Faulkner Center Creates Hypertext Version of ‘Barn Burning’

by News Bureau on Tuesday, Dec. 06, 2011

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Dec. 6, 2011 — The Center for Faulkner Studies at Southeast Missouri State University has created a hypertext version of one of William Faulkner’s most popular short stories, “Barn Burning.”

The work is posted on the “Teaching Faulkner” page of the Center’s website at www.semo.edu/cfs.

Two Department of English graduate students, Allison Dohogne and Amber Walker, created the work, assisted by Dr. Robert Hamblin, director of the Faulkner Center, and Dr. Christopher Rieger, assistant director of the Faulkner Center.

A hypertext version of a literary work incorporates numerous hyperlinks to external websites, as well as traditional footnotes, to illustrate and amplify the text. Such links may be to photographs or videos, other printed texts, even spoken words or music.

“A hypertext,” Hamblin explains, “is a marvelous tool for both teachers and readers, providing a vast amount of critical and complementary material with just a hovering cursor or the click of a mouse.”

For some teachers and students, Hamblin adds, “Creating hypertexts provides one exciting alternative to traditional research paper assignments.”

One of the most impressive features of a hypertext is its interactive nature. As Rieger notes, “Readers may suggest additional links or notes to be added to the site; thus the hypertext is open-ended, an ongoing work in progress.”

The Center for Faulkner Studies plans to develop hypertext versions of additional Faulkner stories.