Introduction to Omeka – Lesson Plan

November 12, 2013 – 6:34 pm

I’ve taught “Introduction to Omeka” many times at various THATCamps, but I’ve never done more than work from an outline. Today, however, I wrote it all down, and I am posting it for your edification here. The text is below, and here is a PDF: Introduction_to_Omeka_Lesson_Plan. I’ve marked the PDF with a CC-BY license, and all the content on this site is similarly marked, so feel free to share and adapt. You may also be interested in the lesson plan for the workshop Teaching with Omeka that I co-taught with Jeff McClurken at THATCamp Pedagogy back in 2011.

One reason I’ve never written this up before is that I’ve taught the workshop so many times (perhaps a dozen?) that I felt I knew it backward and forward with just a sketchy outline; I’ve rarely had the chance to teach anything so many times, and I must say that I’ve appreciated the chance to practice and improve. It has also taught me to be grateful for the “how to teach technology” training I had at the University of Virginia back when I was a “Teaching with Technology Support Partner” — the model they gave us, which I still remember and use, was this: Motivate, Define, Demonstrate, Practice. First, you have to convince people that they want to learn this software and explain how it’s different from other software, and show them exciting examples of things accomplished with the software. Then you should define particular terms that might be unfamiliar, then demonstrate key features or tasks, then have people practice using the software while you circulate and help them. It’s never as neat as that, of course — in particular, it’s usually best to help define a term by demonstrating its use in context — but I do try to follow that rough model when I’m teaching technology.

In any case, here you go.


Introduction to Omeka: Lesson Plan

by Amanda French – amandafrench.net

  1. Preparation

    1. Go to omeka.net and click the big “Sign up!” button. Sign up for the free Basic plan. When you submit the form, you will be emailed an activation link and a username and password. If you don’t get the email, check your spam folder. Feel free to explore Omeka on your own while I take you through it.

  2. Introduction – What is Omeka? (10 minutes)

    1. Omeka is a simple, free web publishing system built by and for scholars that is used by hundreds of archives, historical societies, libraries, museums, and individual researchers and teachers to create searchable online databases and scholarly online interpretations of their digital collections. If you have a digital collection of primary sources that you want to publish online in a scholarly way, you’ll want to consider Omeka.

    2. “Omeka” (pronounced oh-MEH-ka) is a Swahili word meaning “to display or lay out wares” – swahili_english.enacademic.com/11461/omeka

    3. The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media began building Omeka in 2006; they wanted to abstract the technologies they were using repeatedly to build historical websites, all of which required setting up a searchable database that was integrated with an online exhibit.

    4. One of the first sites to use a proto-version of what would become Omeka was the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, an archive of personal stories and digital records related to the 2005 hurricanes Katrina and Rita: hurricanearchive.org/. Another was the April 16th Archive at april16archive.org/, a commemoration of the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting tragedy. Omeka 1.0 was officially released for public use in June 2009.

    5. The free, open source, downloadable version of Omeka is available at omeka.org. This version of Omeka is self-hosted software that can be installed on a web hosting server (not on your personal computer, at least not unless you’re willing to install a virtual server on your PC). Librarians or educational technologists at your institution may be happy to install and maintain Omeka for you on an organizational web hosting server; if you’d like to buy commercial web hosting for about $100 per year and teach yourself to use it, you can check out the Omeka team’s hosting suggestions.

    6. Because some organizations and individuals couldn’t or didn’t want to run their own server or buy commercial server space, RRCHNM began developing a hosted version of Omeka that requires much less technical knowledge, infrastructure, and labor. The hosted version of Omeka, which was beta-launched in October 2010, is available at omeka.net.

