Beyond the Text: Speaker Biographies

Beyond the Text: Literary Archives in the 21st Century Symposium

Ammiel Alcalay’s books include Islanders, neither wit nor gold: from then, Scrapmetal, Memories of Our Future, After Jews and Arabs, and the cairo noteboooks. A little history and a second edition of from the warring factions are due from re:public/UpSet  in 2012, as well as a co-edited book by Michael Rumaker from City Lights. He has translated widely from Bosnian and Hebrew and is the founder and General Editor of Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative. He teaches at Queens College and the CUNY Graduate Center where he is Deputy Chair of the PhD Program in English.

Fran Baker is an archivist at The University of Manchester Library, where she curates the literary archives and social and political history collections. She has subject responsibility for English and American Studies. Her MPhil, published in 2004, focused on the textual history of a work by Elizabeth Gaskell. She has also published articles on issues around literary archives. She was a co-founder, and sits on the committee of, the Group for Literary Archives and Manuscripts (GLAM) and is currently chairing the GLAM Cataloguing Working Party. She has been actively involved in digital preservation for several years, and most recently managed the Rylands’ JISC-funded Carcanet Press Email Preservation Project.

Jason Camlot is an Associate Professor of English at Concordia University where he teaches Victorian literature and culture, the history of technology, and contemporary American and Canadian poetry. He is Principal Investigator on the SSHRC Insight Grant project, “SpokenWeb: Developing a Comprehensive Web-Based Digital Spoken Word Archive for Literary Research.” His publications include Style and the Nineteenth-Century Critic (2008), about theories of rhetoric in the context of 19th century periodicals, and a co-edited collection of essays called Language Acts (2007), about English-language poetry in Québec. He is also the author of three books of poetry.

Hazel Carby is Charles C. and Dorothy S. Dilley Professor of African American Studies, Professor of American Studies, and Director of the Initiative on Race Gender and Globalization at Yale University where she teaches courses on issues of race, gender and sexuality through the culture and literature of the Caribbean and its diaspora; through transnational and postcolonial literature and theory; through representations of the black female body; and through the genres of science fiction. Her books include Reconstructing Womanhood (1987), Race Men (1998), and Cultures in Babylon (1999).

Jean-Christophe Cloutier will begin in the fall as assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He is completing his Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. His dissertation explores the interplay between the archival and aesthetic sensibilities of 20th century American novelists. In 2009, he discovered the manuscript of Claude McKay’s last novel, Amiable with Big Teeth, while processing the papers of Samuel Roth at Columbia’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library. He’s since also processed the papers of authors and publishers including Erica Jong, Barney Rosset, and Chris Claremont. His essays, reviews, and translations have appeared in Novel, Cinema Journal, Public Books, A Critical Survey of Graphic Novels, A Time for the Humanities, and other publications.

Diane Ducharme is an archivist with the Beinecke Library, and in that role catalogs Early Modern single-item manuscripts and manuscript collections. She has delivered papers and chaired sessions on description and descriptive standards at Society of American Archivists, and taught an SAA workshop on cataloging manuscripts. She is currently a member of the Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials Manuscript Working Group, an ALA committee which is authoring a new national standard for the item-level description of rare post-1600 manuscripts. Diane holds an M.A. and an M.Phil. in Medieval Studies from Yale.

Lori Emerson is an assistant professor in the Department of English at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She writes ondigital literature, experimental American and Canadian writing from the 20th and 21st century, history of computing, and media theory. In addition to directing the Media Archaeology Lab, she is currently working on three book projects: Reading Writing Interfaces: From the Bookbound to the Digital; The Johns Hopkins Guide to Digital Humanities, co-edited with Marie-Laure Ryan and Benjamin Robertson; and Writing Surfaces: The Selected Fiction of John Riddell, co-edited with Derek Beaulieu (Wilfred Laurier University Press, forthcoming Spring 2013). See

Steve Evans is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Maine, where he teaches courses on contemporary poetry and poetics, critical theory, Modernism, and the avant-garde. He is also the coordinator of the New Writing Series at UMaine and codirector of the Naitonal Poetry Foundation. His publications include the edited volume After Patriarchal Poetry: Feminism and the Contemporary Avant-Garde (2001) and articles and reviews in The Nation, The Baffler, The Poker, Aerial, Poetics Journal, Qui Parle, and other journals. He is currently working on book-length project on “The Poetics of Phonotextuality: Timbre, Text, and Technology in Recorded Poetry.”

