Students and Interns Grow The Kit Marlowe Project across Content Areas!

The hiatus between the 2020 Project Update and this one is not due to inactivity – quite the opposite. We have had three Project Interns and students from the first two Intro to Digital Humanities courses, as well as the first advanced DH course at Framingham State University (FSU) contribute much to site content and infrastructure. We have grown the Mini-Archive, the Encyclopedia, Digital Resources, Games and Quizzes, as well as Teaching Resources.

The first task for Fall 2020 Project Intern, Brennan Atkins (FSU ’21), was to fact-check, edit, and augment the research for earlier student-generated Encyclopedia entries to get them ready for publication, including those for Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Nashe, Cambridge University, and Francis, Duc of Anjou. Atkins additionally conducted extensive research to contribute an Encyclopedia Entry on the “Babington Plot” and to create a new exhibit: “Christopher Marlowe and Espionage.”

Spring 2021 Project Intern, Eli Paré (FSU ’22), updated the Digital Resources. In addition to necessary maintenance, Paré annotated and illustrated each entry to make them more user friendly. Additionally, Paré contributed a personality quiz tied in with the text of Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus: What would you sell your soul for?

Spring 2021 also saw the launch of the inaugural “Introduction to Digital Humanities” course at FSU and the capstone project was to transcribe and use TEI Encoding Methods to create a mini-edition of the prefatory paratexts to Henry Chillester’s 1581 miscellany, Youthes Witte. This project was especially challenging as we had to learn TEI over Zoom, but we persevered. FSU student Kelsey Rhodes caught the coding bug and chose for her final project to proofread and edit the class’s work for publication. As with all Mini-Archive publications, Chillester’s work was previously unavailable as a transcribed, semi-diplomatic, TEI-encoded edition that anyone can download and use for text or corpus analysis.

Rhodes also registered for the DH minor and so I had the great pleasure of working with her for two additional semesters in the course of a Directed Study and an Internship. During that time, I taught an Honors section of “Intro to DH.” In that class the capstone encoding project was another mini-edition, this time of Reginald Scot’s Discouerie of Witchcraft. Kelsey again edited students’ contributions for publication, and additionally transcribed and encoded several key sections of this work identified by the British Library as Shakespearean intertexts. Although there are modernized transcriptions of Scot’s work, there is no diplomatic edition available. This exhibit features: The Discouerie of Witchcraft, the Epistles; The Discouerie of Witchcraft, Chapters 1-3; The Discouerie of Witchcraft, Witchcraft in Early Modern Literature.

One Marlowe-related discovery from these endeavors was making the connection between Scot’s text – which I had selected due to its importance for Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, Nashe’s Terrors of the Night, and Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, among other works — and Sir Roger Manwood. Scot wrote an epistle to Manwood, who appears to have financed Marlowe’s early education in Canterbury. In turn (?), Marlowe wrote an elegy upon Manwood’s death. As our Works exhibits featured only a bare bones link to the elegy, Rhodes did some research and worked up a proper exhibit. We were excited to make that connection.

Teaching TEI text encoding methods after a hiatus has been exciting and we continue to use schema developed by The Map of Early Modern London. As most encoders know, each text has particular requirements, but I’ve posted some basic teaching materials in the Editorial Methods & TEI part of the Teaching Materials section, plus students in my Fall DH course also created a great overview of how to use XPath to query encoded works.

The Kit Marlowe Project continues to serve as a student-generated resource for all things related to Christopher Marlowe. We look forward to continuing to offer Internships for students interested in generating research and resources for the site. Please stay tuned for more updates!

Project Update: July 2022