My research integrates early American literary studies with digital scholarly communications to offer new structural apparatuses for literary scholarship, in so doing enabling new appraisals of the archival materials central to humanities scholarship. Traditionally, studies of early America have used archives as evidentiary bases for literary historical claims. In my research as well as in the archival projects I have been involved in developing, I focus on the construction of the archive itself, in order to interrogate how the format and organization of as well as access to literary and extraliterary materials inform our analyses and the cultural discourses in which they participate. Thus, for instance, in my book manuscript “Archives of Discovery: Mapping North America 1728-1900,” I consider how the archives of Columbus materials that early American authors such as Susanna Rowson assemble – the particular configuration of letters, first-hand accounts, fictions, and histories she uses as the basis for her novel about Columbus, Reuben and Rachel – shape the geopolitical imaginary of the United States that the novel constructs.
Consideration of the effects of archival content and structure underlies Archive Journal, which I founded and edit. The journal provides a forum for critical reflection on the academic community’s deep investments in the selection, description, preservation, use, and digitization of materials in special collections and archives. As these materials continue to serve as a fundamental resource for teaching and research, the digital age has provided new kinds of materials (born-digital data), modes of analysis (from data mining to visualization), and means of access (such as digitization projects and linked data). Archive Journal focuses on interactions with archives in the digital age by the varied academic communities who use and make them. My exploration of these archival issues has also led me to experiment with the formats and venues of scholarly production, as demonstrated by my research portfolio that includes traditional single-authored scholarship as well as collaborative digital humanities and scholarly communications projects. The portfolio includes:
Editorial & Scholarly Communications Projects
Founder and editor, Archive Journal, 2010-present.
Editor, Ameri[c]an Atlas. Lehigh University Press Digital Scholarly Editions, 2010.
Work in Progress
Archives of Discovery: Mapping North America, 1728-1900. Book manuscript.
The Broadway Journal: A Digital Edition.
“Archive.” Co-authored with Gabrielle Dean. In Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities: Concepts, Models, and Experiments. MLA. Final version forthcoming 2016. Open-reviewed version available.
“Postdoctoral Pedagogy.” Co-authored with Elliott Shore. In The Process of Discovery: The CLIR Postdoctoral Fellowship Program and the Future of the Academy. Council on Library and Information Resources, September 2015.
“National Graffiti: The Textual Lives of Lewis and Clark.” In J19. Fall 2015.