Martha Nell Smith
|Martha Nell Smith|
|Occupation||literary critic, professor|
Martha Nell Smith is Professor of English and Founding Director of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) at the University of Maryland, College Park. A native of San Angelo, Texas, her numerous print publications include five books, three of them award-winning—Emily Dickinson, A User's Guide (2012); Companion to Emily Dickinson (2008), coedited with Mary Loeffelholz; Open Me Carefully: Emily Dickinson’s Intimate Letters to Susan Dickinson (1998), coauthored with Ellen Louise Hart; Comic Power in Emily Dickinson (1993), coauthored with Cristanne Miller and Suzanne Juhasz; Rowing in Eden: Rereading Emily Dickinson (1992)—and more than 40 articles and essays in American Literature, Studies in the Literary Imagination, South Atlantic Quarterly, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Profils Americains, San Jose Studies, The Emily Dickinson Journal, ESQ, and A Companion to Digital Humanities.
Smith is the recipient of numerous awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), the Mellon Foundation, and the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) for her work on Dickinson, American literary history, and in new media, Smith is also Coordinator and Executive Editor of the Dickinson Electronic Archives  projects at the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH) at the University of Virginia. With Lara Vetter, Smith is editor of Emily Dickinson’s Correspondence: A Born-Digital Textual Inquiry (2008) from the Mellon-sponsored Rotunda New Digital Scholarship, University of Virginia Press. Smith serves on the Advisory Board for the Houghton Library/Harvard University Press Emily Dickinson Archive (forthcoming 2013), which "seeks to make Dickinson’s manuscripts available in open access, around the world, paired with transcriptions and other resources." In 2009, for outstanding scholarly achievement and innovative leadership in which diversity inheres in any definition of excellence, Livingston College at Rutgers University awarded Smith its Distinguished Alumni Award 2009, the highest honor that college bestows upon its former students. At the University of Maryland, Smith has been chosen as a Distinguished Scholar-Teacher 2010-2011 for her groundbreaking work in the study of Emily Dickinson, American poetry, feminist and queer criticism and theory, and innovations in scholarly publishing. In 2011, Smith was named an ADVANCE Professor as part of a NSF-funded program designed to advance women, transform the university, and invest in a culture of inclusive excellence. On May 4, 2011, Smith was elected Chair-Elect of the University of Maryland Senate , and on May 3, 2012 became Chair of the University of Maryland Senate  and served in that capacity for the usual full-year term until May 2013.
With teams at the University of Illinois, University of Virginia, University of Nebraska, University of Alberta, and Northwestern University, Smith worked on two interrelated Mellon-sponsored data mining and visualization initiatives, NORA and MONK (Metadata Offer New Knowledge; http://www.monkproject.org/). Smith also serves on the editorial board and steering committee of NINES (Networked Interface for Nineteenth-Century Electronic Scholarship; http://www.nines.org/) and is on numerous advisory boards of digital literary projects such as The Poetess Archive and Digital Dickens.
Smith served on the Executive Council of the Association for Computers in the Humanities (ACH) and from 2006-2008 co-chaired the Modern Language Association (MLA)’s Committee on Scholarly Editions (CSE). She is a founding member of the Emily Dickinson International Society (EDIS)  and serves on the EDIS Board. In July 2011, she became Vice President of EDIS, and in August 2013 became President.
Rowing in Eden: Rereading Emily Dickinson. A revaluation of the poet’s “publication” of her work. U of Texas Press, 1992. Honorable Mention, 1993, Hans Rosenhaupt Memorial Book Award, given biennially by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation for a Distinguished First Book Published in the Humanities. Excerpt reprinted in Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar, eds., Feminist Literary Theory and Criticism: A Norton Reader (W.W. Norton 2007).
Comic Power in Emily Dickinson. Coauthored with Prof. Suzanne Juhasz, Univ. of Colorado, and Prof. Cristanne Miller, Chair, Department of English, University at Buffalo, SUNY. U of Texas Press, 1993. Best Books of 1993, Choice. Smith, “The Poet as Cartoonist” rpt. in New Century Views of Emily Dickinson, ed. Judith Farr. Prentice Hall, 1996.
