Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Introducing Glossator

So long as we're in a CFPing spirit, may I announce GLOSSATOR, another child of Nicola's genius? Please read on, my fecund friends, as what you're about to encounter is very much at home in the world we all inhabit here at ITM.

Glossator: Practice and Theory of the Commentary
Glossator publishes original commentaries, editions and translations of commentaries, and essays and articles relating to the theory and history of commentary, glossing, and marginalia. The journal aims to encourage the practice of commentary as a creative form of intellectual work and to provide a forum for dialogue and reflection on the past, present, and future of this ancient genre of writing. By aligning itself, not with any particular discipline, but with a particular mode of production, Glossator gives expression to the fact that praxis founds theory.

Glossator is an peer-reviewed open-access journal, sponsored by The Graduate Center, CUNY. It is available online at

Editors: Nicola Masciandaro (Brooklyn College, CUNY), Karl Steel (Brooklyn College, CUNY), Ryan Dobran (Brooklyn College, CUNY).

Section Editors: Erik Butler (Emory University), Mary Ann Caws (Graduate Center, CUNY), Alan Clinton (Georgia Institute of Technology), David Greetham (Graduate Center, CUNY), Bruno Gullí (Long Island University), Daniel Heller-Roazen (Princeton University), Jason Houston (University of Oklahoma), Eileen A. Joy (Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville), Sean McCarthy (Lehman College, CUNY), Sherry Roush (Penn State University), Michael Sargent (Graduate Center, CUNY), Michael Stone-Richards (College for Creative Studies), Frans van Liere (Calvin College), Jesús R. Velasco (UC Berkeley), Yoshihisa Yamamoto (Chiba University).


The Editors invite submissions for the first volume of Glossator, to be published in 2009.

Glossator welcomes work from all disciplines, but especially from fields with strong affiliations with the commentary genre: philosophy, literary theory and criticism, textual and manuscript studies, hermeneutics, exegesis, et al.

What is commentary? While the distinction between commentary and other forms of writing is not an absolute one, the following may serve as guidelines for distinguishing between what is and is not a commentary:

  1. A commentary focuses on a single object (text, image, event, etc.) or portion thereof.
  2. A commentary does not displace but rather shapes itself to and preserves the integrity, structure, and presence of its object.
  3. The relationship of a commentary to its object may be described as both parallel and perpendicular. Commentary is parallel to its object in that it moves with or runs alongside it, following the flow of reading it. Commentary is perpendicular to its object in that it pauses or breaks from reading it in order to comment on it. The combination of these dimensions gives commentary a structure of continuing discontinuity, which allows it to be consulted or read intermittently rather than start to finish.
  4. Commentary tends to maintain a certain quantitative proportion of itself vis-à-vis its object. This tendency corresponds to the practice of "filling up the margins" of a text.
  5. Commentary, as a form of discourse, tends to favor and allow for the multiplication of meanings, ideas, and references. Commentary need not, and generally does not, have an explicit thesis or argument. This tendency gives commentary a ludic or auto-teleological potential.

Possible submissions include: critical, philological, and/or bibliographic commentaries on texts, art, music, events, and other kinds of objects. Editions and translations of commentaries, glosses, annotation, and marginalia. Historical, theoretical, and/or critical articles and essays on commentary and commentary traditions. Experimental and/or fictional commentaries.

Submission Deadline: October 31, 2008

Questions, queries may be directed to Nicola Masciandaro:

Nous ne faisons que nous entregloser—Montaigne


Nicola Masciandaro said...

Thanks Karl.

Jeffrey, see what found its way into the collage graphic?

Jeffrey Cohen said...

Hey that is Karl's glossed book up there! How cool is that? And to think I was just staring at it the other day when i was rereading the post ...

Karl Steel said...

Oh! I never even noticed: Nicola, you're a champ. I'm honored.

dan remein said...

this publication seems just fantastic. i mean, nicola told me about it in MI, but when i looked at its actual site and call for submissions, dang. nice work folks.

Nicola Masciandaro said...

Dan, good place to submit a poetic self-commentary. It's about time we had a new vita nuova!

p.s. note Sherry Roush on editorial board

dtkline said...

What a great idea for a journal!

I have an idea for a group project: Let's choose a significant critical or literary text and compare *our own* marginalia. I wonder what that'd reveal?

Karl Steel said...

Let's choose a significant critical or literary text and compare *our own* marginalia. I wonder what that'd reveal?

This sounds like a lot of fun. Maybe next week: photo your General Prologue opening and send it in.

Anonymous said...

I'm assuming that new commentary and glossing technologies and practices such as blogging, CommentPress, social tagging and folksonomy, YouTube video responses, and mashups would be appropriate subjects of inquiry?

Karl Steel said...

John, I'd say an enthusiastic yes (and I'll punt this to Nicola), so long as the object that you're commenting on is present in your commentary. As an online journal, I wonder if we can embed Youtube videos in articles; and I dream of a article on youtube commentary that is itself in the form of youtube commentary...

Nicola Masciandaro said...

Yes, to Karl and John, though the plan for now is restricted to pdf format. But it sounds like John is interested more in submitting an article ('inquiry') on one of those subjects rather than a commentary itself. Which is great, though the journal is clearly giving priority to actual commentaries (or editions and translations), i.e to the practice and making of them over theorizing and making things about them.

Anonymous said...

Nicola and Karl, thank you. I am thinking about commentaries emerging from my work with the Walter J. Ong Collection, but I also run in computers and writing/digital rhetoric/new media circles, and a number of us have been thinking about/playing with commentaries, glossing, and annotation in digital environments, both in terms of scholarship and in terms of pedagogy.