edit James Macpherson’s profoundly influential work of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European culture. The project will deploy digital technologies to pilot a new crowdsourcing model of scholarly collaboration. Ossian Online will build a multinational online interpretive community through the establishment of a virtual research environment.
The talk will introduce the works of the Ossian canon and describe the desired outcomes of the new project. The work is much discussed but rarely read, so the paper will outline the rationale for returning the focus of Ossianic discourse to the original texts and print culture in which it first appeared. Progress on digitising and encoding major editions from Macpherson’s lifetime (between 1760 and 1773) is ongoing, and plans for completing a new critical edition which will visualise the development of the work’s texts across this period will be discussed.
A central part of Ossian Online will involve building an online research environment to facilitate crowdsourced annotation and interpretation of Ossian, harnessing the interdisciplinary reach and appeal of the work. The project’s ultimate objectives are to use digital technologies to challenge national and disciplinary models of previous literary criticism which have impeded full appreciation of the cultural importance and significance of Ossian.
About the speaker
Dr Justin Tonra is University Fellow in English at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He has research interests in literature of the Romantic period, digital humanities, and book history. He has spent periods of postdoctoral work at UCL (where he worked on Transcribe Bentham) and the University of Virginia. His work has been published by Literary and Linguistic Computing and an article on Thomas Moore’s early poetry is forthcoming (late 2014) in European Romantic Review.