Loyola University Chicago

Department of English

Textual Studies and Digital Humanities


Building on our strength in textual scholarship, Loyola's Department of English recently inaugurated an interdisciplinary program in Textual Studies. This initiative provides students with opportunities to participate in conferences and symposia with Loyola faculty and prominent visiting lecturers, to work with faculty on research projects, and to take new courses and perhaps pursue research of their own in this exciting interdisciplinary area.  Beginning in Fall 2011, students will also be able to take courses in the new M.A. program in digital humanities.

Scholarship in Textual Studies investigates original documents, whether manuscript, print, or electronic, and studies the processes of composition, revision, editing, printing, production, distribution, and reception. Interdisciplinary by its very nature, its activities are central to all periods of literary criticism, as well as to disciplines such as philosophy, history, music, theology, and media studies. Today it serves as the foundation of digital humanities--the study of digital texts and media and the application of computing to humanities research.

Growing out of the department's initiative, a multidisciplinary Center for Textual Studies and Digital Humanities has been established in the College of Arts and Sciences, directed by Faculty (English).  It sponsors research and special events, including symposia, lectures, and conferences. See the CTSDH website at http://www.ctsdh.luc.edu for research projects, news and announcements. 

Established with the support of a $50,000 start-up grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and a $20,000 stimulation award from Loyola's Associate Provost for Research and Centers, the Center has recently received a $175,000 award from the National Endowment for the Humanities to complete the Woolf Online project, begun by the late Julia Briggs at De Montfort University’s Centre for Textual Scholarship in 2008. The new project is under the direction of Loyola English professors Pamela Caughie and Peter Shillingsburg with the assistance of Professor Mark Hussey (Pace University). The technical team consists of Professor George Thiruvathukal and Dr. Nicholas Heyward of Loyola’s Center. For more on this project, visit http://www.woolfonline.com/.


 Glover, Jones, Knapp

Sample Courses:

A list is available here.

Featured Faculty Books:


The Meaning of Video Games
by Steven Jones

The Meaning of Video Games (2008), takes a textual studies approach to an increasingly important form of expression in today's culture. The book begins by assuming that video games are meaningful-not just as sociological or economic or cultural evidence, but in their own right, as cultural expressions worthy of scholarly attention. In this way, this book makes a contribution to the study of video games, but it also aims to enrich textual studies. The book explores the ways in which textual studies concepts--authorial intention, textual variability and performance, the paratext, publishing history and the social text--shed light on video games as more than formal systems. It treats video games as cultural forms of expression that are received as they are played, out in the world, where their meanings get made..

Illustrating the Past in Early Modern England: The Representation of History in Printed Books
by James A. Knapp

Short listed for the Royal Historical Society’s Whitfield Prize, Illustrating the Past is a study of the status of visual and verbal media in early modern English representations of the past. It focuses on general attitudes towards visual and verbal representations of history as well as specific illustrated books produced during the period.

Pericles (Arden Shakespeare: Third Series)
by Suzanne Gossett

Gossett offers a full and critical performance history, with an introduction showing how the play's performance history has paralleled the criticism. It then gives an interpretation of this two-generation romance, with its successive male and female central characters, based on a reading 'through the family', and influenced by the feminist and new historicist criticism of the last two decades. The edition integrates cumulative research on Shakespeare's collaborative authorship and the transmission of the text without rewriting the play or ignoring years of emendations.