Two Digital Americanists Sessions at ALA 2014

The Digital Americanists Society has organized two panels at this year’s American Literature Association conference (Washington, DC, May 22-25, 2014). Details below; you can see the full program on the ALA conference site. Yes, we’re the first two slots of the conference. Hope to see you there!

Our sessions:

Visualizing Non-Linearity: Faulkner and the Challenges of Narrative Mapping
Session 1-A. Thursday, May 22, 2014, 9:00 – 10:20 am. Columbia B: Ballroom Level.
Organized by the Digital Americanists Society
Chair: Ryan Cordell, Northeastern University

  1. Julie Napolin, The New School
  2. Worthy Martin, University of Virginia
  3. Johannes Burgers, Queensborough Community College

Three members of the Digital Yoknapatawpha project discuss the advantages and challenges of collaboration in negotiating between scholarly readings of Faulkner and what is technically possible.

Digital Flânerie and Americans in Paris
Session 2-A. Thursday, May 22, 2014, 10:30-11:50 am. Columbia B: Ballroom Level.
Organized by the Digital Americanists Society
Chair: Ryan Cordell, Northeastern University

  1. “Mapping Movement, or, Walking with Hemingway,” Laura McGrath, Michigan State University
  2. “Parisian Remainder,” Steven Ambrose, Michigan State University
  3. “Sedentary City,” Anna Green, Michigan State University
  4. “Locating The Imaginary: Literary Mapping and Propositional Space,” Sarah Panuska, Michigan State University

Four short papers addressing the theoretical and suppositional nature of maps in relation to Alice Kaplan’s Paris memoirs, the relationship between movement and stasis for Ernest Hemingway, a reconfiguration of the woman and the city in Mina Loy’s poetry, and the unmappable locations of James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room.

Digital Americanists at ALA 2013

A word from Amanda Gailey, president of the Digital Americanists Society:

We will elect new officers this week both in-person at our business meeting at ALA (Thursday, 5/23, at 10:30, Courier 7th floor) and via absentee ballot by email. If you would like to run for the position of secretary/treasurer or vice president, please let me know as soon as possible. In accordance with our constitution, our current vice president, Matthew Wilkens, will move into the role of president, and the person we elect vice president will become president in 2015. All offices are two-year commitments. I encourage you to run! Also, if you would like us to address any specific issues at the business meeting, please let us know.

You need not be at ALA to run for office, but if you are, I invite you to attend our panel, “Interpretation, Interface, Archive, Classroom” on Thursday at 4:30 in St George D 3rd Floor.

This message went out to the Digital Americanists listserv; if you’d like to join the list, there’s info on the About page.

JOB: 19th-Century British and Anglophone/Digital Humanities

We’ve just recently received permission to hire an assistant professor in 19th-century British and Anglophone literatures/digital humanities,  and I’m hoping that the Digital Americanists will pass this along to those who might be interested.


Donna Campbell
Associate Professor of English
Washington State University

Assistant Professor of English with specialty in 19th-century British and Anglophone literatures with additional specialization in digital humanities, tenure track, beginning August 2012.  Duties and responsibilities include teaching courses in literary studies and in the Digital Technology and Culture undergraduate degree program, as well as graduate courses in nineteenth-century Anglophone literatures and digital humanities (2-2 teaching load).  Successful candidate will maintain an active research agenda and participate in professional and university service. Ph.D. in English or related field required by July 1, 2012. Evidence of teaching effectiveness at the college level strongly preferred. Promise of scholarly potential in nineteenth-century British or Anglophone literatures, Victorian studies, digital humanities, archival theory and practice, or the electronic/digital remediation of printed texts strongly preferred. Other preferred areas of scholarship include comparative media studies, visual culture studies, or the study of literature and information technologies. Demonstrated ability to work in diverse communities highly desirable. Apply at <> . Be prepared to upload a letter of application, curriculum vitae, contact information for three references, and a writing sample. Review of applications will begin on January 16, 2012. For full consideration applications must be received by January 30, 2012.  WSU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.  Members of ethnic minorities, women, Vietnam-era or disabled veterans, persons of disability and/or persons age 40 or over are encouraged to apply.

New Board, New Initiatives, and a Membership Drive

Dear past, current, and future members of the Digital Americanists,

Exciting things are happening in the Digital Americanists Society this year! In May a new board was elected at ALA. The new board comprises:

Amanda Gailey, University of Nebraska, President
Matthew Wilkens, University of Notre Dame, Vice-President
Ryan Cordell, St. Norbert College, Secretary/Treasurer

The new board has begun work on several new initiatives. First, we’ve moved the website to UNL, which should give us more flexibility than we had with our previous host. We welcome ideas about how we can make the website more useful to members. If you have suggestions for making the Digital Americanists’ site more than an occasional news venue, please send us an email with your ideas.

Second, we’re working to reach scholars in new venues. The DA will continue to sponsor one or two panels at each year’s American Literature Association Conference—more details about that when the ALA posts its CFP. Next year, however, we’ll also sponsor a panel at the Society for Textual Scholarship’s conference in Austin. Finally, the DA has proposed a roundtable, “Digits, Data, and Dilemmas: Digitization and Knowledge Production in Nineteenth-Century American Literary Studies,” for the C19 Americanists conference in Berkeley. We’re seeking to expand our influence at Americanists gatherings, giving more scholars a chance to present their digital work to more diverse audiences. If you’re interested in organizing a Digital Americanists panel at another conference, please let us know!

In short, we hope to make membership in the Digital Americanists Society more valuable. To help us develop these new initiatives, however, we need you to join the society or renew your membership. Yearly dues are just $10, and we will work to ensure that those dues give members more than warm, fuzzy feelings of civic pride (though warm, fuzzy feelings of civic pride are certainly nice). Visit our membership page for details about how to join or renew your membership. We look forward to working with all of you to further national conversations about technology and American studies.

Please pass this announcement on to anyone you think might be interested in joining the Digital Americanists.

All the best,
Amanda Gailey,
Matthew Wilkens,
Ryan Cordell,

The PCA/ACA Award for Best Electronic Reference Site

In recognition of the importance of new academic formats, the PCA/ACA has established an Award for excellence as an Electronic Reference Site that a committee agrees has met the necessary qualifications for contributing significantly to the study of Popular and American Culture. It is awarded annually to the Electronic Reference Site that best demonstrates the following: Quality of research/scholarship, use of hypertext/networking of electronic medium, use of supplementary/secondary materials, contribution to popular and American studies scholarship, breadth of archived material, ease of searching, and updatability.

TEI and AccessTEI

The Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) has just launched a new digitization program, AccessTEI. This program allows member institutions to outsource the transcription and basic structural encoding of source material (whether in print or manuscript, in any language, any sized job), at bulk prices with Apex Covantage, a leader in digitization outsourcing. The program features an easy-to-use web-based portal (

A current list of institutional members is at If your institution or project is not already a member, cost of membership varies from $100 to $5,000/year, depending on the size of the organization and the type of economy in which it is located. A membership application can be found at Pricing for AccessTEI services to TEI members can be found at

This program, which was developed with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is only one of the benefits available to members of the TEI. Member institutions are also eligible for significant discounts on XML software and site licences, and savings (usually over 50%) on workshops and conferences hosted by the TEI.