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Collaborative Research Between Faculty and Graduate Students

The Lehigh University English Department fosters collaborative research. Our graduate students have worked actively with faculty on digital humanities projects, public-facing humanities projects, conference presentations, and traditional academic books and articles. This collaborative ethos offers graduate students mentorship beyond the classroom and builds a professional portfolio for future careers inside and outside academia.

Recent Digital Projects

  • The Gloria Naylor Archive Project: Directed by Prof. Suzanne Edwards and Prof. Mary Foltz, this NEH-funded digital project makes the papers of twentieth-century author Gloria Naylor accessible to scholars, students, and fans of her novels. Funded graduate student research assistants—Sam Sorensen, Victoria Davis, Isaiah Rivera, Nadia Butler, Ayanna Woods, Lauren Gilmore, and Ellen Boyd—processed archival materials, developed the website, helped to develop a detailed finding aid, and created metadata for digitized materials. This project is featured in the digital project showcase at the Recovery Hub for American Women Writers.
  • The Vault at Pfaff's: An Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York: Directed by Prof. Ed Whitley, this digital humanities project gathers and organizes primary and secondary source documents about the bohemians of antebellum New York.The Pfaff's bohemians have always held a small place in American literary history thanks to their association with Walt Whitman. The Vault at Pfaff's reconstructs this previously scattered traces of this literary community to uncover what these writers, artists, actors, and critics offer to our understanding of nineteenth-century American culture. Since 2006, graduate students collaborators—including Robert Wesley Atkinson, Abigail Aldrich, Kyle Brett, Anthony Funari, Jennifer Hyest, Colleen Martell, and Elizabeth Wiggins—have written short biographies and annotated both primary and secondary texts.
  • African American Poetry: A Digital Anthology: This digital anthology, led by Prof. Amardeep Singh, provides access to a comprehensive collection of Black poetry from the early-twentieth century. It includes full text versions of about 90 books of poetry (including anthologies as well as single-author books), and a substantial collection of periodical poetry from African American magazines like The CrisisOpportunityThe Messenger, and Negro World. The anthology contains substantial collections by major authors like Langston Hughes, Jessie Fauset, Claude McKay, and Countee Cullen, but also materials by many lesser-known writers. Putting all of these materials together on a single site gives readers new angles of approach to an important literary movement. Graduate students Christian Farrior and Miranda Alvarez were funded to contribute to the project.
  • Toni Morrison: A Teaching and Learning Resource Collection: This website, developed by Prof. Amardeep Singh and graduate student Daniel Rosler, collects resources related to the writings and career of Toni Morrison (1931-2019). As a tool for researchers, students, and the general public, the website includes overviews of Morrison's fiction and nonfiction writing, annotated overviews of criticism on Morrison's work, reception histories for her works, and original critical and contextual research that will add to available knowledge on Morrison.
  • The Kiplings and India: This is a digital thematic collection containing documents related to British India between 1870 and 1900, with a focus on materials by and about the Kipling family – especially John Lockwood Kipling, Rudyard Kipling, Alice MacDonald Kipling, and Alice Fleming  (who published novels as Beatrice Grange and Mrs. J.M. Fleming). Primary source texts related to the Kiplings include clippings from John Lockwood Kipling and Rudyard Kipling’s journalistic writings (1870-1890) and digital editions of texts by the three authors named. Developed by Prof. Amardeep Singh and graduate students James McAdams and Sarita Mizin, this digital project makes several works by Rudyard’s sister Alice Fleming and his father, John Lockwood Kiplin, available online for the first time.
  • Charlotte Smith Story Map: This digital resource, built by Prof. Beth Dolan and graduate student Gillian Andrews, represents the various places that shaped Charlotte Smith’s writing. While the homes of male writers from the same period are preserved to recreate the sense of place that inspired their writing, there is no physical memorial for Charlotte Smith; she moved frequently, as a result of gender-based residential insecurity. The story map functions as a virtual author house, a memorial that tells Smith’s life story not through one place, but through her many moves. First published in Romantic Circles (May 2018), this project was also  selected for inclusion in ESRI Story Maps (September 2018). 

Recent Conference Papers and Publications

  • Prof. Ed Whitley and graduate student Lauren Gilmore presented together on the “Teaching with Data Feminism panel, hosted by the Association for Computers and the Humanities at the 2023 MLA conference. Their presentation on approaches to teaching with the groundbreaking book, Data Feminism, by Catherine D’Ignazio and Lauren Klein, highlighted Lauren Gilmore’’s projects for Prof. Whitley’s graduate seminar, “Cultures of Data in 19th-Century American Literature.”
  • Prof. Dawn Keetley and graduate students Ellen Boyd and Lauren Gilmore co-edited a special issue of Horror Homeroom, focused on found footage horror. This special issue, which also features essays by Lehigh University English graduate students Amira Shokr and Isaiah Frost Rivera, resulted from Prof. Keetley’s independent study on found footage horror with Ellen and Lauren. For the special issue, graduate student editors worked in every stage of the publication process–from writing the call for papers to copyediting essays. The special issue also features Ellen Boyd’s essay and Lauren Gilmore’s introduction.