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  1. Research Overview
  2. Faculty Research
  3. Graduate Student Research
  4. Undergraduate Research
  5. Colloquium Series
  6. Topics Pages
  7. Transcriptions Bookshelf
  8. Guide to Electronic Literature
  9. Guide to Writings About New Media
  10. Talks/Essays About the Project


Transcriptions Research

Research Overview

One of the main missions of Transcriptions is to demonstrate how humanities departments can use information technology in an integral—rather than just supplementary—fashion to facilitate research. Transcriptions is about research in new fields germane to technology itself—e.g., digital culture, electronic literature, new media. But Transcriptions is also about the way information technology remolds the interrelationships and methods of existing research fields through the following means:

  • Collaboration across fields. Faculty in the Transcriptions project, for example, include medievalist, 18th-century British, 19th-century British and American, and 20th-century scholars. In almost no other context in a contemporary research-level humanities department could such a cross-period and cross-field group work closely together in research and teaching. The themes and practices of information technology create a shared medium between fields.
  • Collaboration across academic levels. In the typical humanities department, faculty and students work together in research only in tightly constrained ways. Individual graduate students, for example, may serve as research assistants for individual faculty; while undergraduate students almost never have a chance to participate in research with instructors. Transcriptions, by contrast, creates a much thicker zone of interaction across academic levels. Multiple faculty work with multiple graduate-student research assistants in a variety of research activities, including the organizing Transcriptions Colloquia, creating Transcriptions Topics pages, and writing reviews for the Transcriptions Bookshelf. In addition, undergraduate research assistants work with graduate-student supervisors and Transcriptions faculty to produce original research in the innovative Literature & Culture of Information (LCI) Reseach Team program.
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration. Transcriptions uses the themes and practices of information technology to create research activities that bridge not just between academic disciplines but between the academy and other professional sectors of society. Faculty and students in the project, for example, collaborate or visit with members of such other departments on campus as Art Studio, Media Arts & Technology, Film Studies, or Psychology (the UCSB Psychology Department's Virtual Reality lab). Project participants also meet with or interview people from the worlds of business and private-industry information technology (see, for example, LCI field trip to the Panasonic Speech Technology Laboratory).

Transcriptions Faculty Research


Transcriptions is directed by a core group of faculty in the UCSB English Department with a cross-field and cross-period interest in the relevance of information culture to past literary culture and vice versa. Project faculty and their interests include:

Image from Rita Raley's recent article on Codework Image from Rita Raley's article, "Interferences: [Net.Writing] and the Practice of Codework" (Electronic Book Review, 2002)

  • Alan Liu (Project Director): digital culture and new media studies, literary theory, cultural studies and postindustrialism, British Romantic literature and art; major Web project: Voice of the Shuttle; recent book: The Laws of Cool: The Culture of Information, Stanford Univ. Press, 2003 (biography; more info)
  • Christopher Newfield: American culture after 1830, literary and social theory, affect, race, sexuality, California, corporate culture, and the history of the university; recent book: Literature, Incorporated: The Humanities and Modern Management, Duke Univ. Press, 2003 (biography)
  • Carol Braun Pasternack: Old and Middle English literature; history of the English language; oral and textual theory; gender in the Middle Ages; recent book: The Textuality of Old English Poetry, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1995; book in progress on The Individual, the Family, and the Text in Anglo-Saxon England (biography)
  • Rita Raley: digital textuality, electronic culture, globalization and global culture, cultures of colonialism and imperialism, history of the university; recent article, "Interferences: [Net.Writing] and the Practice of Codework," Electronic Book Review, 2002; books in progress: Global English and the Academy and Transfers: Textuality and the Digital Aesthetic (biography)
  • William Warner: Eighteenth century, the novel, literary and cultural theory, history of 20th century media (from film to Internet), law and literature (free speech and censorship); director of The Digital Cultures Project; recent book: Licensing Entertainment: the Elevation of Novel Reading in Eighteenth Century Britain (Univ. of California Press, 1998); book in progress: American Networks: From 18th Century Committees of Correspondence to the Internet (biography)

Graduate Student Research


Transcriptions is directed by a core group of faculty in the UCSB English Department with a cross-field and cross-period interest in the relevance of information culture to past literary culture and vice versa. Project faculty and their interests include:

During each year, four to six graduate students work in close collaboration with Transcriptions faculty as project research assistants and teaching assistants. Besides helping develop the project's technology, Web site, and instruction, graduate students contribute the perspective of their own individual research interests—for example, in the creation of Transcriptions Topics pages and Resources pages.

