ACRL

Association of College & Research Libraries

Internet resources for English and American literature

Loss Pequeño Glazier is English & American literature subject specialist at Lockwood Library, State University of New York at Buffalo; e-mail: LOLPOET@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU

Tap into discussions, full-texts, and writing critiques

Numerous academic disciplines have felt the influence of the Internet, English and

American literature studies among them. Perhaps in no other discipline, however, has the effect of the Internet been as intriguing, multifaceted, and theoretically relevant as in literary studies. In addition to facilitating discussions in the discipline, making texts available, and providing a medium for the publication of writing and research results, the Internet has even further-reaching implications for literary studies since electronic texts, in their various forms, have emerged as subjects themselves of literary investigations. Not only has this relevance of the electronic text provided a partial enactment of contemporary literary theory but electronic technologies have, as literary agencies, opened new methodologies in literary research.

The degree to which literary endeavors can be tied to technology (few no longer write without a word processor, as a very basic example) makes a list of Internet resources for English and American literature studies considerably challenging. For instance, for most humanities and social sciences disciplines electronic mail discussion groups (listservs) determine a fundamental level of scholarly interchange, with the more technologically engaged disciplines producing electronic journals. (If anyone needs reassurance about the scholarly validity of electronic journals, the recent acquisition of the electronic Postmodern Culture by Oxford University Press is particularly worthy of note.)

Like most humanities and social sciences disciplines, English and American literature studies is clearly grounded in both of these forms of Internet exchange (with wildfires of electronic journals for creative work), but finds itself on even more intriguing terrain—sites dedicated to the circulation of electronic texts. A truly productive exploration of this discipline must begin with the knowledge that it is the intersection of these three areas of exchange that defines how the evolution of literary studies is manifest in English and American literature studies on the Internet.

The following resource list, therefore, aims to be diverse enough to represent different Internet areas; it must be selective because of the sheer amount of material available; and its goal is to be broad enough to recognize both the presence of interdisciplinary interests (such as the direct relation of certain philosophers to literary studies) and the larger arena of general humanities computing which offers resources indispensable to the student or scholar working in English and American literature studies.

It is my hope that this list will chart a context for English & American literature studies as available through the Internet and foster not only greater access to these sources but a more widespread understanding of immersion of the literary endeavor in this technology.

Electronic mail discussion groups (listservs)

Given the large number of candidates for this category, the following list of listservs relevant to English and American literature studies must by necessity be a highly selective one; choices were not always easy to make but the selections below aim to represent a “scholarly” level of discourse in the discipline. Numerous lists treating less canonical topics are not included because of space limitations. (Note that when both Internet and Bitnet addresses were available for a given list, the Internet address is provided here as more widely accessible.)

National literatures, genre, period, and literary theory

• AMLIT-L. American Literature Discussion List. Informal and often chatty discussion on various topics in American literature, frequently about themes and motifs (women performers, ghost stories, etc.). Subscribe: LISTSERV@ MIZZOUl.MISSOURI.EDU.

• CHICLE. Chicano literature discussion group. Wide-ranging discussions in this generally underrepresented area. Subscribe: LISTSERV@UNMVMA.UNM.EDU.

• LITERARY. This is a very active list on numerous general topics in literature and reading. Subscribe: LISTSERV@UCF1VM.CC.UCF. EDU.

• LITSCI-L. Society for Literature and Science. Issues related to literature, science, and technological literary culture. Subscribe: LISTSERV@VMD.CSO.UIUC.EDU.

• NATIVE-LIT-L. Discussion of literature of “autochthonous peoples of the North Americas (the U.S., Canada, and Mexico) and neighboring islands, including Hawaii.” Subscribe: LISTSERV@CORNELL.EDU.

• PMC-TALK. A discussion list for the electronic journal Postmodern Culture featuring postmodern issues and news, announcements, and events of interest to scholars and writers. Subscription to PMC-TALK must be undertaken independently of a subscription to the journal. Subscribe: LISTSERV@LISTSERV.NCSU.EDU.

• VICTORIA. 19th-century British culture and society. This very active list on topics related to Victorian culture has a strong emphasis on literature. Subscribe: LITSERV@IUBVM. UCS.INDIANA.EDU.

