Alison Harper


Education: BA, English, Oxford University; MA, Medieval Literature, University of York.

Bio: Currently in her 5th year of an English PhD, and beginning to write the dissertation.

Her particular research interests are late medieval popular literature in England, and reading practices during the late 15th-early 16th century period of mixed media manuscript and print production. The dissertation focuses on two household miscellanies produced and read between 1500-1550, and the use of their religious texts as contributing towards devotion in a changing religious environment.

Her interest in reading practices includes research into marginalia and manuscript codicology; to help facilitate these studies, she coordinates a Paleography/Manuscript Reading Group with another graduate student, and is working on a codicoloical database project. She also studies fanfiction as a hermeneutic for understanding late medieval literature from a popular culture perspective. She has previously taught classes on fanfiction and late medieval popular culture through the University of Rochester’s Writing Program. She is also is building her own digital archive of popular medieval material and experimenting with ways of representing medieval reading practices online.

Alison is currently an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in the Digital Humanities. This semester, she is a teaching assistant for ‘Clocks and Computers: Visualizing Cultural Time’, which engages students in data research and data visualization for humanities projects.  She also works part-time as a Staff Editor for METS, a branch of the academic press TEAMS, which focuses on making relatively non-canonical medieval works accessible to students, and with the Blake Archive.

Research Reports

METS: Middle English Text Series

The Middle English Texts Series is a long-running academic publishing project based out of the University of Rochester’s Robbins Library. The staff is composed of the general editor, Professor Emeritus Russell Peck, the staff editor, Pam Yee, and 4 other graduate students who work part-time formatting, copy-editing and producing books for publication. Typically, we send 3-4 books to the press per year, as well as creating the digital editions. These digital versions are at the heart of the work we do at METS.…. more »

Victoria Szabo — Omeka Workshop

To kick off Victoria Szabo’s visit, we actually left the Humanities side of campus and made our way to Carlson Library and its high-tech Vista Collaboratory, a visualization lab with a interactive, 24-screen tiled-display wall. With the help of support staff Jonathan Carroll-Nellenback and Carl Schmidtmann, Victoria had arranged a detailed, visually exciting guide through the basic structure, and some of the more obscure and difficult features, of the online archive platform Omeka.…. more »