Reorienting the narrative of digital media studies to incorporate the medieval, Participatory reading in late-medieval England traces affinities between digital and medieval media to explore how participation defined reading practices and shaped relations between writers and readers in England’s literary culture from the late-fourteenth to early sixteenth centuries. Traditionally, print operates as the comparative touchstone of both medieval and digital media, but Participatory reading argues that the latter share more in common with each other than either does with print. Working on the borders of digital humanities, medieval cultural studies, and the history of the book, Participatory reading draws on well-known and little-studied works ranging from Chaucer to banqueting poems and wall-texts to demonstrate how medieval writers and readers engaged with practices familiar in digital media today, from crowd-sourced editing to nonlinear apprehension to mobility, temporality, and forensic materiality illuminate. Writers turned to these practices in order to both elicit and control readers’ engagement with their works in ways that would benefit the writers’ reputations along with the transmission and interpretation of their texts, while readers pursued their own agendas—which could conflict with or set aside writers’ attempts to frame readers’ work. The interactions that gather around participatory reading practices reflect concerns about authority, literacy, and media formats, before and after the introduction of print. Participatory reading is of interest to students and scholars of medieval literature, book, and reading history, in addition to those interested in the long history of media studies.
and theoretical approaches to interface’. Digital Humanities Quarterly 7:1 (2013), www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/7/1/000143/000143.html, paragraph 23. 9 For discussion on how texts work in ways that seek to engage readers’ responses, emotional and intellectual, see Paul Alpers, ‘Mode in narrative poetry’, in To tell a story: narrative theory and practice, ed. Robert M. Adams (Los Angeles: William Andrews Clark Library, 1973), 25–56. 10 See Clark and Sheingorn, ‘Performative reading’ and ‘Visible words’; for Brantley, see Reading in the wilderness. Brantley
Ray Siemens et al., ‘Human–computer interface/interaction and the book: a consultation-derived perspective on foundational e-book research’, in Collaborative research in the digital humanities, ed. Marilyn Deegan and Willard McCarty (Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2012), 163–90; Bertrand Gervais, ‘Is there a text on this screen? reading in an era of hypertextuality’, A companion to digital literary studies, ed. Susan Schreibman and Ray Siemens (Oxford: Blackwell, 2013), 183–202. This conceptualization of reading activities builds on the work of Gilles Thérien
helpe, his greef to remedie’ (lines 2488–92, in the edition ed. by F. J. Furnivall, EETS extra series [hereafter e. s.] 72 [London: K. Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., 1897]). 14 See Dan Cohen, ‘The social contract of scholarly publishing’, an influential blog post, originally published in 2010, that shaped the debate surrounding modes of access to publishing and editing. Reprinted in Debates in the digital humanities, ed. Matthew K. Gold (Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 2012), 319–21. 15 See, for example, John Lydgate’s Troy Book, where one of