As the Assistant Director for the Women Writers Project (WWP) and Assistant Director for the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks, self-described “book nerd” Dr. Sarah Connell (PhD ’14) is central to Northeastern’s strong, supportive community of digital scholars. She is involved with directing a major digital humanities project (WWP) and leads a new NEH Collaborative Research grant. Sarah trains and mentors graduate students in digital text encoding, editing, and methods of digital analysis, and leads workshops and working groups on a range of digital humanities (DH) topics. She also co-teaches two undergraduate and graduate courses: Literature and Digital Diversity with Professor Elizabeth Maddock Dillon and NULab Project Seminar with Professor Julia Flanders. Here’s how Sarah got here:
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Was introduced to early modern Irish literature in Prof. Patrick Mullen’s Irish Film & Literature course. Her dissertation topic was inspired by a paper she wrote for the class.
Had faculty mentors from fields such as Irish culture, early modern literature, gender studies, text encoding, and more to shape her intellectual and professional development.
Became involved with the Digital Scholarship Group, first as an encoder for the Women Writers Project and then as a project team member with the Early Caribbean Digital Archive.
Took on more leadership for the Women Writers Project throughout her program and eventually became their Assistant Director following graduation.
Found a network of colleagues for research, teaching, and the development of programs in digital scholarship through the larger academic community in Boston.
Wrote her dissertation on the ways in which early modern writers used medieval legends and forms to construct national identity.
Currently engaged in research into applying digital tools and methodologies to pre-Victorian texts, with a particular interest in examining how people wrote about the past.
Currently working with the WWP team to develop an exploration interface for a bibliography to all the texts named, referenced, cited, or quoted in Women Writers Online.
Currently planning partnerships for the Digital Integration Teaching Initiative, which supports collaborations to bring digital tools, methods, and skills into CSSH classrooms.
Currently continuing development of the NULab’s programs in digital scholarship alongside Professor Julia Flanders, particularly the Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities.
“I’m in a position where almost everything I do, I would do for free, too. It’s nice to have a professional life that is rewarding intellectually and where I’m learning constantly.”
More Student Paths
- Savita is from Boston and is a graduate of the Boston Latin School.
- Originally a Cultural Anthropology major, Savita later became an English major with minors in Africana Studies and Writing Studies.
- Through the service-learning course, Boston in Literature, Savita volunteered with 826 Boston to tutor in English. She is now a service-learning teaching assistant.
- For her final project in Post-Colonial Women's Writers with Professor Aljoe, she researched Carnival and its cultural significance to Trinidad and Tobago.
- Inspired by Professor Aljoe, Savita joined the Early Caribbean Digital Archive, working on an exhibit about Caribbean Carnival and creating and gathering teaching materials.
- In 2020, she began a co-op with the Africana Studies program to learn more about the field of Black Studies.
- Savita wants to work to better her own community. In the future, she hopes to become a high school teacher or a college professor. ..
- Andrew grew up in Japan, and decided to pursue his undergraduate degree back in the U.S.
- Andrew applied to Northeastern as a Business major. As his high school career came to a close, he became more interested in Japanese politics, history, and social issues.
- When thinking about what truly engaged him, Andrew felt that Asian Studies and Political Science was a better fit and switched his major to Asian Studies.
- Andrew connected with Professor Daniel Aldrich after meeting him at a presentation of his book at the institute for social sciences at Tokyo University.
- From his first day of classes, Professor Aldrich encouraged and helped Andrew get involved in research projects.
- During his first semester, Professor Aldrich paired Andrew with Tim Fraser, a PhD candidate in Political Science with strong interests in disaster resilience in Japan.
- With Tim, Andrew collected biographical information on the committee members on all the reconstructional committees on municipal, prefectural, and national level. ..
- Emerson wanted a contextualized Political Science degree, and applied to Northeastern specifically for the PPE (Politics, Philosophy, and Economics) program.
- "Introduction to Economic Justice" with Professor Serena Parekh was one of Emerson's favorite courses, allowing her to study economic justice from a philosophical lens.
- Emerson was accepted by the Roosevelt Institute to do financialization research at Northeastern, examining economic priorities.
- Emerson also started a research thesis her freshman year to look at the link between modern dystopian literature and the the rise of female-led political movements.
- When Emerson found out about the HCL (History, Culture, and Law) major, she was immediately interested in adding the major to enhance her PPE studies.
- The Culture & Colonialism concentration allowed Emerson to double-credit and to develop the breadth of knowledge needed for someone who wants to work at the State Department.
- In January 2020, Emerson founded NU's Interdisciplinary Women's Collaborative (IWC) with the help of mentor and advisor Heather Hauck...
Charles T. Wallace-Thomas IV
- Charles chose to attend Northeastern because he was intrigued by the signature co-op program and wanted a curriculum that combined real-world experience without compromising thorough academic rigor.
- Initially an engineering student, Charles switched to a combined major in Economics and Mathematics to build upon his interest in economic and social justice work. He also has a minor in psychology.
- In his first year, Charles took Sustainable Renewable Energy Development in the Global South with Professor Shalanda Baker, which taught him to question systems as they exist, no matter how established.
- As part of the Ujima Global Leaders Program through the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute, Charles did community service, working on the Timebank team which helped him give back to Boston.
- For his first co-op, Charles split his time between the Center for Economic Democracy and the Boston Ujima Project, where he analyzed studies on community needs, like infrastructure and childcare.
- As Campaign Coordinator and Director of Northeastern’s Students Advancing Intersectional Dreams, Charles had spoken to people like Patrisse Cullors, Richie Reseda, Michelle Alexander, and Angela Davis.
- Over the summer of 2020, Charles was one of the co-creators of the #BlackAtNU campaign where he advocated for racial literacy courses and for a restorative and transformative justice center on campus...