nowvisbp at jmu dot edu

Dean of Libraries, Chief Academic Technology Officer, and Professor of English,
James Madison University

Moody Hall 213c / MSC 1703
90 Bluestone Drive, Harrisonburg, VA 22807


Published Work

Selected Presentations

Selected Grants (PI/co-PI only)

Additional Leadership and Service

Selected Digital Projects

  • scholarly toolset: Neatline. (Project Director: a set of Omeka plug-ins for spatial annotation, digital story-telling, and geo-temporal interpretation of archival or museum collections)
  • community forum: Digital Humanities Questions and Answers. Co-creator and host.
  • scholarly aggregation and toolset: NINES: the Networked Infrastructure for Nineteenth-Century Electronic Scholarship. (ca. 2004-2006). I conceived and designed the Collex software that powers this project, and later managed its implementation. I also contributed to design and implementation of NINES tools Juxta (for textual collation) and the Ivanhoe Game (for experimentation and play). From 2007-2012 I served as Senior Advisor and executive council member for NINES.
  • hypermedia archive: The Complete Writings and Pictures of Dante Gabriel Rossetti: A Hypermedia Research Archive, IATH (1997-2000, 2003-04). As Design Editor, I contributed to content modelling and markup, and was sole creator of the interface and searching mechanisms for the first publication of Jerome McGann’s groundbreaking hypermedia archive. (See also a 1998 Demonstration Model of the Rossetti Archive.) Later, I returned to Rossetti after its XML/XSLT conversion to design the present interface.
  • scholarly toolset: Collex. (Creator and former project director. Collex is the precursor to Project Blacklight.)
  • scholarly tool: Temporal Modelling. (co-creator, former project manager/Design Architect)
  • scholarly tools: the Ivanhoe Game and Juxta. (former designer/Design Consultant)
  • hypertext: “Dreaming DeQuincey.” (designer) An experimental, interpretive hypertext using the texts of Thomas DeQuincey’s Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, Suspiria de Profundis, and The English Mail-Coach. With an Authors Note. (1997)
  • hypermedia archive: “A Hypermedia Guide to the Life and Poetic Works of John Keats.” (editor) This resource was, at the time of its creation, the sole set of pages about the poet John Keats available on the Web. See a 1997 snapshot from the Internet Archive.

Key Positions Summary

Employment History

  • current employment:
    • I presently serve as Dean of Libraries and Professor of English at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
  • past employment:
    • From 2015-2019, I directed the Digital Library Federation program at CLIR and served as Research Associate Professor of Digital Humanities in the English Department at UVa. Before joining the University of Virginia Library as Director of Digital Research and Scholarship (2007-2015) and Special Advisor to the Provost (2013-2015), I was employed on the professional research staff at UVa, where I collaborated with Dr. Jerome McGann and other colleagues on the Rossetti, Juxta, and NINES/Collex projects.
    • Associate Director, Scholarly Communication Institute (a Mellon-funded thinktank for strategies to advance scholarship in the context of the digital revolution.) 2009-2013, a role held concurrently with my UVa Library position.
    • Between 2004 and 2007, I held general faculty positions with increasing responsibility: post-doctoral fellow, Research Associate, and Research Scientist in Media Studies at the University of Virginia.
  • student and postdoctoral work:
    • Project Manager and Design Architect, Temporal Modelling Project. UVA SpecLab. An innovative timeline software project funded by a grant from the Intel Corporation to PI Johanna Drucker. I was responsible for aspects of the development process, including coordinating research and consultation with academics, technical conceptualization, testing, grant management, and supervision/collaboration with contracted artists and programmers. (2001-2003)
    • Co-Director (with John Unsworth): Is Humanities Computing An Academic Discipline? An Interdisciplinary Faculty/Graduate Student Seminar (1999-2000)
    • Design Editor, Dante Gabriel Rossetti Archive, Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities. Electronic text encoding and programming, research and bibliographic work. Archive structuring and interface design. I have also served as Senior Research Assistant and Project Manager (with a staff of six) at the Rossetti Archive. (1997-2001)
    • Instructor, University of Virginia English and Media Studies Departments. See “teaching experience,” below. (1997-2003)
    • Adjunct Publications Editor, University of Virginia Division of Continuing Education. Writing and editing of publications meant for resident and adjunct instructors employed by the Division. I have also served as a graduate research assistant in the Dean’s Office for Continuing Education. (1996-1997)
    • Electronic Texts Assistant, University of Virginia Special Collections Department (Electronic Center pilot program). Assisted in creation of an on-line file of manuscript guides. (1994-95)
    • Archaeological Intern, West Virginia Division of Culture and History and State Historic Preservation Office. Archaeological mapping, lab work, and on-site investigation. (summers, 1993-4).
    • Student Manuscripts Processor/Archivist, University of Virginia Special Collections Department. Processed, researched, and organized manuscripts collections from the 16th to the 20th centuries. Archived and catalogued manuscripts and rare books. (1991-95).
  • teaching experience:
    • workshops/inservice training:
      • various regular and one-off workshops, courses, and consultations in digital tools, research methods, DH center administration, and pedagogical approaches, 2000-present.
      • Digital Humanities for Directors and Deans. Digital Humanities Summer Institute, University of Victoria, BC. (with Harold Short, John Unsworth, and Ray Siemens). Summers 2022-2024.
      • Ethical Reasoning in Action: the 8 Key Questions. Workshops for incoming JMU students, 2019-present.
      • Community Archives and Digital Cultural Memory. Week-long intensive Rare Book School course, Summers 2019-present.
      • Digitizing the Historical Record. Week-long intensive Rare Book School course, in collaboration with Andrew Stauffer. Summers 2011-present.
      • “Using Neatline.” Invited workshop, University of Victoria, 2013.
      • “Project Management.” Invited “Getting Started in the Digital Humanities” workshops, DH Commons at the Modern Language Association Convention, 2012 and 2013.
      • Hacking Wearables and E-Textiles. Invited workshop, with Bill Turkel. Great Lakes THATCamp, 2010.
      • “Digital Scholarship 101.” Invited Pre-conference workshop, Spotlight on Innovation, James Madison University 2009.
      • “Text and Image Encoding,” Royal Holloway College, University of London. Week-long class in markup and digital scholarship given in the summer of 2000.
    • instructor of record, University of Virginia:
      • Mellon Graduate Seminar (with Chad Wellmon): Composing the Humanities. (2014-15).
      • MDST 345: Game Design Workshop (2003) [note: cache. links operational on Toolkit site.]
      • MDST 344: Culture and Aesthetics of Digital Games (2002) [note: cache. links operational on Toolkit site.]
      • MDST 352: Material Textuality and the History of the Book (Biblioludica, a “book history mystery”) (2002)
      • ENWR 110 Accelerated Intro to Academic Writing (Themed Seminar: “Richard III”) (2001)
      • ENLT 255 The Text and the Book (a course in bibliography and textual studies) (2000)
      • ENWR 110 Accelerated Intro to Academic Writing (Themed Seminar: Jack the Ripper”) (2000)
      • ENLT 201M Intro to Literary Study (Prerequisite course for students majoring in English) (1999)
      • ENWR 101 Introduction to Academic Writing (Themed Seminar: “Virtual Realities”) (twice: 1998 and 1999)
      • ENSP 106 Rhetoric and Public Speaking (twice: 1997 and 1998)
    • teaching assistant and distance learning site facilitator:
      • UTK/UVA Program in Library Science (1996-1998) University of Virginia
    • high school teacher:
      • Language Arts, Grades 10 and 12, East Forsyth High School, Winston-Salem, NC (1995-1996)
    • tutor:
      • Families Learning Together Program, Johnson Elementary School, Charlottesville, Virginia ESL teaching and GED preparation for low-income and emigrant adults (1999-2001)
      • English as a Second Language, UVA Madison House Volunteer Program Charlottesville High School, Charlottesville, Virginia (1994-1995)

