Understanding (through) Annotations

Understanding (through) Annotations

15th International Connotations Symposium

July 28 - August 1, 2019
Eberhard Karls University Tübingen (Germany)

Explanatory annotations have always had a somewhat precarious and even paradoxical status: with a few exceptions, they have been considered “below” the concern of the theorist and literary critic, while in some sense they have also been considered “above” the sphere of the textual editor, who has eyed their flights of interpretive fancy with distrust. They have been suspected of manipulating the reader in a clandestine fashion while at the same time they have been regarded as a necessity, for they are an essential means of keeping alive many texts of world literature, from Homer to the Modernists, by making them comprehensible and meaningful to readers.

In the digital age, annotations have overcome some of their traditional limitations and perhaps been subjected to new ones. Their precarious status has assumed a new form, as they are now located somewhere between being an explanatory and tool and just serving as the markup of texts. In the latter role, however, they may become a key device for making large corpora answer questions that go beyond the scope of individual texts. All this makes it even more urgent than ever to link theoretical reflexion on annotations with specific analyses and models of best practice.

The subject of “Understanding (through) Annotations” is well suited to the programme of Connotations, as it combines the detailed study of individual texts written in English with wider theoretical perspectives. (For previous examples, see our special issues). In our 2019 symposium, this means considering concepts of understanding literary texts through annotations, and getting a better idea of what is involved in explaining texts locally. In this way, the Connotations Symposium also contributes to current research on explanatory annotation (see http://www.annotation.es.uni-tuebingen.de/)


Please note that this is still a provisional programme.

You can also download the programme as PDF here.

Sunday, July 28

19:00 Conference Warming: Schwärzlocher Hof, Tübingen

For those who wish to take an evening walk, Angelika Zirker will meet them at 18:15 by the fountain in the market square (centre of the old town)


Monday, July 29

9:00         Matthias Bauer & Angelika Zirker (Eberhard Karls University Tübingen): Welcome and Opening Remarks

9:15          Matthias Bauer & Angelika Zirker (Eberhard Karls University Tübingen): "Understanding (through) Annotations – Introduction"

10:15        Coffee Break

10:45        Hans Walter Gabler (Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich): "Integration of Annotation and Commentary in the Scholarly Edition"

11:45         Lena Linne & Burkhard Niederhoff (Ruhr University Bochum): "Against Interpretation: Annotating Literature as an Embedded Textual Practice"

12:45         Lunch Break

14:00         Leonie Kirchhoff (Eberhard Karls University Tübingen): "Investigating Understanding: Annotating the Metaphysical Poets"

15:00         Jonathan Nauman (Vaughan Association): "The New Oxford Vaughan: Annotation and Royalist Biography"

16:00         Coffee Break

16:30         Ingo Berensmeyer (Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich): "Annotating and Understanding the Tree Catalogue in Chaucer, Spenser and Sidney"

19:00         Dinner at Restaurant Ludwig’s (Uhlandstraße 1, Hotel Krone)


Tuesday, July 30

9:00           Tom Charlton (London): "Annotation and Innuendo: the trial of Richard Baxter, 1685"

10:00         David Fishelov (The Hebrew University Jerusalem): "Annotating Satirical Texts and Its Limitations: Exemplified by Swift's Gulliver's Travels"

11:00         Coffee Break

11:30         Marcus Walsh (University of Birmingham): "Annotating Alexander Pope for Oxford: Theory and Practice"

12:30         Lunch Break

14:00         Miriam Lahrsow (Eberhard Karls University Tübingen): "More than Just Explanations: Functions of Self-Annotation in Pope and Byron"

15:00         Thomas Kullmann (University of Osnabrück): "Romantic Paratexts: The Original Editions of The Poems of Ossian, The Lay of the Last Minstrel and Lalla Rookh"

16:00         Coffee Break

16:30         Dan Poston (Eberhard Karls University Tübingen): "Annotating Silence (Wordsworth)"

17:30         Manfred Malzahn (United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain): "'Let’s do it to them before they do it to us': Self-Annotation in Scottish Literature"

19:00         Dinner at Neckarmüller Brewery (Gartenstraße 4)


Wednesday, July 31

9:00           Paul Schacht (SUNY Geneseo, New York): "Annotation as Conversation: Lessons from The Reader’s Thoreau"

10:00         Coffee Break

10:30         William E. Engel (Sewanee: The University of the South): "Marx’s scholia: Annotations Involving English Literary Texts in Capital, Volume 1"

11:30         Rebecca N. Mitchell (University of Birmingham): "Annotating Humour: On Editing Oscar Wilde’s Epigrams"

12:30         Lunch Break

[13:37        Train Departure to Stuttgart]

16:00         Guided Tour of Weißenhofsiedlung (90 minutes)

19:00         Dinner (tba)


Thursday, August 1

9:00           Anna Budziak (University of Wroclaw): "A New Reference for T. S. Eliot’s Triumphal March"

10:00         Coffee Break

10:30         Neil Browne (Oregon State University Cascades): "Paterson and the Passaic: New Jersey Conceptually Annotated"

11:30         Judith P. Saunders (Marist College, New York State): "The Annotative Function of Epigraphs in Contemporary American Poetry"

12:30         End of Conference (Lunch-bags will be provided)