• Price Lab Alum Zain Mian Takes Faculty Position at the University of Toronto

    “The Price Mellon Fellowship helped me approach [postcolonial literature] at a scale and in ways that I had not thought possible.”

    We were thrilled to hear from our former summer grad fellow Zain Mian that he will begin a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor of Urdu Language, Literature, and Performance at the University of Toronto in July 2023.  Zain will be overseeing the development of Urdu literary studies and language teaching at the university.  He will hold a joint appointment in the English and Language Studies departments, as well an appointment to the Graduate Group in the Center for Comparative Literature. He will also be affiliated with the Center for South Asian Civilizations. 

    As a 2020 Price Mellon Graduate Fellow, Zain undertook a computational study of the postcolonial literary canon. His project aimed to explore the boundaries of the postcolonial canon by comparing the prominence of  certain literary works on Goodreads with the likelihood of their appearance on PhD Comprehensive Exams lists. As Zain describes the experience, “Working with the Price Lab, I developed a new digital skillset that sharpened my understanding of literary institutions and canon formation. The Price Mellon Fellowship helped me approach my topic at a scale and in ways I had not previously thought possible. I found it invaluable for the practical skills I developed and the new perspectives I gained on my work.”

    Congratulations to Zain from the Price Lab staff! 

  • DH Summer Fellow May Hathaway's Letterboxd Project

    Price Lab DH Summer Fellow May Hathaway working on a data visualization with DH Specialist J. D. Porter.

    May Hathaway, a rising sophomore studying English, Linguistics, and Computer Science, spent this summer as a Mellon Undergraduate Fellow at the Price Lab. As a  research assistant on Dr. Jim English and Dr. J. D. Porter’s Literary Eclecticism project, May developed her own project to study film ratings and user behavior on the popular Letterboxd social movie-review site. By applying the web-scraping skills she learned on the Eclecticism project, May wrote Python scripts to harvest user data from the Letterboxd website, and then created data visualizations with Tableau.

    “My project has focused particularly on the distinction between ‘influencers’ and regular users,” explains May. “I'm interested in how their user ratings may conform to a bell curve, a J-curve, or other common shape as visualized on their profile page. Additionally, my project has shed some light on the different ways users use Letterboxd's rating function; for example, some users may only rate their 5-star movies or may write many reviews but not rate any movies at all. Through my project, I've been able to identify common rating curve patterns and rating differences between influencers and regular users.”

    May plans to continue working with Jim and J.D. this fall to refine her work and prepare to submit for publication in the spring.

    Data visualizations from May Hathaway’s Letterboxd research.

  • Angelina Eimannsberger awarded the Arthur M. Daemmrich and Alfred Guenther Memorial Prize

    Congratulations are in order for Mellon Middoctoral Fellow Angelina Eimannsberger (Comparative Literature) who has been selected by the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures and the Comp

    Congratulations are in order for Mellon Middoctoral Fellow Angelina Eimannsberger (Comparative Literature) who has been selected by the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures and the Comparative Literature and Literary Theory Program to receive the Arthur M. Daemmrich and Alfred Guenther Memorial Prize in the amount of $2,500 for her outstanding achievements in Comparative Literature Studies.

    Professor Emeritus Horst Daemmrich (University of Pennsylvania) and Professor Emerita Ingrid Daemmrich (Drexel University) established the Daemmrich-Guenther Memorial Prize in honor and in memory of their respective fathers.

  • ANNOUNCEMENT: Summer Support for Digital Projects

    ANNOUNCEMENT: Summer Support for Digital Projects

    ANNOUNCEMENT: Summer Support for Digital Projects

    APPLICATIONS WELCOME FROM: Faculty, Graduate Students, and Research Staff



    The Price Lab and Penn Libraries are now accepting proposals for the Summer 2022 Project Development Sprint, a student-centered program designed to provide support for data-driven research and scholarship in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. Successful applicants to the program will be provided with access to our team of fully-funded student developers, working under the guidance of the Price Lab’s Digital Humanities Specialists and the Libraries’ Research Data and Digital Scholarship team, assigned to their projects over the course of the summer.


    The goals of this program are to:

    1. provide an opportunity for SAS faculty, students, and staff to engage in the production of original digital research and scholarship. 

    2. provide students with transferable technical skills and experience in collaborative project building; 

    3. build capacity for experimental DH work at Penn.


    While we are open to applications that engage any number of digital modalities, we have particular expertise in:

    • text and data mining

    • network visualization and analysis

    • data analysis and visualization

    • natural language processing 

    • public scholarship

    • digital exhibits and publications 

    • visual design

    • web mapping


    To see examples of projects we have supported in the past, visit the Projects At Price Lab page and the Library’s RDDS projects page.


    We are committed to diversity and inclusion in collections, publications, and collaborations. This means, in part, prioritizing underrepresented and unjustly marginalized voices and perspectives. In your application, you will be asked to explain how your project will help us meet this commitment.


    Applications are welcome from faculty, research staff or graduate students from the School of Arts & Sciences, including those collaborating with others outside the School. Graduate Student applicants must name their faculty advisor and include that faculty member's contact information as part of their application.

    To discuss the suitability of your project for this program, please schedule a pre-proposal consultation with Stewart Varner, Managing Director of the Price Lab (

  • Cut Copy Paste book cover and picture of Dr. Whitney Trettien

    Cut/Copy/Paste: Fragments from the History of Bookwork: New book from Whitney Trettien (Penn English) is out now

    Cut/Copy/Paste: Fragments from the History of Bookwork

    University of Minnesota Press


    Cut/Copy/Paste: Fragments from the History of Bookwork

    University of Minnesota Press


    In Cut/Copy/Paste, Whitney Trettien journeys to the fringes of the London print trade to uncover makerspaces and collaboratories where paper media were cut up and reassembled into radical, bespoke publications. Bringing these long-forgotten objects back to life through hand-curated digital resources, Trettien shows how early experimental book hacks speak to the contemporary conditions of digital scholarship and publishing. As a mixed-media artifact itself, Cut/Copy/Paste enacts for readers what Trettien argues: that digital forms have the potential to decenter patriarchal histories of print.


    From the religious household of Little Gidding—whose biblical concordances and manuscripts exemplify protofeminist media innovation—to the queer poetic assemblages of Edward Benlowes and the fragment albums of former shoemaker John Bagford, Cut/Copy/Paste demonstrates history’s relevance to our understanding of current media. Tracing the lives and afterlives of amateur “bookwork,” Trettien creates a method for identifying and comprehending hybrid objects that resist familiar bibliographic and literary categories. In the process, she bears witness to the deep history of radical publishing with fragments and found materials.


    With many of Cut/Copy/Paste’s digital resources left thrillingly open for additions and revisions, this book reimagines our ideas of publication while fostering a spirit of generosity and inclusivity. An open invitation to cut, copy, and paste different histories, it is an inspiration for students of publishing or the digital humanities, as well as anyone interested in the past, present, and future of creativity.