Announcements Students

New TXTDS Academic Awards

The Textual Studies Program and our home department French & Italian Studies are please to announce new academic awards for Textual & Digital Studies students in our annual Academic Awards! 

All currently enrolled undergraduate or graduate students who have completed a project in a  Textual and Digital Studies course (TXTDS) in the Spring 2022 through Winter 2023 quarters are eligible to submit one project. Examples of submissions could be recorded presentations, digital projects, well-written and researched papers, or other creative projects that exhibit innovation (in any format or medium).

The FIS/TXTDS Faculty Award Committee will review all of the submitted projects and make a selection of award-winning projects to be honored and displayed on the Textual Studies website.

The Textual & Digital Studies awards will have an undergraduate student category and a graduate student category, with first place in each category awarded $200 and one runner up in each category awarded $150 (four awards total).

Submit your projects here. The deadline to submit a project is April 14, 2023.

Please note that by submitting your project you consent to having your name and project publicly displayed on the FIS and Textual Studies website if your project is selected as an award winner. If you have any questions or concerns please email We look forward to seeing your projects!


Student Spotlight: Alex Seo & TXTDS Minor Capstone

This guest post is written by Linguistics and TXTDS student Alex Seo, who recently completed the Textual Studies and Digital Humanities (TXTDS) minor Capstone project. Images courtesy of Assistant Book Arts Librarian Kat Lewis.


I am a Linguistics major with a minor in Textual Studies and Digital Humanities, and a minor in Data Science. I have been part of the UW Textual Studies program since Winter 2022, when I took the Text, Publics, and Publication course and started volunteering at UW Special Collections. Since then, I have had the opportunity to explore a wide range of related subjects such as digital publishing, book arts, and archival studies. It was a valuable experience learning how to analyze, organize, transform, and curate materials. I’m very thankful that I discovered this field – I didn’t know that it existed, let alone what it entailed, but I gained a lot from it and ended up enjoying it so much.

Examples from the 19th century publishers bindings collection


My capstone, in short, was putting together a database, but the foundation for it was built upon the volunteer work that I mentioned above. The first task that I took on was surveying and cataloging a digital repository that contained a variety of items. With the help of my supervisor, I was able to familiarize myself with the process of constructing a directory, including how to effectively organize data and to create metadata.

Based on what I had learned, I was able to start a functional database for my capstone. The Rare Books and Book Arts Collections had acquired a sizable digital archive containing scans of 19th century publishers’ bindings. However, the archive hadn’t been accessible, and it had been difficult to find items within it. The database aims to solve such problems.

I was accustomed to the framework and the descriptive writing that were to be featured in the capstone project. Yet, there was a new challenge of prioritizing user experience. I placed heavier focus on the effectiveness of targeting and retrieval, which required more consistent and strictly formatted metadata. I also wrote notes that would help with using the database, discussing the information that can be found in the database.

The database is currently stored in a physical hard drive. On the sidebar of UW Special Collections Rare Books and Book Arts Collection – 19th Century American Literature webpage, there is a section that acknowledges the database, so that people may visit and consult it. Although it currently only covers a portion of the archive, it offers a searchable guide through the stacks of publishers’ bindings that belong to UW Special Collections.


I feel very fortunate to have contributed to the digital representation of UW Special Collections. It’s exciting to think that my work could improve the accessibility of the collection, and potentially assist various projects. I would like to thank the UW Textual Studies faculty and UW library staff that have not only given me the opportunity but also provided generous guidance throughout my capstone.

Announcements Research Students

Annual UW Undergraduate Research Symposium

Submissions are now being accepted for the Annual UW Undergraduate Research Symposium, which will take place on Friday, May 19, 2023

To present your work at this event, you must submit an application by Friday, February 12, 2023. The application and information about the Symposium may be found on the Undergraduate Research Program’s Symposium Page. The Symposium is a celebration of undergraduate accomplishments in research, scholarship, and creative expression in all academic disciplines, including the performing and visual arts. More information and resources for applicants and presenters, including support for preparing abstracts, are available on the Apply for Symposium Page. Students may email URP at with questions about presenting their work.

If you have not yet begun a research experience, attending the Symposium is a great way to learn about how to get involved, identify potential projects and mentors and to support fellow students. Students are also encouraged to volunteer for the Undergraduate Research Symposium and may sign up to volunteer here.

