CfP: Limited Sources, Boundless Possibilities: Textual Scholarship and the Challenges of Oral and Written Texts

Karina Lukin karina.lukin at
Mon Oct 8 12:10:26 UTC 2012

Call for Papers
Limited Sources, Boundless Possibilities: Textual Scholarship and the 
Challenges of Oral and Written Texts
A Special Issue of RMN Newsletter (December 2013)

Textual scholarship is an umbrella term for disciplines that deal with 
describing, transcribing, editing or annotating texts and physical 
documents. It has traditionally consisted of fields such as textual 
criticism, genetic criticism, analytical bibliography, stemmatology, 
paleography and codicology. As an interdisciplinary field of research, 
textual scholarship brings together historians, folklorists, literary 
critics, linguists and musicologists that are interested in the genesis, 
transmission and variation of oral or written texts.

The objectives and methods of textual scholars vary a great deal, but 
they share common challenges of interpreting and representing limited 
sources – fragmentary documents, discontinuous recordings, fading 
voices, incoherent manuscripts and insufficient or contradictory data on 
the contexts of producing and transmitting texts.

We would like to enhance interdisciplinary discussion and to provide 
researchers with a better methodological understanding of the challenges 
of limited sources in editing oral and written texts and of studying 
their transmission and variance in a special issue of RMN Newsletter, 
the international open-access bi-annual publication of Folklore Studies 
/ Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Art Studies, University 
of Helsinki (ISSN 1799-4497). Our publication promotes 
cross-disciplinary discussion on diachronic, comparative and 
source-critical treatments of cultural expression across diverse and 
intersecting disciplines:

The special issue on textual scholarship calls for both research 
articles (up to 10 pages + works cited) and reviews (up to 5 pages + 
works cited). The research articles will be peer reviewed. The articles 
may treat various materials (e.g. manuscripts, folklore, letters, 
diaries, recordings) and cover themes such as:
*tracing processes of textualization in oral poetry
*lost sources
*the scholarly editing of incoherent sources
*annotating gaps: interpreting illegible, invisible or inaudible sections
*limited sources in stemmatalogy
*challenges of historical and comparative methods in folklore studies
*describing obscure ethnomusical data
*digitalizing and encoding fragmentary texts
*overlaps and limitations in digital editions and databases

The themes may be discussed through concrete case studies or as broader 
comparative investigations. Theoretical discussions are also welcome.

If you are interested in participating in this international and 
cross-disciplinary discussion, please submit a 500 word abstract of your 
proposed contribution, with your name, affiliation and contact 
information to the issue editors Karina Lukin, University of Helsinki 
karina.lukin at or Sakari Katajamäki, Finnish Literature 
Society sakari.katajamaki at

Deadline for proposal submission is Monday, January 15th, 2013. The 
completed 3–10 page submission (+ works cited) will have a deadline of 
May 1st, 2013.

Further information on the newsletter’s editorial criteria and author 
guidelines can be found at:

For further information on textual scholarship:

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