Current Projects and Plans
The WWP is always engaged in expanding the scope of the Women Writers Online collection. In addition to this regular capture of new material, however, we also undertake more specific projects that offer enhancements to the functionality of WWO, or provide opportunities for us to involve our readers in new ways. Our major projects are described below; some are now under way, while others await funding.
Under a major grant from the NEH, the WWP is undertaking a study of readership and reception based on the WWO collection. This three-year project will yield a set of online publications and a new publicly accessible collection of source material including contemporary reviews and commentary on WWO texts, together with tools for analysis of the cultural and geographical landscape of reception. Read more...
The WWP staff have been offering workshops on scholarly text encoding since 2004, serving an audience of humanities researchers, digital librarians, archivists, and digital practitioners. In summer 2011 we received an award from NEH to support "Taking TEI Further", a three-year series of institutes on advanced topics in digital humanities starting in March 2012. This series builds on two previous awards from NEH. In 2006 we received funding from the NEH to support a two-year program of workshops and seminars on text encoding, aimed specifically at humanities faculty, held at humanities centers across the US during 2007-2009. In 2008, we received a second NEH grant to support a continuation of this work, providing a smaller set of more advanced workshops on special topics in scholarly text encoding. This program ran for two years, ending in June 2011.
As part of this program, the WWP also provides consultation and other followup services to participants. The goal of the program is to enable faculty to play a more intellectually engaged role in digital projects, and also to undertake text encoding projects on their own.
Interested in taking a workshop or learning more? Get on our announcement list, or suggest a topic...
To mark the 20th anniversary of the WWP’s first funding, we launched a series of discussions under the rubric of “Women in the Archives.” These discussions began with a research group and colloquium funded by the Cogut Humanities Center, and continued with a conference in March 2009 in celebration of Women’s History Month that convened a broader discussion of the role of archival research in the study of early modern women’s writing. “Women in the Archives” is now an annual conference.
The Women Writers Project is planning a series of online exhibits organized around texts published in our Women Writers Online collection. As a new initiative to enhance readers’ interaction with our published texts, these exhibits would serve both as brief scholarly introductions to important thematic or conceptual divisions and as explorations of the relationship between current scholarship on early modern women’s writing and electronic texts. Exhibits would offer an opportunity for individual scholars to explore parts of our collection through the lens of specific topics that interest them, to put selected texts in dialogue with one another and with other areas of their research, and to introduce readers to new and potentially unfamiliar authors and texts.
The WWP is exploring ways of including collaboratively edited manuscript materials in the WWO collection. We are currently working on a pilot project with the editors of Mary Moody Emerson’s Almanacks, and will be incorporating manuscript-specific reading features into the next updates of Women Writers Online (currently projected for 2011). After the completion of the pilot, we will be seeking partners for an initial set of manuscripts to be included in Women Writers Online.
The Brown University Women Writers Project invites proposals for one- or two-semester internships, as well as summer internships, focusing on methods of representing, visualizing, and analysing digital texts in the humanities. Interns work closely with WWP staff and develop tools or research studies arising from the Women Writers Online collection.
In order to allow for experimentation with new tools, and to give our readers a chance to test and play with these tools as they emerge, we are developing an experimental annex or “sandbox” connected to the main WWO interface and linked from it. This space will be used to test out experimental interface ideas, to give users a chance to work with beta versions and provide feedback, and to present tools and interface features that are too specialized or unusual to be incorporated directly into WWO. A small set of prototypes is currently visible and more will be added in the coming year.
The WWP has been collecting and digitizing syllabi which use texts from the WWP collection, contributed by faculty members who have used our texts in their teaching. These syllabi demonstrate a fascinating range of teaching approaches and juxtapositions between texts: those that are well known and those that are more obscure; texts by female and male authors; texts from unexpected genres that allow a particular theme to be pursued in innovative ways. We have created a database of these materials and they are now available to our readers in a searchable form, with links to online WWO texts.