Workshop: Accumulating Notes
Wann: Fr, 01.12.2023, 14:00 Uhr bis Sa, 02.12.2023, 14:45 Uhr
Wo: Warburgstraße 26, 20354 Hamburg
Accumulating Notes: Notebooks, Diaries and Related Examples of Everyday
Writing as Multilayered Written Artefacts
People take notes in different contexts of their daily life, thereby producing (or modifying) a wide range of disparate written artefacts. The term ‘note’ is highly polysemic. As ‘a brief written observation, record, or abstract of facts’ (OED), a note can take the form of ephemeral written artefacts such as a shopping list on a slip of paper or a receipt on a piece of pottery. However, especially notes to be kept and transmitted over longer periods of time are often compiled or stored in one place, for example in a bound book, as a block of loose leaves within a box, or they might even manifest as a wall covered by graffiti.
While written artefacts such as notebooks or diaries specifically serve as places to keep notes, note-taking is, of course, not restricted to these. Another common practice is to record notes in the open spaces of an already existing written artefact of any kind, for example, as explanatory ‘paracontent’ (Ciotti et al. 2018) around a core content in a manuscript codex. In such cases, a note is usually an ‘explanatory or critical annotation or comment appended to a passage in a book, manuscript, etc.’ (likewise OED).
Recent scholarship has proposed to approach written artefacts as ‘evolving entities’ (Friedrich and Schwarke 2016) and suggested frameworks for the analysis of their development over the course of time (see, for example, Gumbert 2004; Andrist, Canart and Maniaci 2013). Such a stratigraphic analysis, aiming to identify the multiple ‘layers’ of written artefacts, has been successfully applied to many written artefacts, especially those produced in the course of a more or less clearly identifiable and planned ‘project’. Notes of the second type delineated above would in many cases constitute layers added to such artefacts in the course of their life cycle. However, the potential of the stratigraphic approach remains largely untapped for written artefacts that include notes of the first type and whose production and development does not follow a predefined plan or necessarily proceed in an orderly fashion.
Focusing on the multifarious manifestations of notes as material tools for the visualization, organization, and transmission of knowledge, the present workshop aims to address this gap. It invites scholars working on written artefacts involved in practices of note-taking to address them as multilayered written artefacts. Taking into account not only the development of collections of notes over time, but also the different origins and (possibly) further uses of notes, it aims to uncover patterns in the practice(s) of note-taking and the artefacts resulting from such practices.
The present workshop focuses on the multifarious manifestations of notes as material tools for the visualization, organization, and transmission of knowledge. Taking into account not only the development of collections of notes over time as multilayered written artefacts, but also the different origins and (possibly) further uses of notes, it aims to uncover patterns in the practice(s) of note-taking and the artefacts resulting from such practices.