Language and Labor in the Digital Humanities, MLA 2019

I presented a paper on the ways we talk about DH labor at the 2019 MLA Convention. The panel, “Transacting DH: Roles, Rights, and Responsibilities of Collaboration,” was sponsored by the Association for Computers in the Humanities, and was chaired by Lisa Rhody (CUNY), and the panelists included Kathleen Fitzpatrick (Michigan State U), Rikk Mulligan (Carnegie Mellon U), and Dhanashree Thorat (Center for Digital Humanities, Pune, India).

The presentations and discussion focused on the transactional expectations of digital humanities projects and ways to keep humanistic inquiry at the center of projects that are valued according to an increasingly quantitative, metrics-driven system. The ACH blog has posted the abstracts of all of our presentations, and you can access the full text of my paper via Humanities Commons, the MLA’s open-access repository.

Read more about it on ZSR Library’s Inside ZSR blog!

Fred Harvey’s Tourist Map

In 1876, the Santa Fe Railroad hired British restauranteur Fred Harvey in the hopes of marketing their rail line via comfort food. It worked. The Santa Fe became, and still is, one of the most iconic railroads in the US, steeped in nostalgia and Americana.

Here’s a 1955 tourist map from the Fred Harvey Co. that documents the history of the company’s tourism business.

CLIR: The Splendid Torch

I co-authored a piece for the 2017 CLIR Report, A Splendid Torch: Learning and Teaching in Today’s Academic Libraries. I learned so much working alongside Marta Brunner, Ece Turnator, and Bridget Whearty to write “Creating Contact Zones in a ‘Post-Truth’ Era.”

And the best thing about CLIR publications (other than their relevant and important content)? They’re 100% open-access. It’s fun to share the knowledge without charging for it!


Studies in the Novel

Postcard: Elle of Ganado, ca. 1907, Fred Harvey Co. (Courtesy DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University)

I’m thrilled to announce the publication of the fall 2017 special issue of Studies in the Novel, “Gender and the Cultural Preoccupations of the American West,” which I co-edited with Sigrid Anderson Cordell (U Michigan). When the editors of Studies put out a CFP for special issue editors, we jumped at the opportunity to see who else out there was studying the lesser-known aspects of the literary production of American West, particularly the ways gender roles have been negotiated and constructed through literature.

We were the recipients of countless acts of academic generosity and camaraderie during the process of editing the issue, which I was pleasantly surprised to learn is quite the norm for women working in western studies. Victoria Lamont, Krista Comer, Melissa Homestead, Annette Kolodny, and Cathryn Halverson all offered support and mentorship through the process, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Krista ended up writing the Afterword, offering insight and reflection on the issue, as well as vision for the field’s next steps. In the extremely competitive world of academia, it’s refreshing (to say the least) to find a community of women that rallies around its members and advocates for everyone’s success.

Working with Studies‘ Managing Editor, Timothy Boswell, and Editor, Nora Gilbert, was also a delight. Their professional generosity made navigating the world of academic publishing from the editorial side (for the very first time), well, possible.

It is with gratitude that I announce the publication of this special issue.

The Angel in the Harvey House

The ZSR Library at Wake Forest hosts a fabulous lecture series featuring faculty research. I was honored to be invited to give a talk on my current research project that looks at the intersections of commercial culture and women’s literary labor in the U.S. Southwest in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The lecture committee films and archives all of the lectures, and here’s mine!


As I work on my book, I’m constantly reminded of the people that got the project off the ground. Unfortunately, the acknowledgements page in which I thanked these good folks is locked away in my embargoed dissertation. Here’s my digital solution to giving credit to all of my supportive and brilliant collaborators in a more public way. Thanks, everyone.

Acknowledgements, “Waiting, Writing, and Working Women of the Southwest”

Writing a dissertation is a group project. I am deeply grateful to those who gave so selflessly of their time to ensure the success of “Working, Waiting, and Writing Women of the Southwest.” My dissertation committee deserves thanks, praise, and lifelong indebtedness for the hours they spent working with me to brainstorm, draft, revise, and edit this dissertation. Many thanks to Dennis Foster who had faith in me, especially when I did not deserve it, and whose patience and insight saved the day at crucial moments. To Rajani Sudan, who asked all the right questions and suggested all the right theorists. Steven Weisenburger gave this project its edge when he suggested I look at the Fred Harvey Company in conjunction with New Mexico’s salon women. Sherry Smith’s research on southwestern writers and artists, plus her long-distance editing and feedback were indispensable at every stage of the project. For all of their extensive knowledge and superhuman editorial skills, I am thankful and humbled.

I had the good fortune of working with SMU’s DeGolyer Library and the Norwick Digital Center to create a digital humanities project, “Fred Harvey Co. Materials from the DeGolyer Library.” Sincere thanks to Cindy Boeke and the staff at the Digital Center, as well as Russell Martin and Pamalla Anderson at the DeGolyer Library for partnering with me to make Fred Harvey materials available online. In addition, archival work outside of SMU was made possible by SMU’s Clements Center for Southwestern Studies, the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies at Brigham Young University, and the South Central Modern Language Association.

There are countless people whose patience and support made this project a success. I am lucky to have ended up in such a collegial department for my graduate studies, and wish to thank Nina Schwartz and the English faculty for constant support. I am grateful to my cohort, Micah Robbins, Megan Schott, Fred Siegmund, and Michael Pueppke for their humor and good-natured feedback that made it possible to stay afloat during six long years of graduate school. With both nostalgia and thanks to Michael Anderson and Kelly Scanlon for the countless neighborly deeds—too many to list here. My family at Veritas, Brooks Anderson, Bradley Anderson, Fernando Garcia, Eddie Eakin, and Benjamin Verdooren, who were part of my writing process, although they may not have known it. Also to Tara Bixby, Brooke and Patrick Conley, Julia Callaway and Joe Madden, Paula and Noble Feldman, Joyce Nelson, Elizabeth and Brad Parsons, Elizabeth and Jeremy Hummert, Sarah Frances Scarborough, Minou and Alvin Olson, Kasey and Greg Thomason, and Leigh Anne West for your support, despite my extremely long absences in person and on the phone. I am grateful to my family, Terri and Roy Bailey; Paul Johnston; and Leah, Adam, and Amelia Payne, for being excited about absolutely everything, even when none of this made sense (which was quite often). And finally, to Charles Wuest, who makes me smart. Sincere thanks and love to you all.

Student-Led Initiatives in Digital Scholarship

I’ve been happy to see a lot of good press about the #BUDSC15 conference that took place on Bucknell campus, Nov. 6-8, 2015. As one of the co-organizers of the event, I hoped that the conference would generate conversations about best practices for teaching and supporting students’ digital scholarship–conversations that actually involved those students working on collaborative digital projects. The conference was unique in that faculty and library staff presented their work in panels alongside student presentations, which did a lot to level out hierarchies that exist in most conferences.

The Digital Library Federation featured a post by one of the student presenters at #BUDSC15, Ian Morse of Lafayette College. The post was impressive and encouraging, as it shows that many of undergraduate students are willing to initiate their own research projects, and that they appreciate forums such as #BUDSC15 in which they receive feedback about and support for their work.

The Howellsian Newsletter

The Willam Dean Howells Society published abstracts of papers presented at the 2015 American Literature Association Annual Conference in their biannual newsletterThe Howellsian. The newsletter includes an abstract of my paper, “A Woman’s ‘Brand’ of Success in Howells’s The Rise of Silas Lapham,” which I gave on the Radical Howells panel.

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