    7. When considering whether to use the self-hosted version of Omeka or the hosted version of Omeka, you will want to keep in mind the useful lesson from Spiderman: “With great power comes great responsibility.” Concomitantly, of course, “with less responsibility comes less power.” In other words, when you download Omeka from omeka.org, you can customize it as much as you want and install it as many times as you like, but creating and supporting those Omeka sites may take a good bit of knowledge and time. When you use the hosted version of Omeka at omeka.net, it’s much easier, but you will run up against certain limits of space and functionality. You might also think of self-hosting Omeka as like owning a house, whereas using the hosted version of Omeka is like renting an apartment. Moving from one to the other is perfectly feasible, but it’s about the same level of hassle as moving house (it depends on how much stuff you have, for one thing!). See bitly.com/compareomekas for more on this issue.

    8. Omeka is a nonprofit project; its funding comes from federal funding agencies and from private foundations who support education: IMLS, Mellon, Sloan, and Kress. The fees for the premium plans at omeka.net are used to buy storage space for your files from Amazon Web Services.

  3. Basic Omeka features and definitions (15 minutes)

    1. Here’s a typical Omeka site: the City of Boston archive – cityofbostonarchives.omeka.net/ (linked to from the main City of Boston Archives at www.cityofboston.gov/archivesandrecords/). I’ll define some key terms and features while taking you through this site.

    2. Items – An “item” is the basic unit of an Omeka site. It might be a photograph with a single attached image file, a three-page letter with three attached image files (one for each page), or a record with no attached files (such as a “person” record). Omeka can handle all the major digital file types for documents, images, audio, and video; audio and video files display as an embedded Quicktime player so that the user can listen or watch. Example: See this site’s 77 items at cityofbostonarchives.omeka.net/items

      1. Metadata – Data about data; information about an item. Bibliographic metadata is the title, author, publisher, date and so on of a publication, for instance. Omeka encourages you to describe every item with lots of metadata, which is part of what makes it a scholarly system. Example: cityofbostonarchives.omeka.net/items/show/77

      2. Dublin Core – Dublin Core is a metadata standard used by libraries and archives for digital items that consists of 15 basic fields that can be used to describe any digital object, no matter what it is. Such basic fields include Creator, Subject, Description, Date, Rights, and so on. “Dublin” is Dublin Ohio, not Dublin Ireland; “core” is the same sense as “core curriculum” — the name comes from the 1995 meeting in Dublin, OH where librarians and computer scientists first formulated this shared standard set of essential information needed to describe digital objects. Omeka does also allow adding additional standard metadata fields and creating custom metadata fields, but this may make it more difficult to transfer your data to and from Omeka and other systems, since these systems need a shared vocabulary to “talk” to one another. But the fact that Omeka is built on Dublin Core means that your data is likelier to last longer, because it can be moved to other systems later. There are prompts built in to Omeka that will help you understand what information to put in every Dublin Core field, but you can also consult the Dublin Core User Guide section on Creating Metadata (version 2).

      3. Advanced Search – Every Omeka site comes by default with a basic keyword search and an Advanced Search screen. Any information entered in an item’s Dublin Core metadata fields will be findable when a user searches for it, and the Advanced Search lets a user narrow by particular metadata fields. Example: Go to cityofbostonarchives.omeka.net/items/advanced-search and search for Date → contains → 1942 to find items from the year 1942.

      4. Item Type – By default Omeka offers 12 types of items, including “Document,” “Still Image,” “Sound,” “Moving Image,” “Person,” and more. You can also define custom item types, perhaps something like “Coin” or “Poem” or “Quilt,” and you can define custom sets of metadata fields to go with those item types. For instance, if you define the item type “Poem,” you might define a metadata field such as “Rhyme Scheme” where you can enter that information (such as A’bA” abA’ abA” abA’ abA” abA’A” for a villanelle). Be aware, though, that creating custom item types and metadata fields may make it more difficult to exchange data between your Omeka archive and other existing systems. Example: Go to cityofbostonarchives.omeka.net/items/advanced-search and Search by Type = Document to find 7 documents in the archive (as opposed to photos, for instance).

      5. Tags – Tags allow you to link items together with terms of your choosing. When any two items have the same tag, the tag automatically turns into a link. Omeka sites allow you to browse items by tag. Example: Go to cityofbostonarchives.omeka.net/items/browse/tag/ and click “Hyde Park” to see items tagged with that term.

