The Association for Documentary Editing (ADE) invites abstracts for its sponsored session at the 2019 meeting of the Modern Language Association (MLA) in Chicago the first weekend of January. This is concurrent with the American Historical Association meeting. Our panel will address the question, "Why should non-editors understand scholarly editing, what should they know, and how can they learn it?"
In conjunction with the Modern Language Association's Presidential theme, "Textual Transactions," this session will consider the common human activity in which one person communicates the thoughts of another to still someone else and it will explore how an understanding of the principles and practices of scholarly editing can enhance this process. Whether engaging in the new presentation either of a particular document or of a work that might not be fully or faithfully represented by any single document, scholarly editors look in two directions. In their effort to comprehend fully the text and its context they focus on what others have written, while in considering the text from the perspective of potential readers they determine how to convey chosen aspects most effectively and accurately. The need to examine and decide about every detail as editors both respond to and shape the text meanwhile prompts their own deeper awareness of those writings.
An understanding of the nature and features of a text is valuable for anyone who encounters texts — that is, everyone, not just those who formally engage in editing. This session invites papers that consider why non-editors should understand scholarly editing, what such knowledge should consist of, and how it should be achieved.