Tag Archives: annotation

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Bartleby, new and oldish

You might enjoy an early 2000s Bartleby hypertext edition that I’ve rediscovered via the Internet Archive’s invaluable Wayback Machine. It starts with Bartleby’s blank wall and goes from there: cute, no?

Pretty cool version of Bartleby edited by a Slate writer, Andrew Kahn, last year. It’s richly illustrated and contains a wide range of notes that provide historical context and a sense of some of the diversity of critical opinions on the text over the years since its publication. And there’s even an audiobook version on the site for good measure.

As such, it also points towards our second collaborative project together, in which we’ll be doing something similar (though with much lower production values!) with Benito Cereno, so as you check it out, think about what Kahn did to make this work. Or not.

Finally, although it sometimes seems like ancient history, Bartleby played a starring role in the Occupy Wall Street movement in and around Zuccotti Park in 2012. I’ve collated a few pieces from that time that capture the flavor of the way Bartleby haunted that space and that time:

  • Jonathan Greenberg riffs on the use of “occupy” and cognate concepts like self-possession, property, and vocation in Melville’s text, in Zuccotti, and on campuses.
  • Lauren Klein thinks about the politics of language in both Melville’s text and the movement.
  • Jac Asher examines the way Bartleby dismantles the logic of homosociality that underpins Wall Street from within.

interactive, annotated Bartleby on Slate

Pretty cool version of Bartleby edited by a Slate writer, Andrew Kahn, last year. It’s richly illustrated and contains a wide range of notes that provide historical context and a sense of some of the diversity of critical opinions on the text over the years since its publication. And there’s even an audiobook version on the site for good measure.

As such, it also points towards our second collaborative project together, in which we’ll be doing something similar (though with much lower production values!) with Benito Cereno, so as you check it out, think about what Kahn did to make this work. Or not.

quick follow-up on hypothes.is + evaluation

I just wanted to sum up our quick discussion about using hypothes.is for annotating our readings in the course and to say a quick word about evaluation. First, nuts and bolts:

If you are using your own machine:

  • download the Chrome browser (if you don’t already have it) and the Chrome extension for hypothes.is
  • navigate to a text you want to annotate
  • click the hypothes.is icon in the extensions area of the browser window

Screenshot_2016-02-08_16_10_57

  • the tools will pop up on the right-hand side of the window and you’re up and going

If you are not using your machine or are a die-hard Firefox/etc. person:

  • first try dragging the hypothes.is bookmarklet to the bookmark bar
  • if the browser you’re using will permit you to do this, navigate to a page you want to annotate and then click the applet icon in the bookmark bar, and you’re good: if it worked, you’ll see the tools on the right-hand side

Screenshot_2016-02-08_16_16_25

  • if the browser won’t let you, navigate to hypothes.is and enter the URL of the page you want to annotate into the appropriate cell

Screenshot_2016-02-08_16_18_45

  • on some occasions (say, if you’re accessing something via the library proxy), this won’t work, and you’ll get stuck in a redirect loop and time out

Bottom line: if you save the annotating work for the course for times you’re with your own computer, you’ll never have problems. If you can’t, you still should be just fine most of the time.

In terms of evaluation, I view your annotating much the way I view your participation: I think it’s important and value it highly (15% of your grade in each case); I care about both quantity and quality of both; I don’t want to force you to do either according to a reductive template to earn a grade for both. So be active in annotating texts, just as you are in participating in class. At the end, you will have a substantial body of work for me to evaluate (and I can see your whole output very easily in hypothes.is, unlike your class participation!). I don’t expect you to be profound all the time; I just want to see your reading/thinking process spontaneously at work. Added bonus: those of you who are naturally shy or retiring in class can use the distinctive privacy of cyber-annotations to step out a bit more!