Dr. Laura L. Runge Office: CPR 301J/ 813-974-9496
Spring 2005 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
LIB 620A Tuesday 3-5:50 PM
References: On-line databases
We have a particularly dense set of readings for this week and so there will be much to discuss. These readings should be bringing together various threads of information and practice from the earlier part of the semester. Also, keep in mind the applicability of these readings to your own research.
Altick Chapter 3: Some Scholarly Occupations
The first section on “Textual Study” retraces some of the material we covered in Greetham. What new insights do you glean from this recounting?
Altick interprets Greg’s theory on page 76, emphasizing the goal of recapturing authorial intention. How do you understand the meaning of intention? What are the benefits and problems with this concept? Consider how its meaning has changed with the influence of postmodern theories (through page 81).
What are the possibilities for research discussed in Problems of Authorship?
Discuss some of the dangers in studies of source and intertextuality (see pp 108-9).
Determining influence or popularity is an important task of the literary critic, and it is especially important for those of you interested in doing a textual history. How does one determine a text’s popularity and influence? What are some of the pitfalls to be avoided and how can you avoid them? (124-125)
“While the strictly literary attributes of a work may determine the various ways it has been and is now regarded – the esthetic factor – its reputation is also a social product, as much subject to changes in the social and cultural climate as is our interpretation and evaluation of the work itself. What is more, the received image of the author as a person is often reshaped by the prevailing forces of taste, ideology, and psychological theory. ‘All reputations each age revises’, observed Emerson in his journal in 1839” (127). What are the implications of this for major authors? Minor authors? Newly recovered authors?
Questions to ascertain: “Is there enough solid evidence to permit us to convert our supposition of influence into a probability? If so, by what means such as general diffusion or transmission through a series of identifiable intermediaries, was it carried down, and how widely was it felt? Finally, and most pertinent for the intentions of criticism, what was the precise nature of that influence as revealed by the literary works where it can be detected?” Wise words. How can you apply these to your own research?
In Cultivating a Sense of the Past, our authors offer guidelines for the literary student to become an effective historian. The crossover of disciplines has been a bugbear in the industry of literary criticism for some time; nothing excuses poor historical work on the part of the literary critic. Examine this section for particularly helpful resources, insights, and warnings.
How would you define the difference between intellectual history and social history (141-44)?
On pp 151-3, our authors present an outline of common fallacies in literary history and safeguards against them. After reviewing these, consider examples from your own experience (as reader, as writer).
Gibaldi: Chapter One – Scholarly Publishing
This chapter brings together the nuts and bolts of preparing, submitting, vetting, and producing a scholarly work for publication. If you have not already gone through this experience (and even if you have), the information in this chapter provides a great deal of insight and practical advice. Your discussion on abbreviations and proofreading symbols will take on new significance in light of the standards of professional publication.
For discussion purposes, please note areas of concern, question, ambiguity or genuine astonishment.
Continue to complete essential source data information for these references. All of these databases are electronic and accessible from USF Library online. Find out as much essential source data as you can for each reference. Browse the reference, clicking on as many options as possible to discover the full range of its capacity as well as its limitations. Create challenging searches for each. Try to answer the question, how might I use this database? What sorts of searches can it perform and how will it help me?
Dissertations Abstracts Online – now part of Digital Dissertations on ProQuest UMI. This is a commercial site with all the limitations of such. Earlier dissertation abstracts can be found in the hardbound Dissertation Abstracts International formerly titled Dissertation Abstracts and Microfilm Abstracts (REF /Z5055/.U49/D5 and /M5), to which the Comprehensive Dissertation Index and its Supplements (REF /Z5055/.U49/D5/Index and /D51) provide relatively easy access where the online resource is unavailable. (No one with access to the online version of CDI should bother with the tortuous and now obsolete indexing in DAI proper!)
Harner has an update for this entry on his website.
RLG Archival Resources on Eureka. How is this different from Worldcat? Under what circumstances would you use this database?
Litmus test your project topic in these two databases – bring in any questions that the searches raised for you.
Arts & Humanities Search – primarily used for Arts and Humanities Citation Index (hardbound version REF/A13/.A63). The online version is part of the ISI Web of Science. Evaluate its usability.
Book Review Digest – on WilsonWeb. The hardcover pre-1983 volumes of BRD (REF/Z/1219/.B6) remain of considerable use. As you know, the IAC Expanded Academic Index database also indexes book reviews (as does ABELL), though it does not abstract them. Other current useful complements to BRD you should be aware of are:
Book Review Index (REF/Z/1035/.A1/B6)
Media Review Digest (REF/PN/1994/.M43+)
The latter two differ significantly in scope, frequency and treatment. There are numerous other media review indexes, some of which you will notice on the adjacent shelves.
JSTOR – a unique database with full-text imaging for over 450 academic journals. For more information on the facts and figures, see the link “About JSTOR.” The significant feature is the range of years covered. This has become a fundamental resource that should be a regular part of your research.