IATH Announces New Fellows for 2010-2011

April 14, 2010

Alison Booth1 Alison Booth, Professor of English, is the new IATH Resident Fellow for 2010-2012. She will be developing a project promoting on-line collaborative research on nineteenth and twentieth century English-language collections of biographies of women. The project began with her book, How to Make It as a Woman: Collective Biographical History from Victoria to the Present (University of Chicago Press, 2004). The bibliography of more than 1,200 books published between 1830-1950 in Britain and North America, Collective Biographies of Women: An Annotated Bibliography (CBW), developed in close collaboration with the UVA Library Scholars' Lab. Drawing on narrative theory, CBW will develop tools to analyze narrative structures in relation to social networks.

Collective biography, also known as prosopography, has long been the most widespread mode of biographical representation of marginalized groups but has been surprisingly overlooked by academic researchers. Collections of short biographies of women became popular in the nineteenth century and were often designed around a common theme, such as nationality or occupation. These books, written by both men and women, cover a surprising range of subjects - historical and literary, biblical and legendary, martyrs and murderers, queens and reformers - and have much in common with the genres of popular fiction, self-help, and history. Analysis of these collections reveals a wealth of generic expectations and social norms, as well as patterns of recurrence and variation in the individual narratives.

Max Edelson Max Edelson, Associate Professor of History, is the new Associate Fellow for 2010-2011. His project, the Cartography of American Colonization Database (CACD), focuses on digitized maps of the Americas created between 1500-1800. There is a rapidly growing pool of high-resolution digital versions of old and rare maps, but they are scattered among disparate institutions and may not be easily discoverable or available. The CACD aims to organize this digital content and to showcase methods for analyzing and visualizing map data. A prototype database was built in 2008, funded by an NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up grant, in collaboration with the Institute for Computing in Humanities, Arts, and Social Science (I-CHASS) at the University of Illinois. Professor Edelson joined the UVA History Department in 2009, and received a 2010-2011 ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowship to continue developing the project with IATH.

IATH's Fellowship program supports two distinct areas of research: (1) the development of tools, scholarly resources, or scholarly projects utilizing digital technology for analysis, investigation, modeling or other research activities; and (2) the study of the nature, ethics, history, or future of digital technology as applied to some aspect of the humanities. Fellows developing scholarly tools or projects aim at creation of a new digital product, or at least a prototype, during their tenure. Each year IATH offers a two-year Resident Fellowship to a UVA Faculty member, providing office space at the Institute, design and development assistance, use of equipment and software, training, computer programming, budget resources, and development assistance to raise additional grants and gifts to support the research project. One or more Associate Fellowships are awarded each year and include consulting services on project design and technical issues, equipment loans, and grant assistance. Information about the Fellow application process is available on-line.