Recent graduate students associated with Transcriptions, for example, include Jeremy Douglass (dissertation planned on the transition of contemporary fiction to digital form, especially database design; programmer and designer of the database serving the Transcriptions and UCSB English Dept. Web sites), Jennifer Jones (dissertation completed on the relation between the theory of virtual reality and the 19th-century theory of the sublime; author of Transcriptions Topics page on Virtual Realities & Imaginative Literature and contributor to Transcriptions Bookshelf), and Christopher Schedler (book forthcoming, Border Modernism: Intercultural Readings in American Literary Modernism, Routledge, 2002; author of the Transcriptions Topics page on Native American Literature, Oral Tradition, Internet).

Other graduate students who have worked in Transcriptions and their interests include:

  • Robert Adlington: dissertation-in-progress on J. G. Ballard, narrative theory, and memory, with a complementary interest in database design; co-author with Katie Berry of Transcriptions Topics page on Celebrity and media
  • Carolyn Brehm: dissertation-in-progress on Early Modern literature; author of Transcriptions Topics page on Hypertheatre
  • Sharon Doetsch: research areas in lesbian feminism, queer theory, and social movements; Transcriptions supervisor of undergraduate research team in LCI specialization
  • Gerald Egan : research areas in nineteenth-century literature, visual culture, and new media.
  • Laurie Ellinghausen: dissertation-in-progress on professionalization and the labor of literature in the Early Modern period; contributor to Transcriptions Resource pages
  • Andrea Fontenot: research interests in modernism and revolution, queer
    theory, and postcolonial theory and literatures; Transcriptions supervisor of undergraduate research team in the LCI specialization
  • Elizabeth Freudenthal: dissertation-in-progress on compulsiveness and detachment syndromes in contemporary fiction; RA for Transcriptions; instructor for LCI course in science fiction; TA in Transcriptions lower-division lecture course on The Culture of Information
  • Robert Hamm: dissertation-in-progress on 18th-century editions of Shakespeare
  • Jim Hodge : media theory, archaeologies, aesthetics; modern British literature; precinema, film theory, early cinema
  • Kimberly Knight : research areas in 20th century literature, new media, and information culture; dissertation planned on information structures and the sublime in gothic and cyberpunk literature; member of The Agrippa Files development team; research assistant for the Transliteracies project.
  • Gisela Kommerell: dissertation planned on information theory and literature; author of Transcriptions topics page on Information Theory
  • Michael Perry: dissertation planned on []; contributor to various Transcriptions pages and developer of workshops and drop-in tech support for Transcriptions courses
  • Jeanne Scheper: dissertation in progress on trans-Atlantic cultures of performance and new modernism(s) 1892-1940; worked with Prof. Christopher Newfield on syllabus and course page for American Literature and Corporate Culture
  • Diana Solomon: dissertation-in-progress on the comic performances of actresses on the Restoration and early 18th-century London stage; author of Transcriptions Topics page on Masquerade and the Web
  • Melissa Stevenson: dissertation-in-progress on intersections of technology, popular culture, and conceptions of human identity; developer of prototype for the design and structure of the Cultures of Information web site; technology developer for new Transcriptions multistation computer classroom
  • Jennifer Stoy: dissertation planned on Medieval literature; technology developer for new Transcriptions multistation computer classroom
  • Eric Weitzel: dissertation completed on Gertrude Stein; lead developer and programmer of Transcriptions Coursebuilder system; contributor to department database development
  • Vincent Willoughby: dissertation completed on Romantic literature, technology, and the Industrial Revolution; author of various Transcriptions Resource pages, including Learning Web Authoring
  • Jeen Yu: dissertation planned in Early Modern literature; author of Transcriptions Guide to Electronic Literature; co-author of Transcriptions Topics page on Cyber-Scribes: From Manuscript to Hypertext


