Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Tonra, Justin
New Approaches to Ossian Symposium
"Ossian Online: 'Many more remains of ancient genius'"
Royal Irish Academy, Dublin
Oral Presentation
Optional Fields
This presentation will introduce Ossian Online, a new resource focused on James Macpherson’s profoundly influential work. It describes ongoing progress on digitising and encoding the major editions of Ossian (1760-73) from Macpherson’s lifetime, and outlines three phases of the project: an archive of the full Ossian corpus; a crowdsourced annotation tool; and a new critical edition linking and visualising the development of the work’s texts across this period. Taking a cue from Howard Gaskill’s remarks on the difficulty of obtaining a copy of the poems, Ossian Online builds on the significant advances represented by his 1996 Edinburgh University Press edition and the facsimile reproductions in Dafydd Moore’s Ossian and Ossianism. With recent scholarship moving further from older contextual debates about forgery and fraud, and employing close reading to examine Ossian’s complex matrix of oral and written forms, the textual shifts and idiosyncrasies of the corpus demand greater attention. The broad disciplinary appeal of Ossian represented by the symposium is a motivation for developing the project’s crowdsourced annotation tool: it aims to bring different disciplinary perspectives into dialogue in the shared virtual margins of Macpherson’s texts. This presentation—and the symposium, more broadly—seeks to explore ways in which Ossian Online can provoke and support new approaches in Ossian scholarship.
Publication Themes