      6. Featured Items – Omeka sites by default have a space on the home page for recently added items and for “featured” items that are particularly interesting. You can mark items as “featured” when you add them (or afterward). Example: Go to cityofbostonarchives.omeka.net to see the featured item. (This site currently has only one featured item, so it never changes; sites with more than one featured item will load a new one randomly when the site is refreshed.)

    3. Collections – Collections are ways of organizing items, rather like file folders on your computer, or like collections in archives such as “Papers of William Faulkner, 1929-1965” in the Special Collections of the University of Virginia. Collections provide a way to organize your items into separate, logically coherent groups. Items do not have to be in collections, but once an item is in a collection, it can’t be in any other collection. You can make as many links as you like between items in different collections, though, with tags and exhibits. Example: cityofbostonarchives.omeka.net/collections

    4. Exhibits – Exhibits are where the scholarly rubber hits the Internet road, as it were. While a March 2010 survey of Omeka users found that most Omeka sites surveyed consisted of just a searchable “collections catalog” of their items, the next highest use of Omeka was for its capacity to build and publish “narrative exhibits.” Once you have built an Omeka archive with enough items, you can then use exhibits to interpret those items for the online public. Think of exhibits in a museum: a large museum may own 100,000 items, but at any one time only perhaps 1,000 of them are on display, and a single exhibit may have only 25 or so items. These items have been carefully chosen and arranged by curators, who also often write interpretive text for panels mounted on the wall and for the exhibit’s official catalog. You can also think of Omeka exhibits as multimedia essays created using the items in your archive. Many websites about scholarly or quasi-scholarly topics often decontextualize the images and documents they display, and the reader who wants to know where a particular image came from may be out of luck. This never happens with Omeka exhibits, because any item displayed in the exhibit can be clicked on, and the reader will be taken to the item record with its full complement of Dublin Core metadata. Example: Go to cityofbostonarchives.omeka.net/exhibits and click on the exhibit about Jesse Harding Pomeroy, arrested in 1874, Massachusetts’s youngest killer (only 14 years old!). Go to the exhibit page at cityofbostonarchives.omeka.net/exhibits/show/pomeroy/pomeroy and click on any image, and you’ll be taken back to the item record for that file.

  4. Selected Omeka sites (15 minutes)

    1. Steepletop Library: The Books of Edna St. Vincent Millay – steepletoplibrary.org (my site; I’m using Omeka as a book catalog)

    2. Harlem Congress on Racial Equality – harlemcore.com/exhibit (site built by a student in my Creating Digital History course in the NYU Archives and Public History MA program in 2009)

    3. Greenwich Village History – gvh.aphdigital.org (current site used by Creating Digital History students; NYU partnered with the Greenwich Village Historical Society and other NY institutions for some materials )

    4. Host to the World: The Waldorf Astoria Digital Archive – hosttotheworld.com (terrific content)

    5. Carnet géologiques de Phillippe Glangeaud – bibliotheque.clermont-universite.fr/glangeaud/ (uses Geolocation plugin)

    6. Inventing the Map: Frances Henshaw’s Book of Penmanship – henshaw.scholarslab.org (uses Neatline)

    7. Europeana – exhibitions.europeana.eu/

      1. Art Nouveau – exhibitions.europeana.eu/exhibits/show/art-nouveau-en

    8. DPLA – dp.la/exhibitions

      1. Indomitable Spirits: Prohibition in the United States – dp.la/exhibitions/exhibits/show/spirits

    9. Robert & Monnoyer: French Botanical Artists of the 17th Century – robertandmonnoyer.omeka.net/ (hosted site, no exhibits, but pretty pictures)

    10. The Appalachian Dulcimer Archive – dulcimerarchive.omeka.net/ (hosted site, no exhibits, but a Simple Page of “Histories” that substitutes for the Exhibit; has audio files of dulcimer playing; uses Geolocation plugin so must be at least Silver plan)