• WWP-L. Under the aegis of the Brown University Women Writer’s Project, this is an informational vehicle for discussion of Project texts. See also the entry under Electronic Texts. Subscribe: LISTSERV@BROWNVM.BROWN. EDU.

Single-author lists

The following lists offer forums for discussing the works and lives of individual authors. Most lists also disseminate queries, conference an nouncements, calls for papers, and information on new publications related to the author.

• AUSTEN-L covers Jane Austen and her contemporaries (e.g., Fanny Burney, Maria Edgeworth, and Mary Wollstonecraft). Subscribe: LISTSERV@MUSICA.MCGILL.CA.

• BRONTE on majordomo@world.std.com. covers Emily, Charlotte, and Anne Bronte. Subscribe: MAJORDOMO@WORLD.STD.COM (Note: Address subscription request to major-domo not listserv. Request should read subscribe bronte in the body of the e-mail message. Do not include your name after the list name.)

• CHAUCER covers Geoffrey Chaucer and medieval English Literature. Subscribe: LISTSERV@VTVM1.CC.VT.EDU.

• DICKNS-L covers Charles Dickens and offers access to files containing related bibliographies, papers, and articles from Dickens’ World. Subscribe: LISTSERV@UCSBVM.UCSB.EDU.

• FWAKE-L covers James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake with general discussion of the novel and attention to “the jokes in Finnegan’s Wake.” Subscribe: LISTSERV@IRLEARN.UCD.IE.

• JACK-LONDON covers the writings and political activism of Jack London. Subscribe: JACK-LONDON-REQUEST@SONOMA.EDU.

• MILTON-L covers John Milton. Subscribe: MILTON-REQUEST@URVAX.URICH.EDU.

• SHAKSPER. “SHAKSPER offers announcements and bulletins, scholarly papers, and the formal exchange of ideas—but it also offers ongoing opportunities for spontaneous informal discussion, eavesdropping, peer review, and a fresh sense of worldwide scholarly community.” It also offers access to numerous related electronic files. Subscribe: LISTSERV@VM. UTCC.UTORONTO.CA.

• TROLLOPE covers Anthony Trollope. Subscribe: TROLLOPE@WORLD.STD.COM (Note: Address subscription request to major-domo not listserv. Request should read subscribe trollope in the body of the e-mail message. Do not include your name after the list name.)

• TWAIN-L covers Mark Twain. Subscribe: LISTSERV® VM1 ‚YORKU.CA.

Philosophers relevant to literary studies

Philosophy, to varying degrees, has become inseparable from literary studies. (Perhaps the most salient example of this interdisciplinary activity is Jacques Derrida.) Representative examples of discussion groups that might be of interest to literary scholars include ADORNO (Theodor Adorno), BAUDRILLARD (Jean Baudrillard), and DELEUZE (Gilles Deleuze), all at THINKNET@WORLD.STD.COM and DERRIDA (Jacques Derrida and deconstruction) at LISTSERV@CFRVM.CFR.USF.EDU; HEGEL (G. W. F. Hegel, 1770-1831), the Hegel Society of America at USTSERV®VILLVM.BITNET; KANT-L (Immanuel Kant) at USTSERV@BUCKNELL.EDU.

Lists about writing

• CREWRT-L. Creative Writing Pedagogy for Teachers and Students. This is an extremely active list on topics related to the teaching of creative writing and its place in the college and university curriculum. Subscribe: LISTSERV@ MIZZOUl.MISSOURI.EDU.

• FICTION. Fiction Writers Workshop. It gives “people interested in writing fiction professionally a support group of peers.” All list members are required to offer critiques of submitted writing in order to remain on the list. Subscribe: LISTSERV@PSUVM.PSU.EDU.

• MBU-L. Megabyte University. This is a list concerned with computers, composition, theoretical issues in writing instruction, and technology in the writing classroom. Subscribe: LISTSERV@TTUVM1.TTU.EDU.

• NOUS REFUSE. A writing collective for experimental poets moderated by Joe Amato, this list is very interesting, energetic, offbeat, and always willing to entertain new issues. For information contact JAMATO@UXl.CSO.UIUC. EDU.

