Core Team

Jessica DeSpain

Jessica DeSpain

Project Director, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Jessica DeSpain is Professor of English at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and is the co-director of SIUE's IRIS Center. She is the author of Nineteenth-Century Transatlantic Reprinting and the Embodied Book (2014) and editor of The Wide, Wide World Digital Edition, an exploration of the reprints of Susan Warner's bestselling nineteenth-century novel. DeSpain co-edited the collection Teaching with Digital Humanities (2018). She has directed several projects introducing digital humanities methods to middle and high school students. She leads SIUE’s Community-Oriented Digital Engagement Scholars program, an interdisciplinary general education innovation that uses digital humanities practices to address local manifestations of global problems; the project was funded by an NEH Humanities Connection Planning Grant.
Melissa Homestead

Melissa Homestead

Project Lead, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Melissa J. Homestead, Professor of English and program faculty in Women’s & Gender Studies and Director of the Cather Project at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, focuses her teaching and scholarship on American women’s writing and authorship from the early republic through the early twentieth century. She is the author of American Women Authors and Literary Property, 1822-1869 (2005) and The Creative Partnership of Willa Cather and Edith Lewis (2021) and is co-editor of Clarence: A Tale of Our Own Times (1830) by Catharine Sedgwick (2011) and E.D.E.N Southworth: Recovering a Popular Novelist (2012). She also serves as Associate Editor of the ongoing NEH-funded digital scholarly edition The Complete Letters of Willa Cather.
Emily Rau

Emily Rau

Project Lead, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Emily J. Rau is the managing editor of the Willa Cather Archive and a Fellow in the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She serves as the assistant editor and managing director of the NEH-funded digital scholarly edition The Complete Letters of Willa Cather. Rau is a doctoral candidate in the English Department at UNL and a graduate fellow in the Center for Great Plains Studies. Her dissertation, “Uncovering the Tracks: The Railroad in American Literature,” explores the intervention of the transcontinental railroad in American literature, tracing how it transformed conceptions of space, place, identity, and community.
Kristen Lillvis

Kristen Lillvis

Project Lead, Marshall University
Kristen Lillvis is Professor of English and Director of Digital Humanities at Marshall University. She is the author of Posthuman Blackness and the Black Female Imagination (2017) and the co-editor of Community Boundaries and Border Crossings: Critical Essays on Ethnic Women Writers (2016). Her research and teaching examine diverse identities in electronic literature. Her community mapping project, Movable: Narratives of Recovery and Place, has received over $200,000 in grant funding to support students and community leaders in digitally mapping nonfiction, poetry, interviews, and multimedia art on the topic of recovery in Appalachia.

Planning Committee

Noelle A. Baker

Noelle A. Baker

Noelle A. Baker is an independent scholar whose publications focus on transcendentalism and the recovery of the writings and reception of nineteenth-century American women; they have appeared in volumes such as Ralph Waldo Emerson in Context (2014) and Toward a Female Genealogy of Transcendentalism (2014) and in journals such as The Concord Saunterer: A Journal of Thoreau Studies, Documentary Editing, ESQ, NEH Humanities, Poe Studies, and Resources in American Literary Study. She is the editor of Stanton in Her Own Time: A Biographical Chronicle of Her Life, Drawn from Recollections, Interviews, and Memoirs by Family, Friends, and Associates (2016); co-editor of Margaret Fuller: Collected Writing (2023); and co-editor of The Almanacks of Mary Moody Emerson: A Scholarly Digital Edition, an NEH We the People designee and recipient of two NEH Scholarly Editions Grants. Twenty Almanacks have been published in the Northeastern University Women Writers Project’s Women Writers Online. Baker is co-editor in chief of the peer-reviewed journal Scholarly Editing.
Mary Chapman

Mary Chapman

University of British Columbia-Vancouver
Mary Chapman is Professor of English and Academic Director of the Public Humanities Hub at the University of British Columbia-Vancouver. She is the author of the award-winning Making Noise, Making News: Suffrage Print Culture and US Modernism, Features Editor for Legacy, and director of the Winnifred Eaton Archive. She has also edited or co-edited two award-winning recovery projects: Becoming Sui Sin Far: Early Fiction, Journalism and Travel Writing by Edith Maude Eaton, and Treacherous Texts: US Suffrage Literature, 1846-1946.
Amy E. Earhart

