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Primacy to the event? The new technologies and the narrative mode.

Introduction: The work of the 'Southampton Atelier'

Professor Jan Reiff, UCLA

Given its single voice, teleology, hierarchy, and its reliance on the structure of the printed page we have become suspicious of 'narrativity'. The new media has given us the opportunity to construct and witness multiple narratives, inter-relate and conte xtualise more narratives in historiographical terms. Critically, it has given us the ability to place narratives in more diverse sources. In doing so the new media explodes narratives so that we are left with more, not less.

These four papers from the Southampton atelier represent work that has been underway for some considerable time. Narrative as incontestable: pictures with light and motion in the Court of King James I. Narrative as single voice: the attack on President Pr udente de Moraes in Rio de Janeiro, the 5th of November 1897. Narrative as linearity: the image, power and the Dutch Republic, 1588. And finally, narrative as teleology: the writing of 'Chicago July 1919'.

Different technical approaches have been used, but all have in common the need to tailor the attributes of software to the historian's task. This need informs the Southampton Atelier, which takes as its view that software will eventually evolve to meet sc holarly needs, but will not do so unless there is a meeting of minds between software engineers and their namesakes in the humanities. This process will best be stimulated by scholarly debate. Such debate should advance new interpretation. For the Atelier , located in Winchester England, takes as its starting point the view that the representation of interpretation is perhaps more the central task of the historian.

What form will scholarly publication assume? Are we about to embark on a new age of the edition? Is the atelier - successor to the print shops of early modern Europe - a useful paradigm for research and teaching? The debate is alive and open because the r epresentation of interpretation will likely assume many forms.