Editing and Textual Cultures

Module code: EN7223

This module introduces you to a wide range of textual practices that shape our experiences of English literature -- often without us realising. You will discover the decisions and processes that lie behind the texts you study and enjoy. Seminars range from a session on the practical skills involved in transcribing authorial manuscripts, to learning about production of today's major online scholarly editions.

This is a team-taught module, which draws directly on tutors' experience of editorial projects across a series of literary periods. In the weekly two-hour seminars, we uncover how the interpretation of works is affected by editorial factors and explore theories of textual editing, book history, and material culture.

One of the benefits of this module therefore comes in learning how to analyse not just an author's choices, but those of an editor -- and so how to identify the best version of a text for your research. You will learn to recognise how editorial decisions can affect the interpretation of a text and the reader's experience of it.

The assessment consists of a review of a scholarly edition of your choice, followed by an essay or editorial project. The assessment questions span a chronological range, allowing you to chose a period or topic that interests you.

Learning

  • 20 hours of seminars
  • 280 hours of guided independent study

Assessment

  • Critical review, 2,000 words (40%)
  • Essay, 3,000 words (60%)