Amy E. Earhart

Texas A&M University
Amy E. Earhart is Associate Professor of English and affiliated faculty of Africana Studies at Texas A&M University. Earhart's work has focused on building infrastructure for the digital humanities, embedding digital humanities projects within the classroom, and tracing the history and futures of DH, with a particular interest in the way that DH and critical race studies intersect. Her digital projects include The Millican Massacre, 1868, DIBB: The Digital Black Bibliographic Project, and “Alex Haley’s Malcolm X: ‘The Malcolm X I knew’ and notecards from The Autobiography of Malcolm X” (a collaborative project with undergraduate and graduate students published in Scholarly Editing). Earhart has published scholarship on a variety of digital humanities topics, including the monograph Traces of Old, Uses of the New: The Emergence of Digital Literary Studies (2015), the co-edited collection The American Literature Scholar in the Digital Age (2010), and a number of articles and book chapters in volumes including the Debates in Digital Humanities series, DHQ, and Textual Cultures.
Melissa J. Lingle Martin

Melissa J. Lingle Martin

North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics
Melissa J. Lingle-Martin is an Instructor at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics where she teaches courses in American Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. In her teaching, she encourages students to read texts of all mediums in their multidisciplinary context and to use the tools of the digital humanities to see and understand literature, culture, and the world in new and meaningful ways. Her research is multidisciplinary and examines the connections between social justice and the social imaginary, especially as manifested in the literature, law, and visual culture of nineteenth-century America. Her essay “Iconoclasm, Parody, and the Provocations of Lydia Maria Child’s A Romance of the Republic” appears in Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers and she contributed to Visualizing Objects, Places, and Spaces: A Digital Project Handbook while serving on the founding Executive Board of the Digital Humanities Collaborative of North Carolina from 2019 to 2021.
Ashley Reed

Ashley Reed

Virginia Tech
Ashley Reed is Associate Professor of English at Virginia Tech. A scholar of American literature, American religion, and digital humanities, she has published articles in ESQ, J19, Religion Compass, and Digital Humanities Quarterly, in addition to her monograph Heaven’s Interpreters: American Women Writers and Religious Agency in Nineteenth-Century America (2020). Reed held an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in Digital Humanities in 2014-15. She served as Project Manager of the William Blake Archive from 2007 to 2013 and has directed collaborative digital projects with undergraduates at UNC and Virginia Tech that include the Prudence Person Scrapbook Project and the Virginia Lucas Poetry Scrapbook.
Janel Simons

Janel Simons

University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Janel Simons is Instruction Specialist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries. She organizes information literacy instruction for foundational courses across campus, courses in the humanities, and the high school users program. Simons earned a Ph.D. in English in December 2018, specializing in nineteenth-century American literature and culture, with a focus on the antebellum period. Her doctoral research approaches literatures of the U.S. War with Mexico, examining the ways in which this war shaped the nineteenth-century cultural and literary imagination.
Jordan L. Von Cannon

Jordan L. Von Cannon

Florida Gulf Coast University
Jordan L. Von Cannon is Assistant Professor in the Department of Language and Literature at Florida Gulf Coast University where she teaches classes on early and 19th-century American literature, U.S. women writers, gender and sexuality, and the digital humanities. She has published on female development in Jane Austen and the intersection of female identity and primitivism in U.S. naturalist fiction. She is working on a book manuscript that traces the relationship between American industriousness and non-normative narratives of female development. Since 2016, she has served as the Vice President of Publications for SSAWW.
Seretha D. Williams

Seretha D. Williams

Augusta University
Seretha D. Williams earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northwestern University, a master's degree and doctorate in comparative literature from the University of Georgia, and a master's degree in library information science from Valdosta State University. An interim department chair, professor of English, and affiliated faculty in the Women's and Gender Studies Program at Augusta University, Williams specializes in Africana literatures and digital humanities. She is a expert on Margaret Walker, the Harlem and Black Chicago Renaissances, the Black Arts Movement, and Afrofuturism. Williams is a Black Book Interactive Project scholar (University of Kansas), a co-editor of the essay collection Afterimages of Slavery, and co-founder and editor-in-chief of Third Stone, a digital journal for Afrofuturism. She is the digital humanities fellow for Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and the facilitator for the college’s digital humanities course, Human Experience and Meaning. William's current research project focuses on Margaret Walker's unpublished manuscript "Goose Island" and 1930's Chicago.

