Digital Humanities

Digital Humanities pedagogy underpins my teaching, as I find it helps introduce students to cornerstone skills of critical thinking, writing, and debate, as well as connecting those skills with future employment.


Collaborative Arts Research Initiative, University of Alabama


SyllaBits is an online, mobile game to help theatre practitioners and literature students practice the skill of scansion. Poetry, since the classical period, was meant to be heard. If you have ever studied the poems of William Shakespeare, you are likely familiar with the phrase “iambic pentametre.” Iambic pentameter is the regular pattern of long and short syllables used, from the sixteenth century until today, by poets and playwrights working in English. Learning how to identify the six combinations of syllables that can make up a line of pentameter, called scansion, is key.

A growing group of writers, self-styled New Formalists including the likes of A. E. Stallings and Tyehimba Jess, are also driving a renewed interest in sonnets and other closed forms requiring the ability to scan. From the inability to use this hands-on strategy in the classroom due to the coronavirus global pandemic as well as the need to teach classical poetic forms with a diversity of poetic voices arose the conception of this mobile game. The web-based apparatus is under development by a team of advanced undergraduates and Computer Science graduate students, with methodology and pedagogy research assistance by graduate students in English.

This project is in progress with the proposed launch of a beta version in spring 2024.

Ripple Arts Review

Department of English, University of Alabama


Ripple Arts Review is a digital magazine for arts criticism and journalism in West Alabama. A student-led, -written, and designed publication, Ripple aims to publish critical work that contributes to the cultural dialogue of the area and serve as a digital collective space for the local arts community. First launched in spring 2023 as a reimagining of a previous arts magazine at The University of Alabama, Vanishing Sights (2010–15), it is one of many English department initiatives to provide graduate and undergraduate students professional publication opportunities.

As a teaching magazine centering student writers as developing authors and critics, Ripple employs a collaborative, double-open peer review process. Each submission is reviewed by two current section editors before moving on to a final review by the editor-in-chief and a faculty advisor — a process modeled after that used by the academic journal, Hybrid Pedagogy. Ripple uses the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition, supplemented with an in-house editorial guide informed by arts reviewing best practices, accessible web design, and the following resources.

This is an on-going initiative. Interested in being a fellow faculty editor or a contributor? Get in touch!

Aphra Behn: The Podcast

Alabama Digital Humanities Center, University of Alabama


Author, spy, political propagandist, Aphra Behn (1640–1689) was one of the first English women to earn a living by her pen. Set against the tumultuous backdrop of the English Civil Wars, expanding transatlantic slave trade, and settler colonialism in the Americas, Behn’s work engages with frankness and complexity a range of topics, from gender identity to political power.

This podcast celebrates the 350th anniversary of the first public performance of a work by Behn, surveying major trends across translations of romances and scientific texts, timely plays, erotic poetry, and an anti-slavery novella. Researched, written, and produced by University of Alabama undergraduates during the coronavirus global pandemic in the spring of 2021, this limited series provides the public with a primer to one of the most influential writers in English you’ve never heard of.

This project was featured as part of the National Humanities Alliance’s Humanities for All series, “Making the Covert Public” (June 2021), and in a post for the Modern Language Association’s blog, The Wire (August 2021).

Othello’s Crane: A Twitter Play

First-Year Seminar, Pacific University


Two guerrilla movements have disrupted Digital Humanities pedagogy in the past decade: the event syllabus, and the appropriation of Twitter as a composition genre. The event syllabus typically presents as a web-based archive of articles that help the public both instruct themselves about racialized violence and provides resources to teach a kind of cultural competency in the classroom from a specific case. Typically these begin with a call for public education through Twitter with hashtags such as #FergusonSyllabus, #OrlandoSyllabus or #PulseSyllabus, and #CharlestonSyllabus, the latter of which is now an edited collection from the University of Georgia Press.

As part of a first-year seminar course designed to engage public debates through digital tools, “#OthelloSyllabus: Cyprus, Ferguson, Forest Grove,” freshmen employed the rhetoric of hashtag activism to engage with critical race theory across a spectrum of texts, including a documentary on the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, William Shakespeare’s Othello, Lolita Chakrabarti’s Red Velvet, and Jordan Peele’s Get Out. In weekly twessays, posting responses during community lectures, and in devising a Twitter play, the platform’s paradoxical mix of anonymity and very public writing helped students productively engage the complexity of a range of issues regarding race and digital activism.

This final performance or Twitter-play, modelled after the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Such Tweet Sorrow, was featured in a peer-reviewed article from Hybrid Pedagogy.

Omeka and Film

University Library, University of Illinois


Designed for a introductory course on film, this scaffolded set of assignments relies on the digital tool Omeka to help students collect, organize, and analyze primary artifacts to support their claims. Provided are the prompts, along with a list of final projects - virtual mini-museums illustrating the impact of a specific documentary alongside a digital docent guide.

The collaboration between the instructors and the digital library staff served as case studies for several articles in library science.

BiteThumbnails: A Playgoer’s Notebook

Reviews blog


Between 2010 and 2018, I wrote 80 reviews of live performances, focusing on Shakespeare, from Chicago to New York and Portland, Oregon. There were another three dozen television reviews, more than a dozen film reviews, and nearly as many essays on casting practices, gender parity in performance, and the shifting landscape of early theatre archaeology. Much of what first entered the world in these posts has now been published, or paved the pathway to new work, including this ethnography of the Original Practice Shakespeare Festival, and the online arts reviewing magazine, Ripple Arts Review. Officially sunset April 2023.