Below are the live feed videos for the “New Media in American Literary History” conference at Northeastern University on December 5-6, 2013. “New Media in American Literary History” brought together “digital” and “analog” scholars interested in the history of American print media to discuss common questions, challenges, and identify potential collaborations during December 2013 at the Northeastern University campus. Our goal was to bridge the gap between digital and more “traditional” disciplinary work. The conference put scholars employing methodologies such as text mining, topic modeling, digital curation, and network analysis—in other words, “big humanities data”—into direct and productive dialogue with Americanist scholars, graduate students, and archivists employing well-established practices in book history, textual analysis, media studies, and critical bibliography in their work.


Speakers include Ryan Cordell (symposium co-organizer), Lori Lefkovitz (Director of the Northeastern University Humanities Center), and Elizabeth Maddock Dillon (Co-Director of the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks).

Session 2. “Crosswalks in American Literary History: Designing Relational Databases”

James N. Green (Library Company), Respondent
Jordan Goffin (Providence Public Library), “Mapping the Book Trade on a Budget”
Elizabeth Lorang (UNL), “Relational Databases and Large-Scale Thematic Research Collections”
Molly O’Hagan Hardy (AAS), “The Database of Early American Printing Trades”

Session 3. “Technologies and/of Text”

Ryan Cordell (Northeastern), Respondent
Jonathan Senchyne (Wisconsin), “Paper”
Madeleine Monson-Roson (UI Chicago), “Information Thinking”
Augusta Rohrbach (WSU), “Residue of History”
Joseph Reagle (Northeastern), “Bibliography and Bitrot”

Session 4A. “Visualization and/in the Archive”

Rhae Lynn Barnes, (Harvard), Respondent
Christopher Lukasik (Purdue), “Visualizing the Visual: Digital Archives and Early American Periodical Illustration”
Christa Vogelius (Alabama), “More than Marketing: Digital Exhibitions as Public Scholarship”
Benjamin M. Schmidt (Northeastern), “Visualizing Large Full-Text Collections with Metadata”

Session 4B. “C19 Networks”

Ellen Gruber Garvey (New Jersey City), Respondent
Ed Whitley (Lehigh), “The Crowded Page”
Jessica DeSpain (SIU), “Transatlantic Reprinting Networks”
Jillian M. Hess (AAAS), “Transatlantic Reprinting Networks Technological Developments and C19 Commonplace Books”
Thomas Akbari (Northeastern), “Henry Adams’ Networks”

 Session 5. “Newspapers as Social Media”

Meredith McGill (Rutgers), Respondent
Laura Murray (Queens), “How to Read a Newspaper”
Hester Blum (Penn State), “Arctic Newspapers as a Social Media Network”
Ryan Cordell and Elizabeth Maddock Dillon (Northeastern), “‘Infectious Texts’ in Nineteenth-Century Newspapers

 Session 6. “Early America”

Elizabeth Maddock Dillon (Northeastern), Respondent
Siobhan Senier (UNH), “Indigineous Print & Digital Legacies”
Chris Phillips (Lafayette), “Easton Library Company Loan Records Project”
James Egan and Jean Bauer (Brown), “Mapping Colonial America’s Publishing”
David Rawson (UVA Press), “Building an Index of Virginia Printing”

 Session 7. “Audio Roundtable”


Closing roundtable discussion and NMALH Symposium roundup with Meredith McGill (Rutgers), Ellen Gruber Garvey (New Jersey City), Lisa Gitelman (NYU), and Elizabeth Maddock Dillon (Northeastern).

New Media in American Literary History” was cosponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in Critical Bibliography at the Rare Book School, the NULab for Texts, Maps and Networks, and the Northeastern University Humanities Center. The event was organized by Ryan Cordell (Assistant Professor, Northeastern University English Department) and Rhae Lynn Barnes (Ph.D. Candidate, Harvard University History Department).


Rhae Lynn Barnes is an Assistant Professor of American Cultural History at Princeton University (2018-) and President of the Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography. She is the co-founder and C.E.O. of U.S. History Scene and an Executive Advisor to the documentary series "Reconstruction: America After the Civil War" (now streaming PBS, 2019).