Teaching/Research Interests

  • dissertation: Speculative Computing: Instruments for Interpretive Scholarship. Theorized the building and use of electronic tools and environments for humanities research, teaching, and interpretation. Included case studies on Ramon Llull’s medieval Ars Magna and current digital humanities projects such as Temporal Modelling, the Ivanhoe Game, and the Rossetti Hypermedia Archive.
  • areas of expertise:
    • digital libraries and academic/research library administration
    • nonprofit organization leadership
    • digital humanities administration, project management, and online collaborative research.
    • ars combinatoria, game models, and ludic and algorithmic strategies for research and interpretation.
    • electronic editing, humanities computing, and information visualization (particularly in relation to geo-temporal visualization of humanities data).
    • bibliography, textual criticism, and print & material culture.
    • interface design and digital & generative aesthetics.

Continuing Education

  • Crucial Conversations training. (upcoming at James Madison University), 2023.
  • Prosci Certified Change Practitioner. Change Management certification program, 2023.
  • “600 Years of Botanical Illustration,” Rare Book School course, Oak Spring Garden Foundation. 2023.
  • Ethical Reasoning in Action training. James Madison University, 2019, 2022.

Selected Interviews and Press

Fellowships and Awards

  • See “Selected Grants” above for recent major awards.
  • Distinguished Presidential Fellowship, Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) (2013-2015; 2019)
  • Lansdowne Visiting Scholar, University of Victoria (2013)
  • NINES postdoctoral fellowship, funded by the Mellon Foundation (with Jerome McGann, 2004-2005)
  • Intel Fellowship in Media Studies (2001-2002, with work done on Temporal Modelling in SpecLab)
  • International Game Developers Association inaugural student scholarship (2002)
  • Delmas Foundation funding in support of “Biblioludica” an innovative approach to the teaching of book history (in partnership with Johanna Drucker, 2001)
  • Book Collector’s Award, Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia (for a collection of American editions of Victorian poets, 1998)
  • University of Virginia Graduate AEP Fellowship (1996-2001)
  • Wake Forest University Master Teaching Fellowship (1995-96)
  • Phi Beta Kappa election (1995) and Dean’s List (1991-95)
  • Departmental Honors Award in Archaeology (1995)
  • University of Virginia Distinguished Majors Program: Highest Honors/Highest Distinction (1995)
  • University of Virginia Wagenheim Scholarship in English (1994-95)
  • West Virginia Governor’s Internship Awards (summers 1993-94)


  • natural: English and German, with reading/writing knowledge of French and Scottish Gaelic
  • unnatural: strong knowledge of various text encoding systems, metadata schemas, and markup languages; merely dangerous knowledge of assorted scripting, stylesheet, and programming languages