Faculty Profile: Leroy Searle

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Graduate students across disciplines, from English, Comparative Literature, and Humanities, worked together in Professor Leroy Searle’s Fall, 2001, graduate seminar “Textual Studies: Seminar in Hypertext Theory.”


Using their seminar sessions to discuss the theory itself, their collective lab-classroom project was to do a simplified HTML markup of the entire text of Blake's The Four Zoas. A group of twelve people completed the entire poem (over 130 pages) by the end of the quarter. One subset of students also used CINDEX in a successful effort to complete an index of one of the nine"nights" of Blake's poem.


The primary software all participants used, Delphi Editor, was authored by Professor Searle himself, who for this course project inserted a filter for easy macro tagging of the subset of HTML tags. The students’ collective work, as participant Swan Sheridan describes it, “required an innumerable number of editorial decisions . . . and made coding each line a lesson in the decisions a professional editor must make every day. This process was frustrating at times and produced more than one class disagreement, but the lesson was well worth the struggle, and I feel that the resulting HTML document was a significant contribution to Blake studies."


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