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Editorial Staff

Project Director

Jessica DeSpain is an Associate Professor of American literature at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. She studies nineteenth-century transatlantic reprinting and metaphors of embodied textuality. DeSpain is currently finishing her book manuscript Nineteenth-Century Transatlantic Reprinting and the Disembodied Book, under contract with Ashgate Publishing. She started researching the transatlantic reprint history of The Wide, Wide World in 2006 as part of her Center for the Book final project at the University of Iowa. Since moving the project to SIUE in 2008, DeSpain has been working with a team of students each semester to complete the project.

Editorial Staff

Jill Anderson an Associate Professor in the Department of English at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (on-track for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in August 2013), specializes in the novel from the republican era to the antebellum period with an emphasis on transatlantic intertextuality and female heroines. Her recent scholarship comparing women’s texts in the early national period with mid-century novels will be paramount to the project’s contextualization of women’s writing both within and beyond the nation state and the nineteenth-century. The American Association of University Women recently awarded Anderson an American Summer/Short-Term Research Publication Grant (2012-2013) for her work on Catharine Maria Sedgwick, one of Warner’s significant predecessors. Anderson actively mentors English majors, and, in her role as the Secondary English Education program director, she works closely with English teacher candidates. Her supervisory role of the editorial team and her acumen with the detail-oriented labor of editing make her a valuable asset. In addition to helping supervise students on-site at SIUE and managing quality control of transcripts and TEI files, Anderson will work with the Constitution Island Association archivist Bryan Dunlap to study letters, biographies, and other literary works by Warner that highlight her negotiations with publishers.

Melissa White defended her dissertation in nineteenth-century American literature and textual studies at the University of Virginia.  White won a Bibliographical Society student prize for her book collection of The Wide, Wide World,which shesubsequently donated to UVA’s special collections. From 2002 to 2005, White worked as a research assistant, then project manager, of the pioneering digital humanities project Rossetti Archive, and was a member of the initial NINES development group.  White held a NINES fellowship 2008-9, and is the editor of the Norcross correspondence for the Dickinson Electronic Archive, on which she has published in the Emily Dickinson Journal.  She is currently working on a TEI edition of the Huntington manuscript of The Wide, Wide World, and developing a book project from her dissertation on posthumous poetry editing in nineteenth-century America.

Jennifer Brady is currently a Lecturer in the Committee on Degrees in History and Literature at Harvard University.  She received her doctorate in English and a Certificate in Women’s Studies from Emory University in 2010 and served as a Visiting Assistant Professor in their Department of English in 2010-2011 before joining Harvard in 2011.  Her current book project, “Sentimental Reading in the Antebellum United States,” is a historical and theoretical investigation of the practice and imagination of sentimental reading in the nineteenth century.  By examining a range of sources, including sentimental novels, dramatic readings, fan letters, and prescriptive discourses about novel reading, the project demonstrates how the widespread sentimentalization of reading practices in the antebellum United States suggested ways to define and organize its many reading publics.  An essay drawn from this project titled “Theorizing a Reading Public: Sentimentality and Advice about Novel Reading in the Antebellum United States,” appeared in American Literature in December 2011, and another piece on fan letters and The Wide, Wide World was published in Common-place, the online journal of early American history, in October 2011.

Editorial Board

John Bryant is a full professor at Hofstra University and the author of The Fluid Text, the theory of editorial practice that underpins the design of this projectBryant is the primary investigator for a NEH Scholarly Editions Grant that is supporting the development of The Melville Electronic Library.

Julia Flanders is the director of Brown University’s Women Writers Project (WWP), one of the most comprehensive digital collections of women’s writings available online, and an active member of the Text Encoding Initiative. Flanders is currently the primary investigator on a NEH Collaborative Research Grant, Cultures of Reception, that puts women’s writing in the context of transatlantic reception history through the editing of reviews, letters, and journals.

Andrew Stauffer is a professor at the University of Virginia, specializing in Romantic poetry. Stauffer is also the director of NINES a federated collection and peer-reviewing body for nineteenth-century digital humanities projects.

Current Project Team Members

Gabrielle Borders is an undergraduate at SIUE pursuing an English major with minors in Creative Writing, Women's Studies, and Digital Humanities. She began working on the project in Fall 2015 and plans on becoming a professor of English. 

Katie Knowles is the current technician for the SIUE IRIS Center.  She graduated with her BA in English and Music from Hanover College in 2015, and she graduated from the University of Birmingham's Shakespeare Institute with an MA in Shakespeare Studies in 2016.

Elizabeth Korinke is an undergraduate student, currently pursuing her bachelor’s in English, with a minor in History and has worked on The Wide Wide World Digital Edition since Fall 2015. She plans to major in Library Science for Graduate School, and wants to become a librarian.

Ben Ostermeier is an undergraduate at SIUE pursuing a major in Historical Studies, a minor in Computer Science, and a German focus. He is interested in a career in public history, possibly incorporating the growing field of digital humanities. He began working for the project in the spring of 2014 and looks forward to applying the skills he has learned to both undergraduate and graduate classes, as well as the work force.

Kelly Pfaff is an undergraduate at SIUE pursuing a business administration degree in finance and marketing and a mass communications minor. She began working on this project in Fall 2016 and hopes to use the experience toward a career at a multimedia production firm. 

Past Project Team Members

Heather Asbeck

Carmen Connors

Brianne Foster

Tiffany Fry

Kayla Hays

Despina Hartley

Consuella Kelly

Christy Koester

Jessalyn Ludwig

Molly Marcum

Kristin Mefford

Brianne Phillips

Jennifer Phipps

Kelly Walsh

Kate Workman

Wendy Wyrsotek