Computers and the Humanities

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 283–293 | Cite as

Computer-mediated Texts and Textuality: Theory and Practice

  • Susan Schreibman


The majority of humanities computingprojects within the discipline of literaturehave been conceived more as digital librariesthan monographs which utilise the medium as asite of interpretation. The impetus to conceiveelectronic research in this way comes from theunderlying philosophy of texts and textualityimplicit in SGML and its instantiation for thehumanities, the TEI, which was conceived as ``amarkup system intended for representing alreadyexisting literary texts''. This article exploresthe most common theories used to conceiveelectronic research in literature, such ashypertext theory, OCHO (Ordered Hierarchy ofContent Objects), and Jerome J. McGann's``noninformational'' forms of textuality. It alsoargues that as our understanding of electronictexts and textuality deepens, and as advancesin technology progresses, other theories, suchas Reception Theory and Versioning, may well beadapted to serve as a theoretical basis forconceiving research more akin to an electronicmonograph than a digital library.

electronic texts literary criticism reception theory versioning 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Schreibman
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Maryland, MITH, Mckeldin LibraryCollege ParkUSA

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