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SIDNEY-SPENSER  June 2018

SIDNEY-SPENSER June 2018

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Subject:

Re: The Digital Sonnet Database

From:

"Herron, Thomas" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Sidney-Spenser Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 9 Jun 2018 06:50:43 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Hello -- The Manchester Spenser series currently working on a complete-early-modern-English-language-sonnet-sequence compendium to be published in the old-fashioned medium of print.  

Many regards, --Tom

Thomas Herron
Department of English
East Carolina University
(252) 328-6413

Writer/Director, Centering Spenser:  A Digital Resource for Kilcolman Castle
http://core.ecu.edu/umc/Munster/

________________________________________
From: Sidney-Spenser Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Michael Ullyot <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, June 8, 2018 3:36 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: The Digital Sonnet Database

Dear colleagues:

Provoked by Hannibalís question about Anne Vaughan Lockís (or is it Thomas Nortonís?) sonnet sequence, I offer this tangent instead of a reply.

My research team in the digital humanities has begun to build a database with ambitions to include an entry for every English-language sonnet. Naturally weíre starting with the EEBO-TCP corpus (1473-1700), but we have also been inspired by Hirsch & Bolandís very good Norton anthology, *The Making of a Sonnet*, to include later entries.

You can see the database here: https://beyondaporia.com/

Itís quite preliminary at the moment, but I hope that in a few months we can invite you and your students to contribute to this resource.

Why do it, you ask? We want to be able to answer some Big Questions about sonnets based on all of them, rather than an exemplary few. For instance, is the sonnet a form, or a genre? We know they are reducible neither to formal definitions (14 lines of rhymed iambic pentameter) nor to generic definitions (first-person reflection or argument, often with a volta): the many exceptions to these Ďrulesí make sonnets both flexible and prodigious. But we want to know how our understanding of sonnets would change were we to move beyond major authors (Wyatt, Shakespeare, Milton) and anthologized selections to read every sonnet printed in English before 1700.

And we hope to address other questions, too, like: What rhyme scheme do most sonnets use? Who is the most innovative sonneteer, and who the most typical? And what does the ground truth of all those sonnets do to our standard definitions of this form-genre hybrid?

So at this stage, Iíd be very grateful for your own questions, be they about our methods or about the quantifiable features of sonnets as a genre. And in the due course of time, Iíll have an update for you on the projectís initial discoveries and next stages.

yours
Michael Ullyot



=-=-=-=-=-
Michael Ullyot, Associate Professor
Department of English, University of Calgary
< ullyot.ucalgaryblogs.ca/ >  |  @ullyot  |  403.220.4656
PI, Augmented Criticism Lab < acriticismlab.org >







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