Professor Dore Organizes Novel Sounds II Conference











On March 3, 2017, the National Humanities Center will host Novel Sounds II, its second conference on the relationship between literature and rock and roll (click here for a write-up on the first Novel Sounds conference). Organized by Professor Florence Dore, a current NHC fellow, the conference will include a keynote roundtable with music critic Peter Guralnick, novelist Roddy Doyle, and Grammy award-winning musician Steve Earle. To conclude the conference, Earle will give an 8 PM performance at UNC's Memorial Hall. Registration is $50 for general admission and $30 for students and senior citizens; tickets for Earle's performance must be purchased separately. For more information and to register, please visit the conference webpage.

Professor Floyd-Wilson Interviewed for NHC Podcast Series

Professor Mary Floyd-Wilson was recently interviewed in a podcast for the National Humanities Center. A current NHC Fellow, Professor Floyd-Wilson discusses her research on the role of the supernatural and the demonic in Shakespeare's plays and how this connects to larger Elizabethan debates about mind, religion, and causal forces. You can listen here to Floyd-Wilson's interview with Robert Newman, director of the National Humanities Center.

Professor Wolfe Elected Editor of Renaissance Quarterly

Jessica Wolfe (Professor, English and Comparative Literature and Director of UNC's Program in Medieval and Early Modern Studies) has been elected by the Board of the Renaissance Society of America to serve as the next articles editor of Renaissance Quarterly (​). She will begin her first term as editor in January 2018.

Renaissance Quarterly is the leading American journal of Renaissance studies, encouraging connections between different scholarly approaches to bring together material spanning the period from 1300 to 1650 in Western history.

The official journal of the Renaissance Society of America, Renaissance Quarterly presents around twenty articles and around 500 reviews per year, engaging the following disciplines: Americas, art and architecture, book history, classical tradition, comparative literature, digital humanities, emblems, English literature, French literature, Germanic literature, Hebraica, Hispanic literature, history, humanism, Islamic world, Italian literature, legal and political thought, medicine and science, music, Neo-Latin literature, performing arts and theater, philosophy, rhetoric, and women and gender.

Since 1954, Renaissance Quarterly has provided an important forum for articles of original and significant research and interpretation, as well as surveys of the field, forums, and colloquia that benefit the ongoing development of Renaissance scholarship.

A Statement

We, the undersigned faculty and staff in the Department of English & Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, strongly endorse Chancellor Folt’s recently published statements on inclusion and diversity.  Likewise, we emphatically reaffirm University policy on discrimination, academic freedom, and social justice. We also support similar statements from other departments and units on our campus, as well as others from across the nation.

We believe that a liberal arts education in general and the study of literature and writing in particular foster social sensitivity, ethical discernment, professional capability, and more humane and just families and communities.  This is why, like Chancellor Folt, we take this occasion in the wake of recent contentious and potentially divisive national and international political events to reaffirm the University’s humanistic values and to reassure our students that the classes we lead and support will continue to be places where all thoughtful perspectives are valued and all student voices are included.

We are deeply concerned that recent statements and 
actions not only by national and international political leaders, but also by everyday citizens, have regularly targeted non-white and/or marginalized communities such as women, African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinx, recent immigrants, LGBTQ individuals, sexual-assault survivors, the disabled, and both Muslim and Jewish people -- and this list is by no means exhaustive.  Such statements and actions do not accord with University policy.   They threaten the very principles of inclusion, diversity, and academic freedom that Carolina and the Department of English & Comparative Literature hold dear.  We are disturbed in particular by recent reports of hate speech, violence, vandalism, and discrimination within our campus community in the wake of the November 8th, 2016, elections. 
In response, we pledge to continue to uphold the law and University policy by insisting that our classes and community include everyone and do not discriminate against anyone.
Daniel Anderson
William Andrews
GerShun Avilez
David Baker
Gabrielle Calvocoressi
Marc Cohen
James Coleman
Pamela Cooper
Taylor Cowdery
Elyse Crystall
Tyler Curtain
Jane Danielewicz
Maria DeGuzman
Florence Dore
Eric Downing
Pam Durban
Connie Eble
Gregory Flaxman
Mary Floyd-Wilson
Leslie Frost
Stephanie Griest
Karen Griffin
Philip Gura
Michael Gutierrez
Minrose Gwin
Patrick Horn
Susan Irons
Joy Kasson
Randall Kenan
Heidi Kim
Jennifer Larson
April Lawson
Ted Leinbaugh
Hilary Lithgow
John McGowan
David Monje
Jeanne Moskal
Thomas Reinert
Eliza Richards
Courtney Rivard
Ruth Salvaggio
Alan Shapiro
Bland Simpson
Kimberly Stern
Matthew Taylor
Todd Taylor
Jane Thrailkill
Whitney Trettien
Stewart Vaughn
Joseph Viscomi
Daniel Wallace
Rick Warner
Wendy Weber
Ross White
Joe Wittig
Jessica Wolfe

The Department of English & Comparative Literature
UNC Chapel Hill

The Department of English & Comparative Literature, UNC Chapel Hill

William Blake Archive Upgrade

The William Blake Archive. In collaboration with UNC Libraries and ITS Research Computing, the William Blake Archive is launching on 12 December 2016 a complete and transformative redesign of its website. This new site,, retains all of the features of the previous site, which had become so indispensable to Blake scholars, and offers vast improvements, making it easier than ever for educators and scholars to access and study Blake’s inimitable works.


