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Department News & Events

Professor Paul Cantor Featured in UVA Today Daily Report
Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Professor Paul Cantor's article was recently featured in UVA Today's Daily Report. You can read the full article at: http://beforeitsnews.com/gold-and-precious-metals/2013/03/fsn-the-walkin....

English department ranked in top ten by U. S. News and World Report
Tuesday, March 12, 2013

This year, U.S. News also conducted new peer surveys and published new rankings for Ph.D. programs in economics, English, history, political science, psychology and sociology – all parts of U.Va.’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. Those programs were last ranked five years ago.

The U.Va. English Ph.D. program is ranked No. 10, tied with the University of California-Los Angeles and Duke University. Several English specialties ranked highly, including American literature after 1865 (No. 4 tie), American literature before 1865 (No. 5), and 18th- through 20th-century British literature (No. 2 tie).

See the whole thing at http://news.virginia.edu/content/uva-graduate-schools-programs-excel-2014-us-news-rankings. You can check out the rest of the rankings at http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/....

Thursday, March 7, 2013

On Monday, March 11, English PhD student Joanna Swafford will launch the pre-release of Songs of the Victorians, an archive of parlor and art song settings of Victorian poems, and also a scholarly tool to facilitate interdisciplinary music and poetry scholarship.

It will ultimately contain four songs: Michael William Balfe's "Come into the Garden, Maud" and Sir Arthur Somervell's "Come into the Garden, Maud" (both based on Alfred Lord Tennyson's monodrama, Maud), Sir Arthur Sullivan's setting of Adelaide Procter's "A Lost Chord," and Caroline Norton's "Juanita," although for this limited release, it only includes "Juanita."

The archival portion of this site includes high-resolution images of the first edition printings of each song integrated with an audio file so that each measure is highlighted in time with the music. The scholarly component for each work includes an article-length analysis of the song's interpretation of the poem. Whenever this analysis references a specific section of the piece, the reader can click to view the score and hear the audio for this excerpt, again with the measures highlighted in time with the music. In this way all scholars, regardless of their ability to read music, can follow both the score and the thread of the argument.

Joanna has been developing this project with the generous support of a Scholars' Lab Fellowship. To learn more about the creation of this site or to receive updates on its development schedule, please visit and subscribe to her development blog, "Anglophile in Academia".

Upcoming 18th-century symposium featured on UVa Today
Monday, February 25, 2013
Professor Alison Booth awarded an ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowship
Friday, February 1, 2013

The ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowship supports digitally based research projects in all disciplines of the humanities and related social sciences. It is hoped that projects of successful applicants will help advance digital humanistic scholarship by broadening understanding of its nature and exemplifying the robust infrastructure necessary for creating such works.

ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowships are intended to support an academic year dedicated to work on a major scholarly project that takes a digital form. Projects may:

  • Address a consequential scholarly question through new research methods, new ways of representing the knowledge produced by research, or both;
  • Create new digital research resources;
  • Increase the scholarly utility of existing digital resources by developing new means of aggregating, navigating, searching, or analyzing those resources;
  • Propose to analyze and reflect upon the new forms of knowledge creation and representation made possible by the digital transformation of scholarship.

ACLS will award up to six Digital Innovation Fellowships in this competition year. Each fellowship carries a stipend of up to $60,000 towards an academic year’s leave and provides for project costs of up to $25,000.

And here is our Fellowship Winner's project:

                                                The Practice and Theory of Digital Prosopography:

Collective Biographies of Women and Biographical Elements and Structure Schema

The ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowship (January-December 2014) supports ongoing development of the Collective Biographies of Women project, a collaboration with IATH (UVA) and Suzanne Keen (Washington & Lee).  Our database and online bibliography of 1271 books collecting some 13,000 short biographies of women demonstrate ways to study what we call documentary social networks of historical women.  Our XML markup schema, Biographical Elements and Structure Schema (BESS), applies narrative theory to nonfiction and experiments with large-scale, team interpretation of narrative, between big data and the techniques of textual editing and close reading.  During the fellowship, we will extend BESS analysis to biographies of four disparate personae types, Frances Trollope, Caroline Herschel, Cleopatra, and Charlotte Corday, to amplify our current work on the networks surrounding Sister Dora (saintly nurse) and Lola Montez (adventuress).  In addition to work on web design, functionality, and visualizations of the site, I will be beginning a book related to the project, tentatively called “Facebooks: Prosopographies in Print and Online.”