Research Apprenticeships

2021 Research Opportunities

To apply for one of these research apprenticeships please fill out an application and return it to or 231 Umrath Hall.

Graphic Novel First Year Seminar

Professor of Italian seeks a research assistant to help draft the syllabus for a first year seminar built around the graphic novel, The Hunting Accident. The RA will be tasked with identifying readings to complement the primary text; these will include historical, philosophical, and literary texts. Other tasks will include research on high-profile crimes in St. Louis. No language skills besides English are necessary. 2-4 hours per week.

Love in Religion, Ethics, and Political Thought

Assistance needed for work on a book on Love in Time, which proposes a view of love for religious, ethical, and political thought. The project spans different literatures in philosophy, critical theory, religious thought, literary theory, and art criticism. The research assistant will be asked to conduct literature reviews for sources concerning the central interlocutors in the text, and to extract formal bibliographies and citations for the textsunder discussion. The R.A. may also be asked to assist with light editorial work necessary for preparing manuscripts for submission.  The work requires strong organizational skills and research skills; no foreign languages required. Roughly 4 hours per week.

Black Kings and Queens in the Festive Practices of Colonial Mexico

Assistance needed for a book on black kings and queens in the festive practices of colonial Mexico City, 1539-1640. The tasks will include work on the bibliography and index, along with some reference-checking. The workload would be 2-4 hours a week. 

Mahler in America

This is a project exploring the composer and conductor Gustav Mahler during his years at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, examining how his late musical compositions and performance repertoire interfaced with the international literary and art markets at this time. I am looking for a research assistant to put together a list of sources for me of published work on Mahler’s New York years (using the library databases). The student could also use newspaper databases to research and compile reviews of Mahler’s performances and interviews he gave during his time in New York. German proficiency ideal, but not required. 2-4 hours a week.

Queer Theory and Modernism

Undergraduate research assistant sought for remote work on a developing project about modernist studies, queer theory, and digital humanities. No experience in these scholarly fields is required, but some familiarity with navigating journals and databases through our library website is recommended. Student should be comfortable working with Excel, meeting deadlines, and asking questions. All other skills will be developed over the course of the semester. Approximately 4 hours/week, with one biweekly meeting via Zoom. Possibility to continue work for multiple semesters.

Tennessee Williams Project

Professor of Drama seeks assistant for a project focused on American playwright Tennessee Williams, entitled The Plastic Theatre of Tennessee Williams: Expressionist Drama and the Visual Arts. Assistant will help with organization and scheduling; locating materials in various collections; arrange for permissions and reproductions of paintings and photographic materials; assist with compilation of historical and bibliographical materials. Approximately 4 hours per week, including weekly meetings.

History of Galen of Pergamum

Professor of Classics seeks an assistant for compiling a database of case histories in the written corpus of Galen of Pergamum (2nd century CE). Working from an existing index, the assistant will produce a short narrative for each of  histories (ca. 200) and compile them into a master document.

The undergraduate assistant must have at least a working knowledge of ancient Greek. Some Latin would be desirable. Workload will be 4-6 hours per week with meetings weekly or biweekly.

"Translational": A Critical History

Research assistance sought for a book project that examines the historical emergence and usage of the term “translational” within English-language texts, as well as across contemporary science (translational science) and medical fields (translational medicine) using Digital Humanities tools (data compilation using Google NGram Viewer and other textual analysis tools). Interest in Digital and Medical Humanities a plus. Hours are negotiable, but are likely to approximate 3 hours/week with monthly meetings.

Music in Greek and Roman Theatre

Professor of Classics seeks assistance examining and interpreting evidence for music in the performance of ancient Greek and Roman theatre.  Assistant will read ancient plays looking for evidence of music, find relevant bibliography in electronic databases, print bibliographies, and other works, and help compile a database of rhythmic variation in ancient drama.  The following skills are desirable but not required: some knowledge of ancient Greek and/or Latin, experience in theatre, and the ability to read music.  3-4 hours per week, including a weekly meeting.

Mapping Ottoman Print Culture

"Mapping Ottoman Print Culture" is an effort to digitize and map the development of print culture in the Ottoman Empire from 1726 to 1928, i.e., from the birth of state-backed printing to the death of the Arabic script under the Turkish Republic. The project has two components: 

1) The digitization of the "Catalogue of Turkish Works Printed in the Old Script," commonly known as the "Ozege Catalogue." Composed of five volumes, the catalogue contains the metadata for all the Turkish language works printed during the period under scrutiny. The RA will scan the volumes and convert the scans to digital text (by means of OCR)  so that we can start working with the data.

2) Cleaning the OCR text and restructuring it to eventually map out the catalogue. The goal is to have a website with an interactive map of the Ottoman Empire and a "time scale" button that can run between 1726 and 1928, allowing the viewer to go to a specific year,  see the map of printing houses, and click on a particular printing house to see what books they have published. 

R.A. needed for the spring and summer of 2021. Knowledge of Turkish would be a plus, but it's not required. No knowledge of Arabic script is necessary. In subsequent years we may expand the data to include printing in other languages and scripts that were widely used in the Ottoman Empire, such as Armenian, Arabic, Persian, Greek, and Ladino. 

Humanities Digital Workshop

IPH assists the Humanities Digital Workshop (HDW) in recruiting students to work with faculty on computationally-assisted research projects in the humanities. The HDW offers opportunities to join humanities "labs." Visit the HDW website for a comprehensive information on active investigations. Some of the projects on the table are:

The Spenser Project

The professor and five editors are producing the Complete Works of Edmund Spenser for Oxford UP. The work is being developed as an electronic edition, from which two print versions, and an online archive will be generated. Student RAs do a wide range of research depending on the tasks at hand, ranging from pure research projects, to proofreading the edited text against original witnesses, to writing software to process images and texts. RAs work five hours a week and attend a weekly project meeting. Visit the Spenser Archive for more information.

Nineteenth-Century Literary Internationalism

Assistance is needed on two projects: a study of German translations and adaptations of Jane Eyre (1848-1920), and the final development of a digital library of 19th-century German books in English translation. Most of the work will involve data-cleanup and proofreading. Prerequisite skills: at least third-semester German, the ability to play close attention to textual detail, the ability (and willingness)  to learn to read typographical characters in German blackletter (Fraktur). 3-5 hours per week (hours flexible).

Creating a Federal Government

 Principal Investigator: Peter Kastor

Creating a Federal Government explores the functional realities of governance during the early American republic.

Rethinking the History of German Literature, 1731-1864

Principal Investigator: Matt Erlin

This project employs the techniques of probabilistic topic modeling to test a set of longstanding assumptions about the periodization of German literary history.

The Dada Networks Project

Principal Investigator: Kurt Beals

Drawing on databases and bibliographies of Dada and Expressionist periodicals, the Dada Networks Project uses network analysis to better understand the structure of these movements and the roles of key individuals who mediated between groups of artists and writers.

Early Modern Print

Principal Investigator: Anupam Basu

Early Print offers a range of tools for the computational exploration and analysis of English print culture before 1700. It includes a set of visualizations of the EEBO-TCP as a collection of publications, as well as a historical N-gram browser and a reporting tool for Key Words in Context.

Gender Violence Database

Principal Investigator: Jami Ake

The Gender Violence Database is an accessible searchable tool designed for researchers, practitioners, and the general public interested in the multidisciplinary field of Violence Against Women. Applicants with NGO experience, specialized training (SARAH, Uncle Joe’s, etc.), or coursework related to these topics are preferred. No prior computer skills are necessary (though they are welcome). Visit the Gender Violence Database project page for more information.