Noted DH scholar & publisher James O’Sullivan recently wrote a report for The Academic Book of the Future project of the about publication efforts that push against traditional scholarly publishing through”open access publishing and the digital revolution.” His report, entitled “Scholarly Equivalents of the Monograph? An Examination of some Digital Edge Cases,” lists several examples of this kind of scholarly publishing, including Pathfinders. Leading the The Academic Book of the Future were Nick Canty ( UCL) and Marilyn Deegan and Simon Tanner, Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London with Michael Jubb serving as principal consultant to the project. The project ran from on 1 October 2014 to 30 September 2016.
Here is a direct quote about Pathfinders from the final report:
- Produced by Dene Grigar and Stuart Moulthrop, Pathfinders documents a selection of early born-digital literature. The project emphasises pre-Web hypertextual works from 1986-1995. Pathfinders looks to document the experience of this first-generation of electronic literature by recording interactions with the authors of the works, as well as traversals by readers interacting with the pieces. In addition to the audio-visual materials, Grigar and Moulthrop have a forthcoming print monograph, Traversals (MIT Press), with close readings of these works. Grigar describes Pathfinders as the methodology, and Traversals as a process of that methodology. This project is an interesting example of how edge cases interact with more traditional forms, being both resource and insight at once.
With 173 pages containing over 100 videos, 200 photos, and several sound files and a lot of writing, it is heartening to see Pathfinders find recognition as a book project, for it certainly felt like writing one. Stuart and I appreciate the ongoing support of colleagues likes James and organizations like the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the British Library, UCL, King’s College, who make the case for experimental writing and publishing projects. I am also pleased that James included in his report Leonardo Flores’ important critical work with I Love E-Poetry.