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November 18, 2015

Speaker: Hrim Mehta, MSc student

Title: Augmenting Hand-Written Annotations with Digital Metadata for Active Reading of Poetry

Abstract: Many people, literary critics in particular, practice active reading, making annotations by hand while performing a detailed analysis of a text. Current digital tools for literary criticism have many limitations with respect to handwriting. In this talk I will present an ethnographic study of 14 professional literary critics performing free-form annotations in the context of literary criticism, and a subsequent tool, MetaTation, for enhancing the active reading process, based on our findings. Our study revealed a set of cognitive processes used in free-form annotation that has not previously been discussed in this context. We derived design guidelines for digital tools which augment active reading and annotation. The resulting system, MetaTation, uses an interactive pen and paper system with a peripheral display to provide support without interfering in the cognitive processes that guide the workflow. Through turning paper-based annotations into implicit queries, MetaTation provides well-organized and relevant supplemental information in a just-in-time manner.