Come join us in the Scholarly Sharing Initiative!

Informal monthly gatherings will be held for faculty, students, and interested others to share, discuss, present, and receive feedback on their scholarly work. SSI is an organic environment designed to foster intellectual discussions.

Details are on the College of Arts webpage under Scholarly Sharing Initiative.

University House, Abbotsford Campus
1:15 – 2:45pm
Delicious light refreshments provided

Scholarly Sharing Initiative schedule 2014-2015 - Note: January meeting has been changed to Friday, January 16.

Sponsored by and with the generous support of: UFV Office of Research Services and UFV College of Arts Office

For more information contact Melissa Walter ( or Michelle Riedlinger (

Sponsored by and with the generous support of: UFV Office of Research Services and UFV College of Arts Office

For more information contact Marcella.LaFever (, Melissa Walter ( or Michelle Riedlinger (

The next Scholarly Sharing Initiative meeting has been rescheduled to Fri, Jan 16 to accommodate the MLA Conference in Vancouver.  Apologies for the inconvenience. Please circulate to your Depts/areas.

Fri, Jan 16
1:15–2:45 pm
Abby U-House
Delicious light lunch provided 

Alex Wetmore, English Department - "No parrot, either in morality or sentiment": Talking birds in the Eighteenth Century    

One of the more noteworthy trends in eighteenth-century criticism is an increased interest in animal studies. My own work has generally focused on the sentimental turn in Britain in the middle decades of the 1700s, and I recently published a book on the figure of the “Man of Feeling” in the literature of this era. In the hyper-emotional, unabashedly tear-sodden fiction of the mid-1700s, animals are a recurring preoccupation, but they somewhat surprisingly continue to occupy an ambiguous place between being objects of human sympathy and being machine-like artefacts. References to parrots, starlings, and other birds capable of imitating human speech abound in the literature (and also the visual culture) associated with the sentimental turn. What do these speaking birds, which haunt the margins of artistic works devoted to sympathy and sensibility, tell us about the eighteenth century and its perception of animals, technology, emotion and humanity? I continue to work my way through these questions as I map out an essay to be published in a proposed critical anthology on birds in the eighteenth century. The paper I am working on seeks to position talking birds within my period of study, while also leaving space to consider broader and current debates about the status of animals in society.

Miriam Nichols, English  Department - Translating the archives: Editing The Astonishment Tapes

This talk is about editing and managing archival materials. Archiving has surfaced recently as an urgent scholarly matter rather than the reserve of specialists because it concerns the preservation of the cultural heritage in a digital era. How does one preserve—and conserve public access to—printed matter and recordings that are technologically out of date? What gets translated into digital form and by what methods? The larger question is who decides what elements of the past should be conserved and made easily accessible and who pays for the often lengthy and expensive process of making them so? My interest in these questions has come about because of my work on The Astonishment Tapes of the poet Robin Blaser.  The artifact here consists of 20 autobiographical audiotapes that translate into a very long transcript (800 +) pages. Not only does transcription involve many small editorial decisions, but lifting a book from a series of audiotapes requires radical intervention. Does the editor smooth out conversational static, cut repetitions, and emphasize narrative threads or does she/he abandon the book form and post the whole thing on line?  I chose the book option and my talk is about some of the principles informing that decision as well as the advantages and disadvantages of retaining a book model in a digital era.

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