My experience as an intern during the Conference ‘Cultural Encounters through Reading and Writing: New Approaches to the History of Literary Culture’ has left me with so much: many, many new discoveries about 19th-c women authors and their legacy, a warm feeling of gratitude and enthusiasm for all the encounters I have made, a very long reading list, and quite a lot of footage taken during the days of the Conference. In my last blog, I had mentioned how difficult it can be to retrieve data about women authors who lived and worked more than a century ago: today, on the other hand, we can easily almost be overwhelmed by data. During the Conference we filmed, we tweeted, we exchanged contacts and we took photographs (and some of them we shared here https://www.instagram.com/travellingtexts/)…The network of connections and encounters that has originated and that was further developed by the Conference is something at once very concrete and virtual. There has been a lot of discussion about the Digital Humanities in the Conference, and about the great potential of this expanding field in the research carried on by Travelling Texts. I was very interested in finding out about some of the work that is going on to create web databases and archives, which allow for wider access and greater visibility of data. I have also really liked to see how the Digital Humanities can open up the way for further connectedness and collaborations – for instance, for fruitful encounters between Literature and Computer Science. As I thought about this, I was inspired to turn some of the moments I have filmed at the Conference into something that could be easily shared with all those who were part of it. As Miriam said in her last blog post: everybody loves a souvenir – and I hope you will enjoy this ‘digital’ one: https://youtu.be/wwDA_g_YhWI
Our research team is not only mediating between two periods, the nineteenth century and today, but between groups of people that may often have very different approaches to literature. From the start of the HERA TTT project, we have focused on the idea of ‘meeting your mother’: to let modern readers and authors be introduced to, or reminded of, the women writers of the past, and relate to them in a personal way. For The Norwegian Literary Festival on May 28th this year, we deliberately asked professional authors – novelists and poets – to respond to the old authors, because we wanted the creative response as well as our own academic observations. One of the three authors (Skomsvold), indirectly points to the gap that often exists between the two worlds. She recounts how she felt daunted by the task of writing a letter to Amalie Skram, imagining professors of literature and literary critics watching over her shoulder, with their extensive knowledge (or so she assumes), blocking her ability to write freely, until she started thinking what she really wanted to say to Skram.
Our programme at Lillehammer, therefore, was composed Continue reading