Scholarly exchange has its roots in a variety of practices, customs, and institutions. The articles in this collection provide insight into the ways that the electronic medium is affecting those practices in all their inherent diversity. Each author investigates a new domain that has come into being through the prefix "e-", the flag of computing technology's perspective on standard models of operation and interaction: e-dissemination and issues of the literary canon (Ian Lancashire), corpora of e-texts and their study (Katharine Patterson), scholarly e-compilation (William Winder), policies and pragmatics surrounding e-journals (Ray Siemens), the value of e-publishing (Andrea Austin), projects and policies for e-teaching (Jeff Miller), and the university e-dissertation (David Thomson). In the recent past, electronic scholarship has grown from being perceived as a curious appendix of eccentric experimentation to a strong offshoot of innovation. New and revolutionary as it may seem, however, the articles in this collection demonstrate, each in their own way, that such scholarship remains solidly attached to the traditional questions and values of the humanities -- it is but a new ring of growth added to the long-standing tree of human knowledge.
The articles published in this collection began as papers for several panels of a joint session of the Consortium for Computer in the Humanities / Consortium pour ordinateurs en sciences humaines (COCH/COSH) and the Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English (ACCUTE) held at the Canadian Learneds Societies Conferences, at Brock University in St. Catherines, Canada, in early June 1996. The matters addressed by these papers saw lively engagement at the time of, and beyond, their presentation, and the session as a whole established a fruitful and ongoing collaboration between the mainstay association for English studies in Canada, ACCUTE, and the fledgling association for those exploring the use of technology in the humanites, COCH/COSH.
Our thanks go to Ian Lancashire (U Toronto), president of COCH/COSH, and Frank Davey (U Western Ontario), then president of ACCUTE, for facilitating the joint session in which these articles began; to Jennifer Read who worked as copy editor for the issue; and to those who assisted in the reading, selection, and refereeing of these articles: Ian Lancashire and Frank Davey, Terry Butler (U Alberta), Peter Fitting (U Toronto), Jean-Claude Guédon (U Montreal), Joseph Jones (U British Columbia), and David Miall (U Alberta).
Other papers from this session will be appearing as a special issue of Early Modern Literary Studies.
R.G. Siemens and William Winder, editors.