• RPOETIK. Realpoetik is a moderated list where subscribers may submit material for distribution or comment. Subscribe: LISTSERV@ WLN.COM.

• WRITERS is for professional writers and those who aspire to be writers. It is a busy list on the “craft” of writing but also on “the Oscars, the lunchboxes we had as kids, buttered cats and gravity, Tori Amos and whether Picket Fences and Northern Exposure are too similar.” Subscribe: LISTSERV@VMl.NODAK.EDU.

Other relevant lists

• GUTNBERG is a mailing list for Project Gutenberg. See Electronic Texts section below. Subscribe: LISTSERV@VMD.CSO.UIUC.EDU.

• E-GRAD. This list is for graduate students in English and the modern languages sponsored by the Graduate Student Caucus of the Modern Language Association. Subscribe: LISTSERV@ RUTVM1 .RUTGERS.EDU.

• ETEXTCTR features discussion about all aspects of the development of electronic text centers. See Electronic Texts section below. Subscribe: LISTSERV@RUTVM1.RUTGERS.EDU.

• HUMANIST is the major list for those interested in humanities computing. It contains much information of relevance to those working in English and American literature studies. Subscribe: USTSERV@BROWNVM.BROWN.EDU.

• TACT-L is a list for discussion of TACT, “Textual Analysis Computing Tools.” It is a text-retrieval and analysis system of MS-DOS programs, developed at the Centre for Computing in the Humanities, University of Toronto. TACT-L also includes announcements of new research, publications, and courses involving TACT. Subscribe: LISTSERV@EPAS.UTORONTO.CA.

Usenet newsgroups

Methods of accessing Usenet newsgroups vary widely by system; to find out how you can access these groups, contact your system administrator. Usenet groups related to English and American literature studies, mostly with an emphasis on writing include ALT.BOOKS. REVIEWS, REC.ARTS.INT-FICTION, REC.ARTS. POEMS, REC.ARTS.PROSE, AND MISC. WRITING.

Electronic journals

Although traditional literary studies journals do not seem to have migrated to the Internet, there is no lack of electronic journals devoted to creative expression. A number of gophers now carry selected electronic journals but the challenge for a scholar who wishes to gamer a sense of what kinds of literary activity are present is in for quite a bit of active digging. Journals may be accessed either through an archive (two major repositories of electronic journals have emerged to date) or, in many cases, through a direct “subscription” to the journal.

Collections of electronic journals

• CICNET is a major repository for electronic journals. Be prepared to look in different menus for the journal you seek and keep in mind that no one archive contains all electronic journals. Gopher to GOPHER.CIC.NET and select “Electronic Serials” under the CICNet root menu.

• MICHIGAN ELECTRONIC TEXT ARCHIVE is a very complete archive that includes a lot of electronic journals not found elsewhere. Literary journals appear in several categories.

Be sure to consult “Fiction,” “Poetry,” and also “Zines.” Gopher to ETEXT.ARCHIVE.UMICH. EDU or FIR.CIC.NET.

Electronic journals

Interestingly, journals of new writing and new critical approaches have taken a strong foothold on the Internet. Of these, a few have risen to dominate the field. The following is intended to offer an introduction to this exciting new area of publishing. (Periodicals typified by declarative style rather than formal innovation, “zines,” are not included here as the aim of this list is to offer “literary” suggestions.)

FICTION-ONLINE is a new electronic fiction journal begun in June. To subscribe contact Bill Ramsay at NGWAZI@CLARK.NET.

GRIST ON-LINE is “a new journal of electronic network poetry, art and culture.” Edited by a publisher with long-standing credibility in the literary community, it publishes new and reissued work by established and emerging authors. Send e-mail to John Fowler at FOWLER@PHANTOM.COM.

INTER\FACE is published at the State University of New York at Albany in an effort to offer an “open forum for the publication and distribution of creative work.” For more information, send e-mail to bh4781@RACHEL. ALBANY.EDU.

POSTMODERN CULTURE (PMC-LIST) is a peer-revięwed journal containing essays on postmodernist literary and social issues. It includes a popular culture column, news, and reviews on an intriguing selection of new books. Subscription is independent of the discussion list (see above) associated with the journal. Subscribe: LISTSERV@LISTSERV.NCSU. EDU.

