I am still working to verify my hypotheses about the kinds of printing networks that would have permitted the woodblocks used to create these images to migrate between the different urban hubs of antebellum printing (I have determined that the images are not merely copies of each other). As I do so, it would be very helpful to know if others involved in this year’s conference are addressing similar issues through different materials and how they are approaching them. I would be interested to hear about other projects that attempt to trace the provenance of shared printed matter and then to leverage this information into an argument about the literary or ideological content of texts.
The second question I would like to pose here involves how digital archives are making different kinds of scholarship possible. As my paper will detail, this project would not have been possible without both expansive online research into the visual culture of Atlantic slave revolt (which rendered the recycling alluded to above visible to me) and more traditional archival research (which confirmed it). Likewise, digital remediation will make it infinitely easier for me to communicate my findings at our conference and in the classroom. At the same time, it would be naïve to regard such remediations as substantially different from the ones that take place between the different texts I mention. If the tools of digital literary studies have become sophisticated enough to generate new readings of old texts, how can they also help us to view our own scholarly and pedagogical practices in new lights?