Open Me Carefully: Emily Dickinson’s Intimate Letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson. An editorial, critical, and biographical study of the poet’s most prolific correspondence (essays by Martha Nell Smith, notes and texts coedited with Ellen Louise Hart, Univ. of California at Santa Cruz). Paris Press, 1998; Second edition published May 2005. Selected notices/reviews/interviews: “Two Belles of Amherst,” New York Times Book Review (December 13, 1998); Featured book, CNN.com (December 15, 1998); Interview, “To the Best of Our Knowledge,” (WPR, December 20, 1998); Valentine’s Week Choice, Washingtonpost.com (February 9, 1999); American Library Association’s Notable Books List 1999; Reviewed as “ubiquitous and influential” in New York Review of Books (April 11, 1999); “a must for American literature scholars and students at all levels,” Choice (1998); “illuminate[s] the inseparability of female creativity and profound relationships among women” in The Women’s Review of Books (November 1999).
Companion to Emily Dickinson. Coedited with Mary Loeffelholz. Blackwell Publishers, 2008. 523 pp. "The essays show the breadth, depth, and vitality of current scholarship in Dickinson studies. Indexed and selectively illustrated with black and white photographs, this volume merits a place alongside An Emily Dickinson Encyclopedia and The Emily Dickinson Handbook, but is unique in offering readers the benefits of digital collaboration.” (Emily Dickinson International Society Bulletin, Fall 2008)
Emily Dickinson: A User’s Guide (56,000 words). Wiley-Blackwell Publishers, forthcoming 2014. An introduction to the poet, her writings, and their receptions. A brief excerpt from this new book appeared at the end of 2012: “A New Daguerreotype of Emily Dickinson?” Emily Dickinson International Society Bulletin 24.2 (November/December 2012), 1, 4-5.
Emily Dickinson’s Correspondences: A Born-Digital Textual Inquiry. Coedited with Lara Vetter, with Ellen Louise Hart as consulting editor. A TEI (Text Encoding Initiative)-conformant XML interactive edition. University of Virginia Press, Rotunda New Digital Scholarship, December 2008. Featured at the Modern Language Association (MLA) Conference 2008 by the Poetry Executive Division.
Dickinson Electronic Archives. Executive Editor and Coordinator. Charlottesville: Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH), University of Virginia. Online. . Available: 1995 to the present. Subject of New York Times Magazine cover story (November 29, 1998). Research archive and testbed of articles responding to all of Dickinson’s writings to 99 or more correspondents, and critiquing markup strategies for digital editions, with textual, historical, and biographical notes. Produced with guest coeditors and developed with assistance from IATH (1994 to the present), and the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH; 1999 to the present).
“Emily Dickinson Writing a Poem” (with Lara Vetter), “Dickinson, Cartoonist”, “The Letter-Poem, a Dickinson Genre”, “Mutilations: What has been erased, inked over, cut away?” (with Jarom McDonald), “The Civil War, Class, and the Dickinsons: Emily Dickinson’s Confederate Relations” are digital articles, samplers of born-digital critical inquiry. Online. . Available: 1996 to the present.
WRITINGS BY SUSAN DICKINSON. Coedited with Laura Lauth and Lara Vetter. A critical edition of previously unpublished papers. Online. Available: 1997 to the present.
TITANIC OPERAS: A Poets’ Corner of Contemporary Responses to Dickinson’s Legacy. Coedited with Laura Lauth. A series of essays/exchanges on the influence of Dickinson’s work in collaboration with remarks by Adrienne Rich, Ruth Stone, Susan Howe, Amy Clampitt, Alicia Ostriker, Sandra Gilbert, Gwendolyn Brooks, Kathleen Fraser, Sharon Olds, Denise Levertov, Phillis Levin, Audre Lorde, Annie Finch, Fran Adler, Jan Freeman, Wendy Barker, and others. Online. Available: 1997 to the present.
NED’S NOTEBOOK: Transcriptions of Dickinson Poetry. Consultant to first author Lara Vetter. A critical edition of the notebook of Emily Dickinson’s nephew working toward a volume featuring poems by Emily and poems by Susan Dickinson. Online. Available: 2000 to the present.
THE CLASSROOM ELECTRIC: DICKINSON, WHITMAN, & AMERICAN CULTURE. A FIPSE-sponsored project co-directed with Prof. Kenneth M. Price, University of Nebraska. Online. Available: 1998 to the present.