Summer's Yield Projects from the Summer Graduate Fellowship in Digital Humanities

Anna Waymack

Anna Waymack, a Ph.D. candidate in Cornell's Medieval Studies Program, was selected as a fellow in Olin Library's Summer Graduate Fellowship for Digital Humanities in 2016. As part of that fellowship, Anna developed digital humanities expertise and produced a public website focused on an aspect of her research, Geoffrey Chaucer and the charge of raptus brought forth by Cecily Chaumpaigne.

Project Title: De Raptu Meo

Project Statement:

Medievalists have been among the early adopters of digital humanities, long familiar with shifting between manuscript and print culture. The tools now available allow for easily accessible facsimiles and editions-crucial to my participation in scholarship as a person with a print disability-and unprecedented outreach beyond academia. Digital humanities has allowed me to visualize both texts and audience in new ways, and I can attribute a recently accepted article and another in progress to structure and tools offered by the Summer Graduate Fellowship and Cornell Library support.

As a Chaucerian and instructor, I have had particular difficulty in presenting part of Chaucer's biography to my students: how can I cover highly contentious charges of raptus brought against Chaucer, relevant to his frequent literary explorations of the complexities of consent, without derailing my students from the literature itself? The issue in question revolves around a select few documents generally unavailable to students in translated or transcribed form, and heretofore unavailable as facsimiles of the originals to everyone. The Summer Graduate Fellowship gave me a stipend that covered, among other things, the fees involved in obtaining and publishing a photo of the core document; tutored me on aspects of website hosting and crafting; and focused my thoughts on digital pedagogy through workshops and discussions. I (and others) can now use my site to provide students with as immediate access to the documents as possible, allowing them to reconcile what we know of the episode with Chaucer's writing for themselves.