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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ENGL2041 Textual Healing: An Introduction to Scholarly Editing and Publishing

20 creditsClass Size: 15


Module manager: Dr Brett Greatley-Hirsch

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module is strongly recommended to students intending to select the Textual Editing option for their Final Year Project.Why does Doctor Faustus sign his pact with the Devil in blood rather than ink? Why are no two editions of any book the same? This module will introduce you to the various editorial practices and publishing decisions – often rendered invisible – that shape readers’ experience of literature. Through seminar discussion and practical workshops, you will learn about the use of literary archives, the material construction of printed books and manuscripts, visual communication and graphic design - in short, how processes of production, transmission, and mediation affect the meaning of texts. You will explore the fundamentals of textual editing before putting principle into practice by preparing a sample scholarly edition.


• To develop theoretically rigorous frameworks for understanding literature as the product of multiple intentions and material processes of composition, mediation, and transmission.

• To think critically about the roles of authors, editors, and publishers in the construction of meaning.

• To appreciate literary works in the context of visual communication and graphic design.

Learning outcomes
1. Familiarity with key concepts and methods in textual studies, scholarly editing, and analytical bibliography.
2. Experience working with primary materials in archives and special collections.
3. Proficiency in fundamental tasks of scholarly editing (e.g. transcription, collation, annotation and commentary) and publishing (e.g. document design, typography, and layout).

Skills outcomes
• Skills associated with analytical bibliography and scholarly editing (e.g. transcription, collation, annotation).
• Skills associated with visual communication (e.g. graphic design, document layout, typography).


Teaching will be organised around the core theories and methods of scholarly editing necessary for you to prepare your own sample scholarly edition. Nine seminar sessions will explore different editorial conventions and theories of the text, and six practical sessions will involve working with archival materials and experimenting with document layout and design.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours185.00
Total Contact hours15.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Reading, seminar preparation, editorial tasks (e.g. archival research, transcription, collation, annotation, commentary), publishing tasks (e.g. graphic design, typography, layout, material construction).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Portfolio:
1 x review of existing critical edition (500 words)
1 x short transcription exercise (~200 words)
1 x short collation exercise (~50 words)
1 x poster design exercise (1 page)

- 1 x sample scholarly edition (2,000 words)

Formative feedback on Portfolio items will be given during seminars and workshops, allowing students to revise or develop the work further before final submission of the Portfolio.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Portfolio750 word portfolio55.00
Written Work2000 Words45.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

The components of the Portfolio are weighted as follows: • 1 x review of existing scholarly edition (500 words) – 10% • 1 x short transcription exercise (~200 words) – 15% • 1 x short collation exercise (~50 words) – 15% • 1 x poster design exercise (1 page) – 15%

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/06/2021 10:18:02


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