Boston University: ASC Launches Research Project on Ajamī Literature in West Africa. ASC is the African Studies Center. “The research project will identify and digitize manuscripts in four major West African languages – Hausa, Mandinka, Fula, and Wolof, transcribe the texts and translate them into English and French, prepare commentaries, and create related multimedia resources to be made widely available within and beyond the United States. The Ajamī literatures that have developed in sub-Saharan Africa and hold a wealth of knowledge on the history, politics, cosmologies, and cultures of the region, are generally unknown to scholars and the public due to lack of access.”
Science Blog: Shakespeare’s Mystery Annotator Identified As John Milton. “It is well known that Shakespeare was a huge influence on Milton. From learning how to write nature poetry to creating charismatic villains, Milton’s debt to his forebear continues to fascinate experts. The younger poet once praised the ‘wonder and astonishment’ that this ‘great heir of fame’ conjured up in his readers. But now, Jason Scott-Warren from Cambridge’s English Faculty believes he has identified even more tangible evidence of this connection.”
Korea Herald: National Museum of Korean Literature to be more than repository of books. “The museum hopes to develop into a cultural complex, allowing visitors to enjoy diverse contents related to literature. For instance, the museum’s auditorium will function as a venue for performances related to Korean literature. The institution also asserted the need to digitize data. It will make digital copies of works and preserve them for future research. It hopes to open up a digital library before the official launch of the library.”
Colubmia University Libraries: Just Launched: Literary Authors from Europe and Eurasia Web Archive. “I am pleased to announce the launch of the Literary Authors from Europe and Eurasia Web Archive, comprised of captured website content related to literary authors (of both fiction and non-fiction essays), translators, critics, and publishers from Europe and Eurasia.”
CNET: Twitter makes students dumb, study finds. “Using Twitter to teach literature is producing lower test scores, a study has found, especially for usually high-performing students. Performance on a standardized test score was reduced by between 25% and 40% of a standard deviation, the paper (PDF) published this month said.” I admit I’m pretty surprised by this.
Library of Congress: Fresh Life (Online) for the epic Shahnamah. “‘The Shahnamah,’ (translated as ‘The Persian Book of Kings’) is the majestic narrative that recounts the history of pre-Islamic Persia, a staggering work of literature first published about 1,000 years ago. Written by the poet Ferdowsi, it is composed of 62 separate stories set in 50,000 rhyming couplets and divided into 990 chapters. It was 33 years in the making. ‘Epic’ doesn’t begin to cover it…. The Library has three gorgeous manuscript copies of ‘Shahnamah’ – and, as a four-year digitization process of the Rare Persian-Language Manuscript Collection is now wrapping up, you can now see them all online.”
New-to-me, from Kaz Inform: Kitap.kz generates global interest in Kazakh literature. “Currently, the website contains 64 books in 18 foreign languages. The online library has generated increasing interest in Kazakh culture, as evidenced by the many thousands of daily visits to the website by foreign users. There is ongoing work on new content for the website.” The front page of the site is not in English but translates without issue. Looks like you need to have an account to access content.