Digital Humanities @ Bowdoin – Marilyn Reizbaum

On January 13-16 of 2014, nearly two dozen Bowdoin faculty members are taking a turn as students in a short course for faculty titled “Digital Humanities @ Bowdoin,” as part of the College’s new Digital and Computational Studies Initiative. Some of the course participants have already gotten their feet wet with projects that take advantage of computational methods and tools. Professor of English Marilyn Reizbaum describes her current project:

Marilyn Reizbaum (left) with fellow course participant Jill Smith

Marilyn Reizbaum (left) with fellow course participant Jill Smith (photo by Dennis Griggs)

I am working on a project considering the distinctive style of the modern write Muriel Spark: one that has been compelling and yet elusive – hard to characterize – for critical readers. I have some theories about what constitutes the difficulty, seeing difficulty as a particular modernist value. The digital aspect comes in when considering the many manuscripts available in her archive for already published works. For the most part, it is unclear what and how many changes were made in each iteration. A new collected of her work is in the works for 2018, her centenary year. Crystal Hall and I have talked about the library’s participation in digitization (her archive is at the Scottish National Library), what critical editions will be or are already e-books, and how to develop a pilot module for considering stylistic choices.