Teaching Broadside Ballads through the English Broadside Ballad Archive

This workshop will address the dilemma students face in being overwhelmed by trying to access a large digital archive, such as EBBA’s more than 9,000 broadside ballads. What strategies can we give them to make archival data more accessible? One key approach is to teach them to parse the data, as I shall further explain. Another tactic for approaching digital archives still in the making, or not even started, is to involve the students, especially graduate students, in the conceptual and practical making process. Contributing just one small part to the larger makeup of an archive renders the logic of the data much clearer to students; at the same time, it personally invests them in the project’s goals.

Patricia Fumerton is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and both Founder and Director of the English Broadside Ballad Archive (EBBA), 2003-present. Of her three monographs and nine editions, her latest publication is a monumental multimedia reading, with accompanying website of 48 audio files of sung ballads as well as the inclusion of 40 printed music notations and more than 80 illustrations. The book—the culmination of two decades of work—is titled The Broadside Ballad in Early Modern England: Moving Media, Tactical Publics (U of Pennsylvania Press, December 2020).

Web English Broadside Ballad Archive

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