Al Filreis is the Kelly Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, Director of the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing, founder and Faculty Director of the Kelly Writers House, and co-founder and co-director of PennSound. His research and teaching, in which he has been an innovator in adapting technology, focuses on modern and contemporary American poetry and the literary and cultural politics of the 1950s. Publications include Wallace Stevens, Modernism, and, most recently, Counter-revolution of the Word: The Conservative Attack on Modern Poetry, 1945-1960 (2008). He also publishes Jacket2 magazine.

Jacqueline Goldsby is Professor of English and African American Studies at Yale University where her research and teaching focuses on African American and American literatures from 1865 to 1965. Research into Birth of the Cool: African American Literary Culture of the 1940s and 1950s lead to formation of “Mapping the Stacks” (, a collaborative project to make archival material documenting Black Chicago's literary, cultural, and visual histories during the 1930s-1970s accessible to the public.

Catherine Hobbs has worked as the Literary Archivist (English-language) at the Library and Archives Canada for fourteen years, during which time she has been responsible for the archives of many prominent Canadian authors.  She is the Chair of the Special Interest Section on Personal Archives (SISPA) within the Association of Canadian Archivists and an Adjunct Professor in the M.A. Programme in Public Text at Trent University. Catherine has been a member of the programme committee for the interdisciplinary Archives in Canada Conference Series. She has a background in literary theory and information science and she writes and lectures on issues surrounding literary and personal archives.

Sara S. "Sue" Hodson is the curator of literary manuscripts for the Huntington Library. She has spoken and published widely on literary and archival topics, especially privacy and confidentiality in modern manuscript collections. Her articles have appeared in The American Archivist, California History, the Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, and other publications. Her honors include the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of California Archivists, and in 2004 she was elected a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists. Her most recent publication, Jack London, Photographer, edited with Jeanne Campbell Reesman and Philip Adam, was published in 2010 by the University of Georgia Press. 

Kathryn James is the Curator for Early Modern Books and Manuscripts at the Beinecke Library. She completed her doctorate in early modern British history at Oxford University and her Master’s of Library and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh. She has published on social networks in scholarship, from James Petiver to Stanley Milgram, in Archives of Natural History, Lumen, The Journal of Academic Librarianship, and elsewhere.

Alice Kaplan, John M. Musser Professor and Chair of Yale’s French Department, is the author of numerous works grounded in archival research: The Collaborator (Los Angeles Times Book Prize in History, 2000), The Interpreter (Henry Adams Prize from the Society for History in the Federal Government, 2005), and most recently Dreaming in French: The Paris Years of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Susan Sontag, and Angela Davis. Themes from her graduate seminar on “The Archives: Fact or Fiction?” have included:  the narration of archival discoveries, the insights of trans-national research, and the role of the imagination in archival work.

Matthew Kirschenbaum, a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow, is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Maryland and Associate Director of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH). He specializes in digital humanities, electronic literature and new media, textual studies, and postmodern/experimental literature. His research interests in new media include games and simulations, digital preservation, writing technologies and the conditions of contemporary authorship, text visualization, social software, and cyber-infrastructure. His first book, Mechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination (2008), looked at works of new media and electronic literature and his current project, “Track Changes,” is a literary history of word-processing.

Bill Landis is Head of Public Services in Manuscripts & Archives, a department of the Yale University Library. As part of his work he leads several dozen class-based sessions each year engaging Yale students with the department’s extensive research collections of primary sources. His professional experience and interests are in archives and digital libraries, and he has written and presented extensively on these topics. He is a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists.

Beth Luey was the founding director of the Scholarly Publishing Program at Arizona State University (1980-2006), where she and her students compiled A Guide to Book Publishers’ Archives (1996). She is the co-editor of the recently completed Diaries and Autobiographical Writings of Louisa Catherine Adams (2013) and the author of several books, including Expanding the American Mind: Books and the Popularization of Knowledge (2010); Handbook for Academic Authors (2010); and Revising Your Dissertation: Advice from Leading Editors (2008). She is a past president of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing.