We hope you will consider participating in this year’s celebration of undergraduate research!

Courses Students

Student Spotlight: Piper Thomas & TXTDS Minor Capstone

This guest post is written by Linguistics, French, and TXTDS student Piper Thomas, who recently completed the Textual Studies and Digital Humanities (TXTDS) minor Capstone project. This story has also been posted to the French & Italian Studies website. Photos by Assistant Book Arts Librarian Kat Lewis.

About Me

I am majoring in Linguistics, and minoring in French Language, Literature, and Culture as well as Textual Studies and Digital Humanities. I have always been interested in how people choose to present and preserve information, and seeing evidence of people in the past simply being people never fails to make me smile. When presented with the opportunity to explore the vast collection of handmade records of individual experiences housed in the Special Collections, I knew I had to take it. I adore seeing how the technology of writing has developed throughout human history, and how people during every era used the existing technology in creative ways.

Piper Thomas working at computer in Special Collections

Capstone Project

For my capstone project in Textual Studies, I began with an annotated bibliography. It served to give me some background for who William Morris was and what he did – since that was to be the focus of my project. In addition, it was very helpful to me as an undergraduate student, because it was a chance to learn how to do research. It was very nice to go through the process of research while having a guiding hand there to provide feedback, and without the pressure of having to get it right on the first try.

After doing the annotated bibliography, we decided that it would be good for me to create an online exhibit about some of the things I had noticed. Unlike the annotated bibliography, the subject of the exhibit was largely left to my discretion so long as it was at least somewhat related to William Morris. I felt that it would be cool to compare some Morris books to books by modern book artists. After doing some further exploration, I decided to compare the usage of white space in three different books, one of which was by Morris.

It was honestly a wonderful experience. I was given freedom to follow whatever route piqued my interest, with a huge amount of resources available to me, and great support available when I ran into hurdles. I learned a lot about how to navigate the library and interact with delicate books, how to find resources for research, and how to create an online paper.

Online Exhibit: Whitespace in Illustrations and Book Arts

Piper Thomas working at computer in Special Collections

Are you a Textual Studies student and have a project you’d like to share? We would love to highlight your work! Email us at

Interested in the minor? See our page for more information.

Announcements Research Students

Recent Publications by Textual Studies Students & Alumni

We recently checked in with our Textual Studies graduate certificate alumni and are pleased to share news of several publications over the past year.

Cover of Frankenstein

Following her work co-organizing the bicentenary of Frankenstein at UW in 2018, Sarah Faulkner (English PhD, 2020) was approached by Flame Tree Publishing (London) in 2020 to write an introduction to their Collector’s Edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus. In her introduction, Faulkner highlights the historical and literary context for the novel as well as its multimedia afterlife. She concludes with a new reading of the monster as a touchstone for conversations about sexual violence, the climate crisis, and other current issues. You can find the edition at most bookstores, including the Lake Forest Park Third Place Books.

Cover of George Eliot-George Henry Lewes Studies

Three Textual Studies students contributed to the most recent volume of George Eliot-George Henry Lewes Studies (vol. 73, no. 2), published in late 2021, a special issue containing the proceedings from the Middlemarch 150th Anniversary Symposium at the University of Washington.

Nikita Willeford Kastrinos and Francesca Colonnese (English PhD candidates) wrote “Coreading Middlemarch in Pandemic Times: Using Digital Humanities to Build Community at a Distance.” This article, written in the context of remote teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, defines the practice of ‘coreading,’ a collective form of reading that uses Manifold digital annotation tools. In doing so, they explore decentering traditional forms of knowledge production in favor of crowd-sourcing to build connection and community from a distance.

Matthew Poland (English PhD, 2022) contributed the article “Middlemarch in Melbourne,” which examined the underexplored serialization of George Eliot’s Middlemarch in Melbourne’s Australasian newspaper using a global media history approach anchored by a southern-hemispherical perspective. This approach permits the canonical British novel to be recontextualized within the flows of transnational circulation, and decenters Eurocentric forms of thinking about imperial literary culture and realist aesthetics.