• RIF/T features poetry, creative prose, and critical writing from contributors like Charles Bernstein, Robert Kelly, and many others disseminated through the E-POETRY list. Forthcoming volumes include a collection of work on Charles Olson and a Latin American poetry in translation issue. See also “E-Poetry Center” below. RIF/T is published through the E-Poetry listserv. To subscribe to the journal, you must subscribe to E-Poetry at LISTSERV@ UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU.

TREE. TapRoot Reviews Electronic Edition offers brief but engaging reviews of “Independent, Underground, and Experimental language-centered arts” publications as appearing in TapRoot Reviews magazine. The June issue

(#5) included about 300 reviews. Contact editor Luigi-Bob Drake at AU462@CLEVELAND. FREENET.EDU.

WE MAGAZINE is a poetiy journal now in its 17th volume. It is edited by a collective that includes editors in Santa Cruz, the Bay Area, New York City, and Albany. For more information, e-mail to CF2785@ALBNYVMS.BITNET.

Electronic text projects and archives

The electronic text projects and archives presented in this section take different approaches to providing access to electronic texts. Selections of texts vary according to the mission and inclination of an individual archive; overlap of material among them is not uncommon. These archives do seem to share the goal of making information freely available. Certainly, as the following list suggests, an immense amount of material is readily accessible. (Note: A new Internet-accessible directory of electronic text centers was slated to be made available by the end of June. For more information on this directory, contact Mary Mallery at MALLERY@ EDEN.RUTGERS.EDU. You may also wish to subscribe to ETEXTCTR (see entry above) for information on developments in the field.

• CPET. The Catalogue of Projects in Electronic Text provides information on over 300 electronic text projects worldwide (but not the texts themselves) and is available at GOPHER.GEORGETOWN.EDU. First choose “The Catalogue of Projects in Electronic Text (CPET)” then “Digests Organized by Discipline” then “Literature” then “English - Literature.”

• ELECTRONIC TEXT CENTER & ON-LINE ARCHIVE OF ELECTRONIC TEXTS. Alderman Library, University of Virginia. Although most of the resources here are not available to the general public, the center is a model for library-sponsored electronic text centers. For information, e-mail ETEXT@VIRGIN1A.EDU.

• INTERNET WIRETAP. Available at WIRETAP.SPIES.COM, this is an extraordinary selection of resources, most notably in the menus “Electronic Books at Wiretap” and “Various ETEXT Resources on the Internet.”

• ONLINE BOOK INITIATIVE is an initiative formed to “make available freely redistributable collections of information.” These collections include conference proceedings, various documents, and notably a number of full-text books, including authors such as Bierce, Dickens, Booker T. Washington, Pound, Chaucer, Thoreau, and others. Gopher to WORLD.STD.COM then choose “OBI The Online Book Initiative.” Under “The Online Books” you will find a list of texts by author. (Note: Author names are alphabetical by first name.)

• OXFORD TEXT ARCHIVE consists of over 1,300 texts in 28 languages. The catalog and some of the texts are available by anonymous ftp to OTA.OX.AC.UK and at various gopher sites. For information you may send e-mail to the archive at ARCHIVE@VAX.OX.AC.UK.

• PROJECT GUTENBERG intends to make available a large number of public domain texts including numerous literary classics. It is available on many gophers. Further information can be obtained by subscribing to the Project Gutenberg newsletter, GUTNBERG, at LISTSERV@VMD.CSO.UIUC.EDU.

• RICE UNIVERSITY. “Information by Subject Area” at RICEINFO.RICE.EDU contains a menu selection for “Literature, Electronic Books and Journals” and is an exemplary location for numerous electronic texts. See Gopher Sites below.

• TEI. Text Encoding Initiative is a project to set SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) standards for electronic texts. TEI recently issued a new updated version of its guidelines. Guidelines are available in electronic form over the Internet. For more information contact the TEI editors by e-mail at TEI@UIC.EDU.

• UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA. The menu selection “Electronic books” is available under the “Libraries” menu at GOPHER.MICRO. UMN.EDU.

