Digital Scholarship in English Studies

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The Department of English has an outstanding digital media program. Below are some examples of the kinds of digital scholarship our faculty and graduate students are currently working on or have undertaken:

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Online Archives, Databases, Publications

Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives (DALN) 

  • Associate Professor Ben McCorkle, co-director with Michael Harker (Ohio State English alumnus, current faculty at Georgia State University). Co-developed by Professors Emeriti H. Lewis Ulman and Cynthia Selfe.
  • Description from the DALN homepage: The DALN is an open public resource made up of stories from people just like you about their experiences learning to read, write, and generally communicate with the world around them. If you have a compelling story to share (it can be text, video, audio, or a combination of formats), we'd love to hear it.

A Distant View of English Journal, 1912-2012


The Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt Recovery Project


Database of Early English Playbooks (DEEP)

  • Associate Professor Alan Farmer, co-developer with Zachary Lesser (Professor at University of Pennsylvania)
  • Description from the DEEP Homepage: DEEP: Database of Early English Playbooks allows scholars and students to investigate the publishing, printing, and marketing of English Renaissance drama in ways not possible using any other print or electronic resource. An easy-to-use and highly customizable search engine of every playbook produced in England, Scotland, and Ireland from the beginning of printing through 1660, DEEP provides a wealth of information about the original playbooks, their title-pages, paratextual matter, advertising features, bibliographic details, and theatrical backgrounds. DEEP is also now a part of the new platform Linked Early Modern Drama Online (LEMDO).
  • DEEP is one of the earliest and most widely used DH resources in early modern studies.

The Pulter Project: Poet in the Making

  • Associate Professor Elizabeth Zeman Kolkovich, contributing editor
  • Description from The Pulter Project's website: This digital collaboration aims at allowing readers to engage with multiple, different representations and readings of Hester Pulter’s striking verse. The distinctive nature of the project is that it does not adopt an editorial process that strives to establish a single, ideal edited form for these works, but instead endorses multiple, equally authorized versions as a way to foreground the complexity of Pulter’s poetics and the affordances of scholarly editing in the digital age. The Pulter Project seeks to pull back the editorial curtain to reveal to readers the often invisible decisions underwriting the making of poetry and poets.
  • The Pulter Project won the 2020 MLA Prize for Collaborative, Bibliographical, or Archival Scholarship.

The N-word in the Classroom: Just Say NO

  • Written and delivered by Professor Koritha Mitchell, with contributions from OSU students Cameron Justice, Mark Frantz, Bailey Gallagher, and Lucille "Ciru" Wainaina. Production and editing by Paul Kotheimer (OSU) and post-production by Christine Xine Yao (C19).
  • A 45-minute audio recording about how to handle racial and other slurs responsibly and with intellectual rigor. C19 Podcast: Official Publication of the Society for Nineteenth-Century Americanists. March 4, 2019.

Stories from the Columbus Hilltop Neighborhood

  • Developed by Professor Emeritus Dickie Selfe

“The Moment of Tom and Jerry (‘when fisticuffs were the fashion’)” 


A Scholarly Legacy: Cynthia Selfe and the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives


Digital Renaissance Editions

  • Assistant Professor Sarah Neville, Coordinating Editor
  • Description from the Digital Renaissance Editions homepage: Digital Renaissance Editions published electronic scholarly editions of early English drama and texts of related interest, from late medieval moralities and Tudor interludes, occasional entertainments and civic pageants, academic and closet drama, and the plays of the commercial London theaters, through to the drama of the Civil War and Interregnum. Digital Renaissance Editions will soon be a part of the new platform Linked Early Modern Drama Online (LEMDO).

Drawing Blood

  • Professor Jared Gardner, developer with Emily Winter (Ohio State alumna)
  • Drawing Blood began as a companion to an exhibition by the same name at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. The site traces the history of comics’ obsession with medicine from the 17th century to today.

Reading Like A Victorian 

  • A way to read 19th-century novels serially and in their cultural contexts
  • Developers and Collaborators:

"The Narrative Craft of Audio Description" (forthcoming)

Screen capture of a map of Bremen with text on the right-hand side
Screen capture from "Narrative Craft of Audio Description"

The Recovery Project: Actions of Survival, Archives of Resilience (forthcoming)

  • Collaborators: Assistant Professor Amrita Dhar, Associate Professor Margaret Price, Postdoctoral Researcher Sona Hill Kazemi (PIs); Professor Amy Shuman (serving in advisory capacity)
  • A Global Arts and Humanities Discovery Theme COVID-19 Seed Grant project
  • The Recovery Project: Actions of Survival, Archives of Resilience will build a community-engaged archive of pandemic testimonies and make an immediate contribution for our collective mental health and critical well-being. In its digital space, this project will provide a template to immediately address the mental-health needs and wellness of frontline workers, and also present a flexible best-practices model, global in scope, for understanding the role of media and social testimonies amidst a pandemic.

Early Modern Digital Scholarship and DEEP: Database of Early English Playbooks


Digital Seminars

Neighborhood, Community and Place in Early Modern London

  • Fall 2020 Folger seminar (online), directed by Professor Christopher Highley and Associate Professor Alan Farmer in partnership with The Ohio State University
  • From the Folgerpedia website: This interdisciplinary seminar invited scholars working on the metropolis of London from roughly 1450 through 1750 to reflect on existing scholarship and to explore how new approaches might enrich and deepen our understanding of key concepts like “neighborhood,” “community,” and “place.” Drawing on online resources like the Map of Early Modern London (MoEML), the seminar combined case studies of particular spaces and places—including parishes and streets, as well as bookstores, printing houses, company halls, prisons, and others suggested by participants—with discussions of methodology. The goal was to open up a number of theoretical questions with examples drawn from current research: What do literary and social historians mean by neighborhood and community? Are neighborhoods defined solely by official territorial subdivisions like parishes, precincts, and wards, or are they more elastic, improvised, imagined, and performed? And what is the relation between neighborhood and community in early modern London? Is the latter always tied to a particular place or is it a non-spatialized construct?

Digital Humanities Presentations

  • Sean Yeager: “Visualizing the Temporal Space of Narratives,” 2019 Digital Humanities conference. Utrecht, Germany. Awarded Paul Fortier Prize for best paper by an emerging scholar.
  • Sean Yeager: “Close-reading the Endnotes for Word-Frequency Signposts & Polyvocal Citations,” 2020 Digital Humanities conference (forthcoming). Ottawa, Canada.

Have a project you’d like included here? Please email English.communications@osu.edu