    11. See info.omeka.net/showcase/ for another selection of hosted Omeka sites

    12. See omeka.org/codex/View_Sites_Powered_by_Omeka for another selection of self-hosted Omeka sites

  5. Working with Omeka Demos – amandafrench.omeka.net (10 minutes)

    1. Themes – Themes control the look and feel of your Omeka site: the color, the font, the layout. There are (currently) four themes included with the free basic plan for hosted Omeka sites; these themes can be configured to some extent with custom banner images and different colors and so on. There are more than a dozen themes for self-hosted Omeka sites at omeka.org/add-ons/themes/. You can also design your own theme for Omeka, as many of the larger and more advanced Omeka sites do. The NYU Archives and Public History program got a curricular grant of about $4000 to hire a designer for the Greenwich Village History site, which students in Creating Digital History contribute to, for instance. Demonstration: Change the theme and refresh amandafrench.omeka.net to see the difference.

    2. Plugins – Like themes, plugins are separate “add-ons” to Omeka, but whereas themes change the look and feel of an Omeka site, plugins change the functionality of an Omeka site — they change what it can do. There are (currently) 10 plugins packaged with the free Basic plan on Omeka.net, but there are more than 50 very cool plugins for the self-hosted version of Omeka listed at omeka.org/plugins that do everything from enabling anyone on the web to contribute items to your archive (with the Contribution plugin) to tweeting out an announcement whenever a new item is added (with the Tweetster for Omeka plugin). Some of these plugins are developed by the Omeka team at RRCHNM, but a lot of them are developed by people who are customizing Omeka for their own purposes and contributing their code to the larger community. Demonstration: Activate / deactivate the Documents Viewer plugin and go to amandafrench.omeka.net/items/show/18 and refresh to see the difference.

    3. Users – You can add as many users as you like to an Omeka site, even when you only have a free Basic plan on omeka.net. You can add users in four roles:

      1. Super – can do everything

      2. Admin – can do everything with items and exhibits etc., but can’t access Settings

      3. Contributor – can add items and create exhibits, but can’t publish them, and can’t modify items added by other Contributors

      4. Researcher – can only see items, but can see all items, including private items that aren’t published to the web. Note that all items you add to Omeka are private by default; you must deliberately check a checkbox in order to publish an item to the web. This is useful when you want to include an item in your archive but don’t want to publish it to the web, as for instance when the copyright status of an item is unclear. Users who are logged in can see both private and public items in Omeka, so the “Researcher” role allows you to let selected individuals see but not edit your items.

    4. Demonstration: Add an item

  6. Exercises (10-20 minutes)

    1. Sign up for the free Basic plan on omeka.net if you haven’t already; when you submit the form at www.omeka.net/signup you will be emailed an activation link and a username and password. If you don’t get the email, check your spam folder.

    2. Log in to your hosted Omeka site on omeka.net and create a site.

    3. Add an item.

    4. Create a collection.

    5. Begin creating an exhibit.

    6. Or try out any of the other features you like. Raise your hand if you have a question and I’ll come around to help.

  7. Resources

    1. Omeka.net help documentation – info.omeka.net/

    2. Omeka.org help documentation – omeka.org/codex/Documentation

    3. Omeka.org Forums – omeka.org/forums/
    4. The Dublin Core Usage Guide – www.dublincore.org/documents/usageguide/

 

Things My Computer Taught Me About Poems: An MLA 2014 Special Session Proposal

March 28, 2013 – 3:05 pm

I’ve put together a special session with some special people for MLA 2014:  Dr. Natalie Houston, Dr. Julie Lein, Dr. Katharine Coles and I have proposed a formal panel titled “Things My Computer Taught Me About Poems.” Note that great mind Brian Croxall and I had the same impulse: to concentrate on results instead of methods. We’ll see what transpires!