Undergraduate Research

One of the project's goals is the vertical integration of the usually separated levels of the higher-education community so that undergraduates work collaboratively alongside faculty and graduate students in project development. Undergraduates are thus also key members of the Transcriptions development and research team. The first-generation Web site of Transcriptions, for example, was designed by Eric Feay, an undergraduate English and Philosophy double major with special interests in graphic design and literary theory. More recently, Transcriptions initiated a series of paid, undergraduate research-assistantships designed to allow students to pursue research in the digital culture field. Students work in small teams under the supervision of a Transcriptions graduate-student teaching assistant. Their research appears in the online, student-authored Literature and Culture of Information Magazine. Recent issues cover such topics as the subculture of digital gaming, theory and history of electronic music, and the governance of online communities. Image from Eric Overholt's LCI research project on video game subcultures
Image from Eric Overholt's LCI research project on video game subcultures

Transcriptions Colloquium Series

Transcriptions organizes a Colloquium Series each year that brings speakers from various fields and professions—both inside and outside academia—into contact with Transcriptions faculty and students. Although formats for particular colloquia vary, the emphasis is on small, intimate workshops or seminars allowing for face-to-face discussion of key issues and works. Colloquia, for example, have included forums given by William Paulson, Richard Grusin, J. Hillis Miller, Matthew G. Kirschenbaum, M. D. Coverley, Michael Heim, Lev Manovich, and Metacollege, Inc., as well as faculty and graduate students from various UCSB departments. (See Colloquium Series)
Transcriptions Colloquium
Colloquium on Native American culture and the Internet in the Transcriptions Studio

Transcriptions Topics Pages

Transcriptions Topics Pages Transcriptions research assistants and faculty create "topics pages" on issues related to the themes of the project. Each Topics page includes an overview, critical issues, a database of timeline events, a database of related online resources, and other material. Examples of Topics Pages include Jennifer Jones's Virtual Realities & Imaginative Literature and Christopher Schedler's Native American Literature, Oral Tradition, Internet. (See Topics Pages)

Transcriptions Bookshelf

These are works that are helping to shape the intellectual direction of the Transcriptions projectóworks in a variety of media that faculty in the project, speakers in its colloquium series, and graduate-student participants have been reading. The Transcriptions Bookshelf is kept in a database where the link to "details" in a search result leads to additional citation information plus mini-reviews or descriptions contributed by Transcriptions developers. Entries include, for example, reviews of Daniel Aronofsky's Pi, William Gibson's Agrippa, Lawrence Lessig's Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, and Marie-Laure Ryan's Cyberspace Texuality. (See full Bookshelf) Transcriptions Bookshelf

Guide to Electronic Literature

An annotated bibliography of representative works of electronic fiction and poetry; includes a guide to the Transcription Studio's library of hypertext publications by the Eastgate company (See full Guide to Electronic Literature) Guide to Electronic Literature

Guide to Writings About New Media

[Under construction]                 Guide to Writings About New Media

Talks / Essays About Transcriptions

Transcriptions members William Warner and Jeremy Douglass
Transcriptions members William Warner and Jeremy Douglass at a UC Digital Cultures Project conference

Transcriptions faculty and graduate students often present research in talks, conferences, and publications that in whole or part showcase the Transcriptions Project. Recent talks featuring Transcriptions include Alan Liu's presentations at the National Endowment for the Humanities, Vanderbilt University, and the 2001 ACH-ALLC conference at NYU. Some talks are supported by online notes, outlines, audio versions, or full-text versions. (See Talks/Essays About Transcriptions.)

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