• THE WELL. This gopher for the Whole Earth ‘Lectric Link (The Well) offers, as one might suspect, an unusual, eclectic, and distinctive selection of material. This includes electronic texts as well as information about printed texts. Two directories of special interest include “Authors, Books, Periodicals, Zines” and its subdirectory “Authors: Writings grouped by author name.” GOPHER.WELL.SF.CA.US.

• WOMEN WRITERS PROJECT. The Women Writers Project at Brown University provides texts of some 200 literary works produced before 1830 by British, Scottish, Irish, and Welsh women writing in English, including works from other colonies. The WWP-L listserv offers a forum for discussion of the works. For further information about the archive contact the Women Writers Project at (401) 863-3619.

Fee-based services

• ESTC. The Eighteenth-Century Short Title Catalogue is a project of the Research Libraries Group (RLG) and the International Committee of the Eighteenth-Century Short Title Catalogue (ESTC). When completed, ESTC will contain records for “virtually every English letterpress item published between 1473 and 1800.” The catalog provides very detailed descriptions (not the texts themselves) for materials published in English and the other British languages anywhere in the world. For information contact the RLIN Information Center (BL.RIC@RLG. STANFORD.EDU) or the ESTC RLIN Liaison, Henry Snyder, at BM.ESL@RLG.STANFORD. EDU.

Gopher sites for general information

Many gopher sites have been suggested through the course of this resource list. The following is presented, however, for those who might wish a recommendation for a single gopher site to begin their explorations.

RICEINFO. “Information by Subject Area” at RICEI.NFO.RICE.EDU contains a menu selections for “Literature, Electronic Books and Journals” which is an often-accessed and excellent starting point for anyone wishing to pursue gopher-accessible resources for English and American literature studies. Other menu selections of related interest under Ricelnfo’s “Information by Subject Area” are “Language and Linguistics” and “Film and Television.”

Real-time conference facilities

Facilities are also available through the Internet for real-time conferencing in English and American literature studies through relevant MOOs. MOOs (multiple object-oriented) offer real-time discussions (that is, live and interactive, sometimes chatty) related to specific topics or themes.

• IATH-MOO: A Real-Time Multi-User Conference Facility. It includes linguistics, literary studies, medieval studies, teaching resources, and text-based virtual reality. Log in as a guest or mail a request for registration to IATH@VIRGINIA.EDU. To enter IATH-MOO telnet to HERO.VILLAGE.VIRGINIA.EDU 8888.

• PMC-MOO is a theoretical “environment” developed through the efforts of Postmodern Culture. It includes an interactive virtual library as well as a “theme park” and various areas for group discussion. Telnet to HERO.VILLAGE. VIRGINIA.EDU 7777.

The World Wide Web Virtual Library

General subject access

From the World Wide Web “Subject Catalogue” select “Literature and Art.” Many subheadings relevant to English and American literature studies can be found under this heading. These include “English language Literature,” “Project Gutenberg,” “The Online Book Initiative,” “The English Server” (which claims “many texts not available elsewhere on the Internet, primarily of interest to humanities scholars,”) “Fiction,” the “English Server” Poetry (a number of poems with keyword searching capability), “Contemporary Fiction” (a hypermedia exhibit), and Inter Text Magazine. The catalog’s URL (case sensitive) is http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/ DataSources/bySubject/Overview.html.

URLs of interest

• E-POETRY CENTER—RIF/T (BUFFALO). Electronic Poetics Center is a hypertextual gate way to “the extraordinary range of activity in formally innovative writing in the United States and the world.” Opening August 1, the center will provide access to numerous electronic resources in contemporary poetry including RIF/T. Note: A subscription to the E-Poetry list provides a subscription to E-Poetry Center announcements. Send E-Poetry subscriptions to LISTSERV@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU. The center’s URL (case sensitive) is gopher:// wings. buffalo. edu/11 / internet/library/e-journals/ub/rift.

• INSTITUTE FOR ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY IN THE HUMANITIES. Recently added to the Web are the “First and Second Series of Research Reports” of the Institute. Its URL (case sensitive) is http://jefferson.village.virginia.edu.

• LABYRINTH. Global Information Network for Medieval Studies. Its URL (case sensitive) is http://www.georgetown.edu/labyrinth/ labyrinth-home.html.

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