Essays in Romanticism

Digital Doors of Perception: Illuminating Blake through New Knowledge Environments

Essays in Romanticism (2016), 23, (1), 45–63.

Abstract

The unique work and non-traditional production methods of William Blake have inspired me to design digital platforms that ask new critical questions regarding Blake’s output. Custom-fade allows for overlapping comparisons between the variants of William Blake’s printed images, and is exposing correlations in ways that traditional materials and methods cannot. Similarly, NewRadial, designed to sort, browse through, manipulate and comment on Blake’s iconic pages in a visual environment, was initially intended to open new possibilities for traditional critical approaches relating to Blake’s work. Its usefulness beyond specific Romantic period material has since prompted its evolution into a much more robust new knowledge environment. The growth of NewRadial (from a Blake-inspired tool to an environment that is helping to redefine the ways we might engage in scholarly collaboration) is an example of the way that larger methodological initiatives and metacritical ideas can emerge from addressing particular Romantic-period concerns through digital technologies.

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Saklofske, Jon