Heather MacNeil is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Information at the iSchool at the University of Toronto where she teaches courses on archival concepts and issues, the history of record keeping, and archival representation. Her research and publications focus on the theory and methods of archival arrangement and description and the authenticity of records in analog and digital environments. In her current research she is exploring archival description as a rhetorical genre in traditional and web-based environments. She is the author of Trusting Records (2000) and co-editor of Currents of Archival Thinking (2010).

Micki McGee is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Fordham University. She is a sociologist and cultural critic whose research interests include sociological theory, sociology of art, culture, consumption, media, and mental health.  Her publications include the book-length study, Self-Help, Inc.: Makeover Culture in American Life (2005), the edited volume Yaddo: Making American Culture (2008), about the institution and the artists and writers who spent time there, and articles in The Nation, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Afterimage, Art & Text, High Performance, and Social Text.

Jennifer Meehan, formerly Head of Processing in the Manuscript Unit at the Beinecke Library, is now Associate Director of the Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL) at Emory University. She has written extensively on the theory and practice of archival arrangement and description, and has taught professional workshops on archival processing. Her current research, in collaboration with a colleague, focuses on the arrangement and description of hybrid personal archives.

Laura Millar has worked as an independent consultant for 30 years, focusing on three distinct but inter-related areas of expertise: records, archives, and information management; editing, writing, and publishing; and education and training. Her publications include The Story Behind the Book: Preserving Authors’ and Publishers’ Archives, published as part of the JJ Douglas Library by Simon Fraser University’s CCSP Press in 2009, and Archives: Principles and Practices, published by Facet Publishing (UK) in 2010, which was awarded the Society of American Archivists’ Waldo Leland Gifford Award in 2011 as a work of “superior excellence and usefulness” in archival studies.

Michael O’Driscoll is Director of the Alberta Institute for American Studies and Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta where he teaches courses on modern American literature and culture, poetry and poetics, and critical theory. He is also Editor of ESC: English Studies in Canada. Current book-length projects include: A Poetics of the Archive, a study of archive theory or “archiviology” and radical poetics, and Margins: The Black Sparrow Press and Contemporary American Poetry.

Jessica Pressman is an ACLS Fellow (2012-2013) and a Visiting Scholar in Literature at UCSD. She specializes in modern and contemporary American literature and is currently completing three book projects, including Digital Modernism: Making it New in New Media, which reads contemporary works of digital literature in relation to literary modernism, and the collaborative Close Reading Electronic Literature, which presents a new model for analyzing works of electronic literature by combining different methodological approaches (close reading onscreen aesthetics, critical code studies, and data visualizations). See

Gabriela Redwine joins the Beinecke Library in April, filling the new position of Digital Archivist. Formerly, she was Archivist and Electronic Records/Metadata Specialist at the Harry Ransom Center, and developed policies and procedures for the born-digital preservation program. In 2010 she co-authored, with Matthew Kirschenbaum and Richard Ovenden, Digital Forensics and Born-Digital Content in Cultural Heritage Collections, a report published by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR).

David Sutton, as Director of Research Projects at the University of Reading, is responsible for creating and maintaining the Location Register of Twentieth-Century English Literary Manuscripts and Letters, and its online version, the Location Register, and the WATCH Project. In addition to these responsibilities, he is the Chair of the International Council on Archives (ICA) Section for Archives of Literature and Art (SLA) and Group for Literary Archives and Manuscripts (GLAM). He is also the principal investigator of the Leverhulme-funded project "Diasporic Literary Archives:  Questions of Location, Ownership and Interpretation."

Heather Vermeulen is a doctoral candidate in American Studies at Yale. She works on the 18th-c. Jamaica papers of Thomas Thistlewood and related British literature and arts, read together with literature of the African Diaspora in an effort to unsettle Thomas Thistlewood's narrative authority and to resist the ostensible boundaries of the archive and the disciplinary limits placed on what stories one might tell from it. She pays particular attention to glimmers of queer desire in the archive and the relationships between Enlightenment ideas, particularly natural history projects, and actual bodies on slave plantations. Related to this, she explores environmental erotics, both as deployed by overseers and slaveowners to survey and police the enslaved and by enslaved persons themselves.



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