MemberPaula Simoes

I am a researcher, social media manager, and consultant currently living in Lisbon, and finishing my PhD @ CEIS20, University of Coimbra, Portugal. My interests range from Digital Humanities to History. I am also interested in Cultural Heritage, Public Domain, Open Access, and Free Software. I’m also president of the Portuguese Association for Free Education (free as in free speech, not as in free beer). More

MemberJames S. Finley

I am Assistant Professor of English at Texas A&M University – San Antonio. My scholarship includes the edited collection Henry David Thoreau in Context (Cambridge University Press, 2017) and articles in ESQ: A Journal of Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture, ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, and The Concord Saunterer: A Journal of Thoreau Studies. I have received fellowships from the American Antiquarian Society and the Thoreau Society and was part of the faculty for the 2017 NEH seminar “Living and Writing Deliberately: The Concord Landscapes and Legacy of Henry David Thoreau.” I am currently at work on a book manuscript that addresses the literary production of radical abolitionists affiliated with the Free-Soil movement. “Free Soil Abolition: Slavery, Race, and Ecology in Antebellum America” presents a dramatically different portrait of the Free-Soil movement, one that foregrounds Black abolitionists and their critique of plantation slavery as ecologically destructive. In particular, I argue that figures such as Henry Bibb, Frederick Douglass, Lydia Maria Child, Martin Delany, and others, do not seek to simply restrict the Slave Power’s extension, as did white Free-Soilers, but instead to abolish anti-Black and anti-ecological structures that permeate antebellum society. Truly free soil, according to these figures, requires environmental justice and anti-racism. Attending to this archive, I suggest, significantly shifts contemporary understandings of both the Free-Soil movement and early American nature writing.

MemberErin J. Kappeler

I am an assistant professor of English at Tulane University, where I teach courses in transnational modernism, poetry and poetics, and nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature. My current book project, The Secret History of Free Verse: American Prosody and Poetics 1880–1933, is the first historical account of free verse as a race-based construction. Extant scholarship positions free verse as an American effort to revitalize a dying art in an era of simplistic, repetitive Victorian poetry. I show instead that the intellectual origins of free verse lie in attempts to allay fears about the future of white American identity. My research methods draw from historical poetics, a field of study that examines poetic forms, genres, and theories in their social and political contexts in order to better understand the historically specific cultural work poems have performed. My particular methodology in this project has been to scour the journals, literary magazines, and poetry anthologies of the time in order to demonstrate the influence of the newly institutionalized fields of ethnology and anthropology on the poetry and criticism of the late nineteenth century. Under this influence, critics and academics promoted free verse as an expression of the (white) American race they imagined was emerging in the New World. My research identifies the fundamental but, until now, neglected connections between prosodic theories of free verse and constructions of American whiteness, and shows how these discourses shaped popular and academic understandings of African-American and Native American poetry. The Secret History of Free Verse offers new readings of key American authors and publications, including Walt Whitman, James Weldon Johnson, and Harriet Monroe’s Poetry magazine, and breaks new ground by reconceptualizing the role that poetry has played in circulating ideas about racial and national identity to a broad reading public. I have also received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Massachusetts Historical Society for a planned second book, Everyday Laureates: Community Poetry in New England 1865-1900, which explores the reading practices of amateur poetry societies.  

MemberAnthony Rasmussen

I am a postdoctoral fellow with the University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States (UC MEXUS). My work explores, among other things, the intersection of aurality and gender, strategic vulnerability in musical performance, and what I call the transmusical–the under-explored areas between culturally-inflected definitions of “music” and “sound.” My current work concerns the socio-cultural aspects of whistle languages in contemporary Mexico City. In my free time I study requinto jarocho and tres cubano and make music with the experimental pop group, The Fantastic Toes.

MemberLindsey Seatter

Lindsey Seatter (BA, MA, Simon Fraser University) is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of English at the University of Victoria. Her research focuses on the British Romantic period and Digital Humanities, with special interest in women writers, the evolution of the novel, reader engagement, and online communities of practice. Her dissertation, “Imagining Publics, Negotiating Powers,” explores Austen’s use of free indirect discourse as an avenue for mirroring the shifting social spaces of Romantic Britain and navigating the emerging values of various populaces. She also works as a Research Assistant in the Electronic Textual Cultures Lab, is a Colloquium Co-Chair for the Digital Humanities Summer Institute, and is a Communications Fellow for the Keats-Shelley Association of America.

MemberCristina Gil

Cristina Gil has been awarded a Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) PhD Research scholarship. She currently is developing her doctoral research in Culture Studies at the Research Centre for Communication and Culture (CECC) at the School of Human Sciences at the Catholic University of Portugal under the research line of Cognition and Translatability.  She was a Portuguese Sign Language Interpreter for thirteen years, she has a vast experience in both national and international contexts. Since 2010 she has lectured in higher education schools and universities on subjects related to Deaf Studies and is now a full-time junior researcher/doctoral student. Feel free to contact by email at

MemberTully Barnett

I am a Lecturer in English and Creative Industries, and am a Chief Investigator for the project Laboratory Adelaide: The Value of Culture in the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at Flinders University in South Australia.  I have an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award Fellowship for the project “Digitisation and the Immersive Reading Experience”. I serve on the boards of the Australasian Association of Digital Humanities and the Australasian Consortium of Humanities Research Centres.  I am the co-author of What Matters? Talking Value in Australian Culture (2018) with Julian Meyrick and Robert Phiddian which is now available for free download.


I am an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Connecticut at Stamford. I am a Black Studies scholar focusing on African American culture from the 18th century to the present. I also study the Haitian Revolution and the Northern Kingdom period, as well as intersections between African American and French culture. My first book, The Black Avenger in Atlantic Culture, follows this literary trope from the 17th century to the early 20th in European, West Indian and North American literature and historiography. It is forthcoming at the University of Georgia Press (Spring 2019). I have translated the French treatise Free Jazz/Black Power by Philippe Carles and Jean-Louis Comolli (Mississippi UP: 2015), and edited a scholarly edition of Marcus Rainsford’s An Historical Account of the Black Empire of Hayti (Duke UP: 2013; co-edited with Paul Youngquist). My articles have been published in Studies in American Fiction, the African American Review, Criticism, and Notes and Queries. I am the current President of the African American Literature and Culture Society (AALCS) and of the Amiri Baraka Society.