Advisory Board

Jean Lee Cole

Jean Lee Cole

Loyola University Maryland
Jean Lee Cole, Professor of English and Faculty Director of Community-Engaged Learning and Scholarship at Loyola University Maryland, is the author or editor of several volumes and peer-reviewed articles that explore the works of multiethnic American writers, American periodicals, and American visual culture, including Zora Neale Hurston: Collected Plays (2008) and Freedom’s Witness: The Civil War Correspondence of Henry McNeal Turner (2013). She is also an editor of the academic journal American Periodicals and a former president of the Research Society for American Periodicals. Cole worked with the University of Virginia to publish the Winnifred Eaton Digital Archive.
Julia Flanders

Julia Flanders

Northeastern University
Julia Flanders is Professor of the Practice in English and Director of the Digital Scholarship Group in the Northeastern University Library. She also directs the Women Writers Project and serves as editor-in-chief of Digital Humanities Quarterly, an open-access, peer-reviewed online journal of digital humanities. She has served as chair of the TEI Consortium and as President of the Association for Computers and the Humanities. Her research interests focus on data modeling, textual scholarship, humanities data curation, and the politics of digital scholarly work. She is the co-editor, with Neil Fraistat, of the Cambridge Companion to Textual Scholarship, and is also the co-editor, with Fotis Jannidis, of The Shape of Data in Digital Humanities: Modeling Texts and Text-based Resources

Martha Nell Smith

University of Maryland College Park
Martha Nell Smith, Distinguished Scholar-Teacher, Professor of English, and Founding Director of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities has numerous print publications, including Emily Dickinson, A User’s Guide (2019); Everywoman Her Own Theology: Essays on the Poetry of Alicia Suskin Ostriker (2018); I Dwell in Possibility: Collaborative Emily Dickinson Translation Project, edited with Professor Baihua Wang, Fudan University (2017); Open Me Carefully: Emily Dickinson’s Intimate Letters to Susan Dickinson (1998); Rowing in Eden: Rereading Emily Dickinson (1992). Smith is Coordinator and Executive Editor of the Dickinson Electronic Archives. With Lara Vetter, Smith is editor of Emily Dickinson’s Correspondence: A Born-Digital Textual Inquiry (2008). Smith also worked on two interrelated Mellon-sponsored data mining and visualization initiatives, NORA and MONK (Metadata Offer New Knowledge). Smith serves on the editorial board and steering committee of NINES.

Colored Conventions Project

The Colored Conventions Project (CCP) brings buried African American history to digital life by attending to social justice activism in scholarship and research and by offering opportunities for deep engagement with 19th-century Black archives, recovery, and political organizing. Informed by one of their guiding principles, to enact the values of collective organizing modeled by the Colored Conventions Movement, CCP is pleased to join the SSAWW Digital Recovery Hub Advisory board as a collective, represented by team members Brandi Locke and Shirley Moody-Turner. Locke is an advanced graduate student at the University of Delaware whose work theorizes Black womanhood across the intellectual and activist genealogies of African American women writers from post-Reconstruction through the Harlem Renaissance. She serves as co-chair of CCP’s North American teaching partnerships and digital archives committee. Locke also helps to lead CCP efforts in community-based crowd-sourcing activities, such as the international movement to revitalize Frederick Douglass Day for celebrating histories of Black activism and political resistance. Moody-Turner is Associate Professor of English and African American Studies at Pennsylvania State University and a CCP North American Teaching Partner. Her work explores how the intersecting dynamics of race and gender have impacted African American literary production at the turn of the twentieth century and offers an alternative approach to reconstructing black women writers’ literary histories. In 2017 she partnered with the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center to digitize the Anna Julia Cooper papers.