The Blake Archive, one of the pre-eminent digital humanities sites in the world, is a hypermedia archive of Blake's poetry and art that is sponsored by the Library of Congress and supported by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Rochester. Past support came from the Getty Grant Program, the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Archive integrates, for the first time, all of Blake's visual and literary work. It comprises almost 7000 high-resolution digital images of Blake’s illuminated books, paintings, drawings, manuscripts, and engravings drawn from over 45 of the world’s great research libraries and museums.


William Blake Archive Homepage


The redesigned Archive is faster and easier to navigate, is aesthetically more appealing, and offers a more robust search feature. Users may view color corrected digital images of Blake’s works at their true size, and enlarge and rotate these images to examine the text and illustrations in detail. The images are accompanied by diplomatic transcriptions and editors’ notes, as well as illustration descriptions that make it possible to search Blake’s works for visual motifs. The Archive also provides full bibliographic and provenance information for each digital edition it publishes. Though the Archive retains its focus on the material conditions of Blake’s art, presenting images in the context of works and copies, such as The Marriage of Heaven and Hell Copy B, the newly designed site contextualizes each work, copy, and object in a network of relations. Users of the site can view each Blakean object alongside objects in the same copy, objects printed from the same matrix, objects from the same production sequence, and objects with similar designs. This contextualization, which draws on the expertise of the Archive’s editors, enables comparisons across time, medium, and genre, and foregrounds the immense variety and the recurring themes of Blake’s art.  


The Archive was conceived in 1993—long before the term “digital humanities” was coined—by Morris Eaves, Robert N. Essick, and Joseph Viscomi. Developed at the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia, it has been hosted by UNC Libraries since 2006. The Archive, which has published 134 fully searchable and scalable digital editions of Blake’s works in all genres, became the first digital scholarly edition to receive the Modern Language Association’s (MLA) Prize for a Distinguished Scholarly Edition (2003) and the first to receive its Approved Edition seal (2005)—landmarks in the history of the digital humanities. The project’s standards and practices have themselves been the subject of considerable scholarship: there are over 50 chapters, essays, MA theses, and reviews on the Archive, its origins, history, development, and use; see Articles about the Archive in the About the Archive section of the site.  


The Marriage of Heaven and Hell copy I, plate 3, Gallery Mode, with true size images, enlargement, and transcription.


In late 2013, under the leadership of the Archive’s editors, the redesign team began architecting the new site. In early 2014, the team joined with UNC’s Libraries and ITS Research Computing to re-conceptualize the public face of the Archive, using tip-of-technology programming languages and aesthetic practices. With its new back end built on the open source object-relational database system PostgreSQL and the search platform Solr, and its front end composed in the AngularJS framework, fit for dynamic views demanded by the complexities of Blake's works, the Archive will again set the gold standard for digital humanities projects.  


The Archive’s redesign team was headed by co-editor Joseph Viscomi and comprises Consultant on Special Projects (and former Project Manager) Ashley Reed, Managing Editor Joseph Fletcher, and Assistant Editor Michael Fox, who as system architect designed the new front and back end, and contributed programming. Special thanks goes to Frank Yonnetti at DesignHammer for implementing the foundation of the interface. Assistant Project Manager Grant Glass joined the team in 2016. Further development and financial support came from Sarah Michalak, UNC’s University Librarian and Associate Provost, Chris Kielt, Vice Chancellor and CIO, and Mike Barker, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Research Computing, who collaborated with a team from UNC Libraries under Associate University Librarian for Digital Strategies and Information Technology Timothy J. Shearer, to assist the Archive in realizing the new design. The Archive is especially grateful for the work of Nathan Rice, from Research Computing, and Luke Aeschleman, from the Libraries, whose programming and web design assistance were vital to the completion of the redesign.     Morris Eaves, Robert N. Essick, and Joseph Viscomi, editors Joseph Fletcher, managing editor, Michael Fox, assistant editor The William Blake Archive  



Upcoming Events

November 2017

Radiant Cinema: Light, Life & Luminescence 10/10/2017 - 3:00pm to 11/28/2017 - 4:30pm
Radiant Cinema: Light, Life & Luminescence 10/10/2017 - 3:00pm to 11/28/2017 - 4:30pm
Radiant Cinema: Light, Life & Luminescence 10/10/2017 - 3:00pm to 11/28/2017 - 4:30pm
Radiant Cinema: Light, Life & Luminescence 10/10/2017 - 3:00pm to 11/28/2017 - 4:30pm
Radiant Cinema: Light, Life & Luminescence 10/10/2017 - 3:00pm to 11/28/2017 - 4:30pm