***
UPDATE 7/19/13: Our panel was accepted and has been scheduled for 5:15pm, Thursday, January 9th — the first full day of sessions. Also, the eminent Dr. Meredith Martin has agreed to preside. See you in Chicago!
***

Description

Digital humanities has reached a point where its mere existence is no longer (or ought not to be) surprising, yet too often, digital humanities sessions wind up serving as apologia for digital methods of scholarship. As Ryan Cordell writes, “Only a few years ago, [digital humanities] was still a fringe field, mostly ignored by academia more widely. DHers felt not like ‘the next big thing,’ but like an embattled minority.” This defensiveness has meant that digital humanities sessions have often concentrated on explaining, teaching, justifying, or critiquing digital methods in general rather than on presenting the results of those methods: of the digitally-oriented sessions at the 2013 meeting of the MLA listed by Mark Sample, words such as “approaches,” “methods,” “modes,” “theories,” and “practices” abound. The proposed special session, “Things My Computer Taught Me About Poems,” explores how new digital methods can contribute to the study of poetry while at the same time deemphasizing method as much as possible. Conceived independently of and indeed prior to the publication of “Beyond the Digital,” Brian Croxall’s Association for Computing in the Humanities panel proposal for MLA 2014, “Things My Computer Taught Me About Poems” nevertheless proceeds from exactly the same impulse: to remind ourselves and the MLA community that, as Croxall puts it, “the output of digital analysis is not itself the goal; rather, it is a means to an end, and that end is the interpretation of a text or corpus.” We therefore propose a formal panel session composed of three fifteen-minute presentations by scholars of poetry who have adopted a digital method: these scholars will respectively discuss their new insights into particular cases of poetic influence, poetic style, and poetic time.

To begin, Dr. Amanda French (also the presider), will discuss intellectual and poetic influences on Edna St. Vincent Millay as revealed by her books. Scholars have not much considered Millay’s sources or influences, but when they have, the consensus has been that, as J. D. McClatchy put it in 2003, “Millay wrote from the bedroom, not the library” (52). Yet Millay did possess a library of more than a thousand books, and for all her reputation as an emotional rather than an intellectual poet, that very library shows her interest in classical Greek literature, socialism, Marxism, relativity, and astronomy. At the same time, analysis of the books Millay owned suggests that Millay’s most persistent intellectual influence came from the poets of her own generation, especially the lesser-known poets.

Secondly, Dr. Natalie Houston will discuss the poetic styles of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Christina Rossetti. When scholars describe the style of a particular poet, they typically identify features that support their description within that poet’s own oeuvre; in this tradition, Christina Rossetti’s language is famously “simple” and EBB’s “complex.” Dr. Houston’s paper will present a comparative analytics of four features of Victorian poetic style: rhyme, enjambment, vocabulary richness, and repetition. Examining these features within the works of Rossetti and Barrett Browning, but also suggesting how their works might be differently understood when compared against the larger backdrop of Victorian poetic production, Dr. Houston will provide concrete measures for understanding the two poets’ relative simplicity and complexity.

Finally, Dr. Katharine Coles and Dr. Julie Lein will discuss their changed understanding of poetic time. It has been commonplace for critics and poets to refer to the “lyric moment,” to contrast the ostensibly typical “stillness” and atemporal “suspension” of poetry (most especially the lyric) with the action and (at times disrupted or multiplied) sequential movement(s) of narrative. As Drs. Coles and Lein will explain, their research has persuaded them on the contrary that poetic time is incredibly energetic and dynamic—characterized by at least as much multidimensional temporal movement as narrative prose.

All four scholars could say much about their respective methods, which in themselves differ widely. Dr. French is creating a online catalog of the intact personal library of Edna St. Vincent Millay, and her method might justly be called the “epistemology of building,” in Stephen Ramsay and Geoff Rockwell’s term. Dr. Houston pays attention to pattern: she uses text analysis tools to help identify such patterns and compare them within and across poems, sequences, books, and oeuvres, not only among the works of canonical poets but also at the significantly larger scale now available through digitization. Drs. Coles and Lein, funded in the US by an NEH Digging Into Data Challenge grant, are working with computer scientists to develop poetry visualization software. Whether the particular insights of these four scholars could have been achieved by non-computational methods is open to debate, and debate of that kind will be welcome in the question and answer period (which we intend to ensure lasts at least twenty minutes). Nevertheless, it is our hope that “Things My Computer Taught Me About Poems” will also (or ideally, instead) generate debate about subjects such as poetic influence, poetic style, and poetic time.