Cover of Journal of Victorian Culture

Matthew Poland also wrote “Commemorative Print: Serialized Monuments during the Shakespeare Tercentenary Debates,” published in the Journal of Victorian Culture. The article concerns Victorian debates about how best to commemorate the tercentenary of Shakespeare’s birth in 1864, comparing the success of Staunton’s serialized facsimile of the First Folio and the National Shakespeare Committee’s failed proposal for a Shakespeare statue. Both the statue’s controversy and its potential resolution in Staunton’s Folio are revealed in essays published in the Reader, a short-lived literary weekly. Staunton’s facsimile came to be regarded by the Reader and commentators in other periodicals as the most apposite of tercentenary monuments.

Are you a program alum and have news to share with us? We would love to highlight your accomplishments! Email us at

Research Students

Graduate Certificate Capstone 2022

On June 3, 2022 Francesca Colonnese and Nikita Willeford Kastrinos gave their presentations as part of the capstone for completion of the Graduate Certificate in Textual and Digital Studies.

Christina Rossetti's poem in a newspaper
Rossetti’s poem in the Dallas Daily News
Francesca Colonnese presenting at Capstone event

Francesca Colonnese, PhD student in English, presented “When I am Read: The Temporality of Christina Rossetti in the Newspaper.” Colonnese looked at posthumous reprints of Christina Rossetti’s poem “Song [When I am Dead]” in a number of different American newspapers and examined the temporality of the poem both in its lyrics as well as the experience of reading it, both in its original form in a collection of poems versus its appearance in the dense and chaotic newspaper page. Using TEI text encoding to apply structured metadata to the content, her project, she writes, “explores the spatiality of newspaper pages to ask questions about readerly attention and whether or not the periodical context alters the reader’s temporal experience.” The impact of attention on reading was further emphasized by Colonnese in that she came to this work via the limitations of conducting research remotely during the university’s physical closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nikita Willeford Kastrinos presenting at Capstone

Nikita Willeford Kastrinos, PhD student in English, followed with “Intimate Threads: Text and Textile in the Pages of Pamela.” Kastrinos’ paper explored “the expansive material textuality of Samuel Richardson’s eighteenth-century novel Pamela by investigating the connections between bodies, clothing, and texts present in the novel’s rag pulp paper.” Kastrinos wove together a narrative of the titular character’s garment construction, letter writing, and the sewing together of the two, as well as the extreme popularity of Richardson’s novel leading to its reading and handling by multiple readers, and the role and presence of rag paper production in those readers’ daily lives.

Quote about text by D.F. Mckenzie
Slide from Nikita Willeford Kastrinos’ presentation

Congratulations to our 2022 graduate certificate recipients and thank you to those who attended the event to support!

Announcements Research Students

2022 Capstone Event for Textual Studies Graduate Certificate

Textual and Digital Studies Capstone Presentations
Friday, June 3, 3-4:30pm
Simpson Center, CMU 202

On June 3, Francesca Colonnese and Nikita Willeford Kastrinos will be giving short presentations as part of the capstone for completion of the Graduate Certificate in Textual and Digital Studies.

The TDS certificate is open to any student enrolled in a graduate program at the UW interested in the history of texts from antiquity to today, including any and all aspects of the creation, publication, editing, reception, circulation, adaptation and materiality of texts. You are especially encouraged to attend if you are interested in the program.

Francesca Colonnese, English
“When I am Read: The Temporality of Christina Rossetti in the Newspaper”

Christina Rossetti’s morbid little poem “Song [When I am Dead]” experienced a second life on the American Newspaper page, being reprinted numerous times in different papers. This eschatological lyric itself evokes temporality and yet what does it mean to alter its medium from printed collection to the densely printed periodical? This project explores the spatiality of newspaper pages to ask questions about readerly attention and whether or not the periodical context alters the reader’s temporal experience.

Nikita Willeford Kastrinos, English
“Intimate Threads: Text and Textile in the Pages of Pamela

This paper explores the expansive material textuality of Samuel Richardson’s eighteenth-century novel Pamela by investigating the connections between bodies, clothing, and texts present in the novel’s rag pulp paper. Recuperating the extensive material literacies of its eighteenth-century readers, this paper argues for a renewed attention to the interactions of text and textile in the novel and the primacy of touch in reading practices of the rag paper period.