Speaking in Absence: Letters in the Digital Age

There are two types of delegate fee: regular and undergraduate. The number of subsidised undergraduate places is limited so please book quickly. The registration site gives three options for booking: *The entire conference excluding dinner. This includes all activities at the Weston Library (8:30-17:00), and the panel discussion and drinks reception at Wolfson College (17:30-19:30). The attendance fee is £45 and there is a limited number of places for undergraduates at £20. *The evening activities at Wolfson College. This includes the panel, drinks reception, and conference dinner (17:30-19:30). The cost of this is £30 for all delegates. *The conference dinner. If you are attending the entire conference including the activities at the Weston Library, and you want to attend the dinner as well, please select this AND the entire conference fee. The cost of the dinner is £30 for all delegates.

The fee for attending the entire conference (£45) covers breakfast, lunch, and refreshments throughout the day (two coffee breaks and drinks reception). It also contributes to overhead costs and allows us to provide limited subsidies for undergraduates.


Weston Lecture Theatre

Throughout the day in Blackwell Hall there will be a temporary exhibition of physical correspondence from a range of Bodleian collections, including a note to Alan Bennett from ‘the lady in the van’, a letter sent from the trenches ‘under a hell of a fire’, a book of deciphered royalist letters, and a Greek papyrus letter from an Egyptian boy demanding a lyre from his father. Images of letters used in student teaching activities related to the conference will feature on the digital screens.

8:30 Registration with pastries

9:00 Welcome (Helen Brown and Olivia Thompson)

9:15 Editing letters.
The errors of our ways when editing letters.
Lecture by Christopher Ricks (Boston University)

10:15 Digitizing letters. Panel discussion *Robert McNamee (Director, Electronic Enlightenment) *Alison Pearn (Associate Director, Darwin Correspondence Project) *Howard Hotson (Director, Cultures of Knowledge)

Chair: Judith Siefring (Head of Digital Research, Bodleian Libraries)

11:30 Coffee

11:45 Analyzing letters. Practical demonstration by Miranda Lewis (Digital Editor, Early Modern Letters Online)

12:45 Lunch (provided in conference fee)

13:45 Archiving letters. Visual tour of correspondence collections in the Bodleian Libraries, with Mike Webb (Curator of Early Modern Manuscripts), Alasdair Watson (Bahari Curator of Persian Collections) and Chris Fletcher (Keeper of Special Collections)

14:45 Coffee

15:00 Publishing letters. Panel discussion *Jacqueline Norton (Senior Commissioning Editor, OUP Academic) *Rupert Mann (Digital Programme Director, Oxford University Press) *Kieron Smith (Digital Director, Blackwell’s)

Chair: Abigail Williams (Professor of English Literature, St. Peter’s College, Oxford)

16:30 Concluding remarks. Delegates will depart for Wolfson College at 16:45. Taxis from the Weston Library to Wolfson College are bookable as part of the conference registration, but the cost is not included.

Leonard Wolfson Auditorium, Wolfson College

17:30 Writing (about) letters. Panel discussion *Zeva Oelbaum and Sabine Krayenbühl, directors, Letters from Baghdad *Georgina Ferry, author, dramatizations of the letters of Ada Lovelace and Dorothy Hodgkin *Neale Rooney, researcher, Letters 1916 crowdsourcing project

Chair: Kathryn Eccles (Digital Humanities Champion, University of Oxford)

19:00 Drinks reception featuring research posters by postgraduate students

19:30 Conference dinner (must be booked separately)