Cordell, Ryan. “Mea Culpa: On Conference Tweeting, Politeness, and Community Building | Ryan Cordell.” Ryan Cordell 26 Jan. 2013. 28 Mar. 2013. <ryan.cordells.us/blog/2013/01/26/mea-culpa-on-conference-tweeting-politeness-and-community-building/>.

Croxall, Brian. “Beyond the Digital: Pattern Recognition and Interpretation. A CFP for MLA 2014 from ACH.” 13 Mar. 2013. 28 Mar. 2013. <www.briancroxall.net/2013/03/12/beyond-the-digital-pattern-recognition-and-interpretation-a-cfp-for-mla-2014/>.

McClatchy, J. D. “Feeding on Havoc: The Poetics of Edna St. Vincent Millay.” The American Scholar 72.2 (2003) : 45–52. 2 Apr. 2013. <www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/41221118>.

Ramsay, Stephen, and Geoffrey Rockwell. “Developing Things: Notes Toward an Epistemology of Building in the Digital Humanities.” Debates in the Digital Humanities. Open-access. Ed. Matthew K. Gold. University of Minnesota Press, 2012. 28 Mar. 2013. <dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/debates/text/11>.

Sample, Mark. “Digital Humanities at MLA 2013.” SAMPLE REALITY 17 Oct. 2012. 28 Mar. 2013. <www.samplereality.com/2012/10/17/digital-humanities-at-mla-2013/>.

 

Abstracts

Millay and Her Books

Amanda French

Scholars have not much considered Millay’s sources or influences, but when they have, the consensus has been that, as J. D. McClatchy put it in 2003, “Millay wrote from the bedroom, not the library.” Yet Millay did possess an extensive library of books, and for all her reputation as an emotional rather than an intellectual poet, that very library shows her interest in classical Greek literature, socialism, Marxism, relativity, and astronomy. At the same time, analysis of the books Millay owned suggests that Millay’s most persistent intellectual influence came from the poets of her own generation, especially the lesser-known poets.

What Does Style Really Mean? A Comparative Analysis of the Poetry of Christina Rossetti and Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Natalie Houston

Until recently, our readings of nineteenth-century poetry have been largely directed by what Foucault termed the “author function,” the classification schemes derived from a biographical approach to literary history.   Today, the digitization of public domain materials and the development of computational tools for analysis can lead us to new comparative studies across the widest range of Victorian print culture, beyond the traditional academic canon. This paper presents a comparative analysis of the poetic styles of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Christina Rossetti and suggests how their works might be differently understood when compared against the larger backdrop of Victorian poetic production.

When scholars describe the poetic style of a particular poet, (Christina Rossetti’s language is famously “simple,” and EBB’s “complex”), they typically identify features that support their description within the oeuvre of a particular poet.

Computational analysis can help us look more carefully at the patterns of poetic language both within a particular writer’s works and across a larger textual corpus.

Whether we are reading one sonnet or 100, a fundamental assumption in reading poetry is that the selection and arrangement of linguistic elements (words, clauses, sentences) bears an important relation to the meaning of the text. As Jerome McGann suggests:

In poems, however, “meaning” is mistakenly conceived if it is conceived as a “message.” Rather, “meaning” in poetry is part of the poetical medium . . . one textual level – Pound called it “logopoeia” – where the text’s communicative exchanges play themselves out. (The Textual Condition 15)

Our method, quite simply, is to pay attention to patterns.  Text analysis tools can help us identify such patterns and compare them within and across poems, sequences, books, and oeuvres.  Computational analysis is perhaps especially well suited to the study of poetry, given the mathematical elements always already embedded in poetic form.

This paper presents a comparative computational analytics of four features of Victorian poetic style: rhyme, enjambment, vocabulary richness, and repetition. Examining these features within the works of Rossetti and Barrett Browning provides concrete measures for understanding their relative simplicity and complexity.  I explain how the metrics offered by this analysis can contribute to a new comparative analysis of Victorian poetics, both among the works of canonical poets and at the significantly larger scale now available through digitization.

