2016 Research Projects

  1. Literature and Seditious Libel, 1660-1830 (supervisor: Prof. Thomas Keymer)

    This project involves background research for an Oxford UP monograph about literature and political censorship in the long eighteenth century (working title: Poetics of the Pillory: English Literature and Seditious Libel 1660-1830). Students will be assigned case studies involving publications that elicited one form or another of official retribution. The students will work with a range of primary sources including holdings in the Fisher Rare Book Library, full-text databases of early printed books, serials and newspapers, and in most cases digitized versions of manuscript material. Training will be provided in the use of these resources and interpretation of the findings.


  2. Theatre as Method in Surveillance Research (supervisor: Prof. David Phillips)

    We can think of surveillance as the creation of data from everyday activities, and as the analysis and application of that data to structure and organize those very activities. Theatre has been used as a research method in the social sciences and humanities to evoke embodied ways of knowing. This project uses theatrical methods, including improvisation and games, to explore surveillance. For example, how are data made to mean? What are the pleasures of classification and objectification? Or, conversely, of being strategically unclassified and queer? How can surveillance be generative and liberatory? Some performance background is helpful; a game attitude is essential.


  3. Editing the Fiction of John Galt (supervisor: Prof. Angela Esterhammer)

    This project lays the groundwork for a multi-volume edition of selected works of fiction and essays by the Scottish-Canadian writer John Galt (1779-1839). Students will work with first editions in the Fisher Rare Book Library and on-line editions. They will be involved in editing, proof-reading, and annotating, as well as archival research on contextualizing materials at University of Toronto Libraries, the Archives of Ontario, and the University of Guelph. Students will be trained to work with nineteenth-century printed texts and with digital platforms and databases.


  4. Mario Pratesi (1842-1921): The Unpublished Notebooks (supervisor: Prof. Anne Urbancic)

    Fourteen commonplace notebooks kept by Tuscan writer Mario Pratesi were recently found in Toronto. Like his letters, previously transcribed by University of Toronto students, these notebooks hold numerous clues about Pratesi’s attitudes to writing and literature, and about his life and his social environment. Students will help transcribe the pages of the notebooks, now housed in the Special Collections of Pratt Library. Their work on these rare primary source documents will be enhanced by investigating other materials to contextualize and interpret Pratesi’s place in the rapidly changing world of Italy in the late 1800s. A basic knowledge of Italian is recommended for this project.




Current Students