We are delighted to announce that, from 1 October 2013, Dr Elizabeth Williamson will be joining Cultures of Knowledge as our brand new Digital Project Manager, overseeing all aspects of our activities on a day-to-day basis, with particular reference to the ongoing development and population of Early Modern Letters Online. She succeeds Dr James Brown, who after four years with us will be taking up a research post at the University of Sheffield on the new AHRC/ESRC project Intoxicants and Early Modernity: England, 1570-1740.
Lizzy brings to the job a wealth of recent experience and expertise in an impressive range of relevant areas, including the digital humanities, project coordination, historical network studies, academic social media, event management, early modern correspondence, and the history of information exchange. She completed her PhD in 2012 on the gathering, transmission, and preservation of political knowledge in Elizabethan England at the UK’s first major centre for collaborative, interdisciplinary research in this field, the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters (where she remains an Associate). She is especially interested in the significance of early modern embassies, in diplomatic epistolary corpora as transmitters of information, in the archival afterlives of letters, and in the meanings and functions of contemporary letter-books.
No stranger to collective initiatives in the digital humanities, Lizzy has also worked on The Oxford Edition of the Sermons of John Donne (where she converted transcriptions into TEI-compliant XML for online presentation); and at CELL she was a Research Assistant on The Diplomatic Correspondence of Thomas Bodley, 1585-1597 (which she co-presented yesterday at Early Modern Texts: Digital Methods and Methodologies). More recently, she has been Facilitator of the wonderful Leverhulme-funded network News Networks in Early Modern Europe, maintaining its popular blog, and organising its concluding international conference in 2013 (check out the Storify). An aficionado of social media, she can be followed on Twitter @earlymodernpost, and also writes regularly on her personal blog of the same name.
As all these activities testify, Lizzy is passionate about communication – old and new; scribal, print, and digital – and about the opportunities for open access digital platforms to serve the needs of scholars and repositories, teachers and students across this huge field. In short, hers is a wonderfully apposite combination of accomplishments, aptitudes, and aspirations, and we are delighted to have found such a splendidly equipped person to fill this key post. Welcome Lizzy!