Andrew Goldstone (English), initiative director
My research and teaching focus on twentieth-century literature in English, with a special interest in the sociology of literature, for which both digitized archives and computational methods are significant. I am currently working on a history of popular fiction genres in English since 1890. In other work, I have used machine learning to understand the history of scholarship; two projects can be explored online: Quiet Transformations of Literary Studies and a collaboration with Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. The underlying software, dfr-browser, is available as open source. I taught Rutgers’s first course in literary data analysis in spring 2015.
Francesca Giannetti (New Brunswick Libraries)
I pursue topics at the intersection of information studies, digital humanities, and music. Working with a musicologist, a music librarian, and a digital humanities project developer, I am developing a digital research environment called Music Scholarship Online (MuSO), a contributing node of the Advanced Research Consortium (ARC) whose aims are to improve the dissemination of digital scholarly outputs in music as well as develop a peer review framework for the evaluation of digital work in musicology and music history. My digital projects mostly relate to digital editions and text encoding; two editions are in progress—the Still Papers and the War Service Bureau Correspondence. I am the maintainer of the Directory of Digital Scholarship in Music. My research interests include digital libraries, audio preservation, opera and libretto studies, and digital humanities pedagogy.
Paul Israel (Thomas Edison Papers)
I am director of the Thomas A. Edison Papers, which includes a book edition of transcribed and annotated documents and an online digital image edition. My major interest in DH is extending the usefulness of our editions. In that connection, members of the editorial team have been writing essays drawn from research for our book edition that examine Edison and Innovation and that link to key documents in both the book image editions. We are currently developing a crowdsourcing transcription project to enable more Edison Papers manuscripts to be made keyword searchable and easier to read. We are also interested in finding ways to make the Edison Papers more accessible for digital pedagogy. Among our efforts is a Google map of Thomas Edison’s New Jersey which includes summaries and historic images. We are also looking to develop additional research tools, including a virtual Edison library project that would include Edison’s marginalia from his library books and provide information drawn from the Papers about how the books were used in the laboratory research by Edison and his staff.
Meredith McGill (English)
Meredith L. McGill’s research and teaching focuses on American literature, book and media history, and poetry and poetics. She is the author of American Literature and the Culture of Reprinting, 1837-1853 (2003; repr. 2007) a study of nineteenth-century American resistance to tight control over intellectual property. She has edited two collections of essays: Taking Liberties with the Author (2013), which explores the persistence of the author as a shaping force in literary criticism, and The Traffic in Poems: Nineteenth-Century Poetry and Transatlantic Exchange (2008), in which a variety of scholars model ways of understanding nineteenth-century poetry within a transatlantic frame. Her overview of the last thirty-five years of scholarship on book history and intellectual property can be found in Book History 16 (2013). She is currently completing a study of poetry and mass-culture in the antebellum US.
Kristin O’Brassill-Kulfan (History)
Kristin O’Brassill-Kulfan is Assistant Teaching Professor and Coordinator of Public History in the History Department at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. She holds a PhD in History from the University of Leicester and an MA in Modern History from Queens University Belfast. She researches poverty, labor, mobility, crime and punishment in the early American northeast, and is the author of Vagrants and Vagabonds: Poverty and Mobility in the Early American Republic (New York University Press, 2019). Her next book project explores the evolution of the poverty line through the subsistence activities of people experiencing poverty in early America. As a practicing public historian, she has previously worked as an archivist and research analyst for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Archives, and with museums, archives, and libraries in the US and the UK curating exhibits, managing archival collections, and creating inclusive public programming. She is co-chairing the New Jersey Historical Commission’s Advisory Council on the state’s semi-centennial commemoration, and recently received the Commission’s Award of Recognition for Outstanding Service to Public Knowledge and Preservation of the History of New Jersey. She is currently working on a project about historical materialism in public history interpretation and commemorations.
Andrew Parker (French and Comparative Literature)
My research concerns the history and practices of literary theory, especially post-war theory in France and its world-wide dissemination. From this perspective, I’m interested in the digital humanities for the ways that it helps to decenter “the primacy of the human subject,” the expectation that consciousness is both the ground and the goal of cultural analysis. Current work includes preparation for an online, bilingual edition of Julio Cortázar’s iconic novel Rayuela/Hopscotch (1963), an experiment in aleatory narrative that seems, today, to have been made for a digital environment.
