J. Gerald Kennedy, (Director), Boyd Professor of English at Louisiana State University, author or editor of seven books on Poe, and former president of the international Poe Studies Association, will coordinate and direct the project, working closely with the Project Manager (PM) to provide quality control over the entire project and to ensure steady progress through the two major phases. In addition, Kennedy will communicate with other universities and project directors involved in digitizing antebellum American print culture.

Christopher Branton, (Project Manager), CCT IT Consultant and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Louisiana State University. Branton will be responsible for the project schedule and workflow, supervise the day-to-day activities of the GAs, and oversee the technical aspects of the project.

Lauren Coats, (Co-Director), Assistant Professor of English at Louisiana State University specializes in early American literature and 19th-century U.S. literature, will focus on the value of the metadata augmentations, ensuring scholarly integrity while exploring the ability of the metadata enhancements to work with other digital systems, from other archives to social networks. She is the editor of the digital Archive Journal.

Gina Costello, Head of Digital Services and Associate Librarian at LSU Libraries is author and director of three successful NEH National Digital Newspaper Program grants since 2009. She serves as the Co-director of the NEH-funded “Free People of Color in Louisiana: Revealing an Unknown Past” and has co-directed two Louisiana Board of Regents grants since 2006. Costello manages the LSU Libraries Digital Lab and will supervise the digitization work.

Frederick Ostrenko, Assistant Professor jointly appointed in the School of Art and Center for Computation & Technology at Louisiana State University, will be responsible for designing the project’s website and blog. He will also contribute to creating the interface that will allow the works in “Poe’s Magazines” to be read alongside tools that augment the reading experience.

Jason Peak, a programmer with Louisiana State University’s learning management system (LMS) team, who also has a background in English, will be responsible for automatic text processing workflows, establishing the repository software and for building standards-based web services for consumption by the project website and peer repositories. He will also assist, as needed, in systems administration and metadata policy definition.

Aaron Sheehan-Dean, Ph.D., Fred C. Frey Professor of Southern Studies, Department of History, Louisiana State University. He is the author of Why Confederates Fought: Family and Nation in Civil War Virginia, the Concise Historical Atlas of the U.S. Civil War, and the editor of several books. Sheehan-Dean teaches courses on nineteenth-century U.S. history, the Civil War and Reconstruction, and Southern History. He worked on the University of Virginia’s Valley of the Shadow project and will be the working group consultant on digital historical materials.

Jordan Von Cannon, (Assistant Project Manager), English Ph.D. candidate at LSU.  She has worked on the project since 2011, from its development stage through to its current iteration.  Her dissertation explores narratives of female development in the 19th-century American city novel, and her research interests include the digital  humanities, U.S. women’s writing, narrative theory, and women’s and gender studies.

David Brokaw is a Ph.D. candidate at LSU in U.S. cultural history and a contributing member of Poe’s Republic of Letters since 2012. He has presented research on black abolitionist literature, print culture’s influence on mental health reform, and the relationship between the Cold War and developments in TV.  He is currently working on a cultural history of the 1950s and 60s using The Twilight Zone.

Caleb Doan, English Ph.D. student at LSU.  He specializes in early and 19th-century American literature and received his B.A. in 2012 from the University of Virginia.  His research interests include literature’s role in the creation and propulsion of U.S. nationalism, Atlantic and postcolonial readings of early American and antebellum American works, and Edgar Allan Poe.  He has served as a graduate assistant on the project since 2013 where he helps to create the cultural, historical, and biographical content for the issue previews.

Jenna Steward is a Master’s student in the School of Library and Information Science at Louisiana State University. She holds a BA and MA in history from Louisiana Tech University, where she studied the intersections of race and gender in the twentieth century, and the influence of these intersections on the civil rights movement in North Louisiana. She has worked on the Poe’s Magazines project since 2012 and assists in the textual markup and encoding of all magazine issues.

Michael Von Cannon, English Ph.D. candidate at LSU.  Under the direction of J. Gerald Kennedy, he is completing a dissertation on literary modernism, the First World War, and fictive communities.  Though an avowed modernist, he has also published on Poe, antebellum magazine illustrations, and daguerreotypy; and, since 2012, he has worked on the project’s historical, cultural, and biographical content.


Advisory Board

Edward Benoit III, Assistant Professor, School of Library and Information Science, Louisiana State University. Benoit’s dissertation research on social tagging within digital collections helps with integrating user-generated information into the project. His archival expertise also assists with electronic documentation and standards.

Andrew Burstein, Ph.D., Charles Phelps Manship Professor, Department of History, Louisiana State University. A prolific authority on the early American republic, Burstein provides valuable help in the augmentation phase of the project given his extensive scholarship on major figures of antebellum America, including a recent biography of Washington Irving.

Nancy Isenberg, Ph.D., Professor, Department of History, Louisiana State University. Co- author of the Random House book Madison and Jefferson, Isenberg lends her considerable knowledge of antebellum American culture to the project and assists with the development of historical and cultural threads.

Jessica Lacher-Feldman, Head of Special Collections at Louisiana State University.  Lacher-Feldman served as project manager for Publishers’ Bindings Online, 1815-1930: The Art of Books (  She helps the staff particularly through her knowledge of and experience with digital humanities projects, archives, and library work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>