Recent Blog Posts

In the last few weeks, I’ve written or contributed to several blog posts about my research and organizing efforts. For more details, see the links below:

Digital Edition of LJS 445

I’m very pleased to announce that my digital edition of an astronomical anthology at the University of Pennsylvania is now live at Features of this site include a collation visualization, sidebar annotations, and a series of curated “tour stops” highlighting the unusual characteristics of this deceptively unassuming manuscript.

This edition uses the Manicule web application, and was produced in collaboration with Whitney Trettien. To access its documentation or download the edition, visit

Cygnus from LJS 445
An image of the constellation Cygnus from fol. 179v of LJS 445.

PennSound Podcast: New Writing Through the Anthropocene

I recently appeared on an ecopoetry-focused episode of the PennSound Podcast Series, alongside Julia Bloch, Director of the Creative Writing Program; visiting poets Allison Cobb and Brian Teare; and fellow PhD student Knar Gavin. The episode, “New Writing Through the Anthropocene,” is available on the Jacket2 blog.

For a recording of Cobb and Teare’s reading at the Kelly Writers House the same night, see this KWH-TV video

Curations for The Pulter Project

My curations for Hester Pulter’s poem “Universal Dissolution” are now available on the Pulter Project website. These short essays bring together secondary materials that offer useful context for Pulter’s poetry, from sea monsters and unicorns to early modern celestial cartography.

The Pulter Project is a wonderful initiative to bring wider recognition to a deserving seventeenth-century poet, and is well worth a close look.

Conrad Gessner, Historia animalium liber IV: qui est De piscium & aquatilium animantium natura: cum iconibus singulorum ad viuum expressis ferèe omnibus DCCXII, 2nd ed. (Frankfurt: Andreas Cambier, 1604), p. 119. Biodiversity Heritage Library, Public Domain.

Manuscript Video Orientations

Last month, I recorded video orientations for two of my favourite manuscripts from the Schoenberg Collection at Penn. You can watch these on the Schoenberg Institute’s Youtube channel:

LJS 445 – Prenosticatio

LJS 497 – Canones vel operationes in operando quadrante

These manuscripts are drawn from my upcoming exhibit on medieval astronomy, which will be displayed at the Medieval Academy of America meeting in 2019. I am also building an online version of this exhibit at

All Posts: News Archive

Schoenberg Database of Manuscripts

I recently began working for the Schoenberg Database of Manuscripts under the supervision of Lynn Ransom. Contributors to this open-access database enter information from manuscript catalogues and link to existing information, creating a detailed archive of manuscript descriptions and provenance data. My work combines adding new data with conducting archival research to resolve conflicts among catalogues, database entries, and authority files.

This experience has reinforced my belief that participatory digital environments are valuable for both disseminating knowledge and accelerating the pace of manuscript research. Users of this database include the directors of major rare book libraries as well as undergraduate students and amateurs, and all are vital to its continuing importance as a digital resource. If you would like to participate in the project, you can read more about the history of the database, search its records, or sign up for your own account.

Anthropocene and Animal Studies Working Group

This fall, I will begin coordinating the interdisciplinary Anthropocene and Animals Studies Working Group at Penn, along with Nicole Welk-Joerger (Ph.D. candidate, History and Sociology of Science). In preparation for the coming year, we have drafted a list of meetings and events, accessible on the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities (PPEH) and English websites.

We will be reading a number of texts by speakers at Penn next year, particularly presenters at the Environments of Modernity conference. Organized by the Mods, Latitudes, and Anthropocene/Animal Studies working groups, the conference aims to feature visiting faculty and Penn graduate students who will speak to the role of “environment” as a concept in the shaping of modernity.