My name is Stephen H. Gregg. I’m a senior lecturer in English at Bath Spa University in the UK and I’m an eighteenth-centuryist. My publications can be found here, on The Daniel Defoe Blog.
I was going to assert my academic credentials and my awareness of the pitfalls of entering the public sphere (or, in this case, the blogosphere) by quoting Samuel Johnson’s stoic comments on the failure of his play, Irene. But the pretentiousness of the comparison is obvious. Instead, I offer this, from Daniel Defoe’s wry defence of his own writings ‘Let Men no Pity to him show; / Let him to Bedlam, not to Newgate go.’
This blog is, at the moment, largely a test-bed to try out a different way of engaging with digital humanities and those tools and resources particularly relevant to studying and teaching eighteenth-century literature. This blog will largely follow what’s happening in eighteenth-century digital humanities. I hope to reviewing current thinking, events, developments; but I’ll also be posting on my own thinking and experiments in both teaching and research.
Firstly, what I wanted was a way of writing with a degree of informality: a way of engaging with the topic that allowed a certain freedom to explore what interested me. But, just as importantly, the blog seemed to offer a mode that allowed and indeed encouraged me to follow the burgeoning amount of online commentary. The form of a blog is, even on a superficial level, an appropriate one to talk about developments in digital humanities. On a more significant level, it technically enables me interact with digital resources and the wider digital humanities community. As I’ve always said to my students, content and form are often inextricable.
This blog, however, is not just an interesting form for some digital navel-gazing: the added attraction of the blog is that it provides an audience and readership. Both learning and research can be a solitary pursuit, but they are given meaning by being offered to a wider community. I hope that my posts will be subject to the scrutiny of many whose opinions and expertise in the area of digital humanities I respect and admire; so the pressure of a (perhaps small) audience is one I welcome.