Turbulence and Temporality: (Re)visualizing Poetic Time

Katharine Coles and Julie Lein

In 2012 we embarked with computer scientists on a project to develop original poetry visualization software. This research, funded in the US by the NEH as part of a Digging Into Data Challenge grant, has led us to think about and approach poems differently than we ever have before. Most prominent among these new insights has been our changed understanding of poetic time. Each of us was initially drawn to the project in part by its promise to attend carefully to ways time is expressed and experienced in poems. But neither of us had anticipated how much this meticulous attention would transform our own views of poetry.

It has been commonplace to refer to the “lyric moment,” to contrast the ostensibly typical “stillness” and atemporal “suspension” of poetry (most especially the lyric) with the action and (at times disrupted or multiplied) sequential movement(s) of narrative. As we will explain, though, our research has persuaded us on the contrary that poetic time is incredibly energetic and dynamic—characterized by at least as much multidimensional temporal movement as narrative prose.

We have been working to visualize these multidimensional, multidirectional temporal movements via the metaphor of flow, adapting fluid simulation strategies to our perception of poems behaving as fluid (or fluids) moving via their linguistic elements, devices, and figures through a (self)defined space. This framework has helped us to articulate as turbulence places in poems where multiple flows (temporal, formal, affective, etc.) converge and interact to shape the poem as a whole. Focusing first on sound and then image, we will show how close readings, in conjunction with our collaborative research, directed us to ideas we would not otherwise have formed.

Panelist Information

Katharine Coles

Professor Katharine Coles’ fifth collection of poems, The Earth Is Not Flat, was released in March by Red Hen Press, which will also publish her sixth collection, Flight, in 2015.  Her poems, stories, and essays have appeared in Poetry, The Kenyon Review, The Seneca Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and The Paris Review, among many other journals.  In 2009-10, she served as the inaugural director of the Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute for the Poetry Foundation; on stepping down, she traveled to Antarctica to write poems under the auspices of the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program.  A 2012 Guggenheim Foundation Fellow, she in on the English faculty at the University of Utah, where she founded and co-directs the Utah Symposium in Science and Literature and will receive the Distinguished Creative and Research Award for 2013.  She served as the Utah State Poet Laureate from 2006 to 2012.

Amanda French

Amanda French, a well-known figure in the digital humanities, is currently Research Assistant Professor and THATCamp Coordinator at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. In addition to her copious “meta” work supporting the digital humanities as an emerging scholarly practice, her scholarship on poetic genre has been substantial. Most recently, she contributed eight articles to the fourth edition of the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics; in 2010, she published an article in Victorian Poetry titled “Edmund Gosse and the Stubborn Villanelle Blunder.” Her dissertation is a comprehensive history of the villanelle, the poetic form of Dylan Thomas’s “Do not go gentle into that good night” and Elizabeth Bishop’s “One Art.” She is currently at work on creating an online catalog of Edna St. Vincent Millay’s personal library at Steepletop.

Natalie Houston

Natalie Houston is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Houston. Her research on Victorian poetry and print culture has appeared in journals such as Victorian Studies, Victorian Poetry, Yale Journal of Criticism, Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net,  Essays and Studies, and Studies in the Literary Imagination, as well as in The Blackwell Companion to Victorian Poetry. She is the Project Director for the Visual Page, an NEH-funded project to develop a software application to identify and analyze visual features in digitized printed books. She is also a Co-Director and Technical Director for the Periodical Poetry Index, a research database of citations to English-language poems published in nineteenth-century periodicals.

Julie Lein

Julie Lein earned her PhD in creative writing and literature from the University of Utah, where she also served as a poetry editor for Quarterly West and currently works as a postdoctoral research fellow. Her poetry, fiction, and scholarship have appeared in The Antioch Review, Best New Poets 2011, 100 Word Story, Colorado Review, Phoebe, Terrain.org, Modernism/modernity and elsewhere. She is a recipient of the Larry Levis Poetry Prize.