Jamie Pietruska (History)
I am a historian of nineteenth-century American culture, science, and technology who works on knowledge production, information networks and knowledge infrastructures, histories of the future, and bureaucracy. I earned my PhD from the Program in History, Anthropology, & STS at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and I am currently an associate professor in the History Department at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, where I teach courses in the histories of science, technology, and environment, including Accidents & Disasters in the US & the World, Technology & Nature in American History, Data: A Social History, and History of the Future. I am a member of the steering committee for the Rutgers Digital Humanities Initiative and am currently working on a digital history project on the spatial history of nineteenth-century American meteorological infrastructure. I am also a member of the steering committee for the Rutgers Critical AI Initiative. My first book, Looking Forward: Prediction and Uncertainty in Modern America (University of Chicago Press, 2017), is a history of forecasting that explores how the routinized predictions of everyday life functioned as new forms of knowledge and tools for risk management as late nineteenth and early twentieth-century Americans came to believe in the promise and accept the limitations of predicting the future. I am currently researching a book project entitled “Data Driven: Information and Investigation in the Late Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century United States.” For more on my scholarly work and public outreach, please visit my website.
Leah Price (English)
Leah Price is the founder and director of the Rutgers Initiative for the Book. She teaches the novel, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British and occasionally French culture, and book history. Her books include What We Talk About When We Talk About Books(Basic Books, 2019), How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain (Princeton UP, 2012; Patten Prize, Channing Prize, honorable mention for James Russell Lowell Prize) and The Anthology and the Rise of the Novel (Cambridge UP, 2000). She also edited Unpacking my Library: Writers and their Books (Yale UP, 2011); Literary Secretaries/Secretarial Culture (with Pamela Thurschwell); and (with Seth Lerer) a cluster of essays of PMLA on The History of the Book and the Idea of Literature. Leah writes for the New York Times Book Review, London Review of Books, Times Literary Supplement, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe and Public Books (where she is also a section editor), and designed the nineteenth-century module for HarvardX’s online course on the history of the book.
Sean Silver (English)
I teach the literature and culture of the British Restoration and eighteenth century. Related interests include complex systems, the history of science, the origins of the museum, cognitive studies, and the history of ideas and craft practices. I am the author of The Mind Is a Collection, which traces the history of our most prevalent mental models. The book is the exhibit catalogue of a virtual museum, www.mindisacollection.org, which I hope you will visit. I am now working on a cultural history of complexity, a particularly modern way of thinking about the world. These interests find their way into my classroom. Two courses which I particularly enjoy teaching are a seminar on museums and literature, in which students become curators of literary objects, and a class I call “Reading With Your Laptop,” in which students learn the rudiments of the programming language “R,” and apply their new skills to unpack literary texts.
Andrew Urban (American Studies and History)
Andy Urban is an Associate Professor of American Studies and History at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, with a focus on migration, labor, and the public and digital humanities. Andy’s current research focuses on the history of Seabrook Farms, a frozen foods agribusiness in southern New Jersey that recruited and employed incarcerated Japanese Americans, guestworkers from the British West Indies, migrant farmworkers from the US South, European Displaced Persons, and stateless Japanese Peruvians during the 1940s and 1950s. His work on Seabrook Farms is the subject of an online exhibition hosted by the New Jersey Digital Highway, which he curated with Rutgers’ students. Andy is now working with the Seabrook Educational and Cultural Center on an initiative aimed at reimagining how Seabrook Farms’ history can be made relevant to contemporary audiences. As a professor and curator, Andy has also worked with Rutgers students on the following digital exhibitions: Chinese Exclusion in New Jersey: Immigration Law in the Past and Present; History Workshop: Immigration Case Files and Stories of Restriction and Deportation; and Living in a Digital World: How Rutgers Uses Technology. Andy serves on the Immigration and Ethnic History Society’s Executive Board and is the Vice President of the New Brunswick chapter of the Rutgers AAUP-AFT union.
Alessandro Vettori (Italian)
My research is at the intersection of literature, spirituality, and autobiography in the Middle Ages. Publishing annotated medieval manuscripts is much better served by digital editions than paper copies, so I am very intrigued by the possibility a digital text offers.