Sherwood Publishes Digital Poem in International Anthology

Kenneth Sherwood (English, Co-director of Center for Digital Humanities and Culture) published the digital poem “Coal Code” in the peer-reviewed Electronic Literature Collection. Programmed in Javascript, the multi-media piece combines lyric voice tracks with an array of images reflecting upon and recyling stories and postcard images from nineteenth century coal culture in Pennsylvania. The web version of the work invites viewers to interact with the piece, shaping the aural and visual experience, changing the tempo, intensity, and shifting between the symmetry of “duet mode” and the the chaos of “random.”


The code poem was created by Sherwood as his contribution to a collaborative installation with IUP Art Professor Bob Sweeny hosted in the Kipp Gallery. Sherwood previously published a version of the text as a print-chapbook called Code of Signals

The editors of the E-lit collection write: “All elit works involve interaction with technology, which can occur at any stage in the process from conception to reception. Elit works, to some degree or another, incorporate: (1) literary qualities co-produced by human and algorithmic interaction; (2) formal and/or conceptual innovation; (3) a transforming experience for readers through expressive algorithms.”

An international scholarly non-profit, the Electronic Literature Organization (ELO) published this anthology to feature an international range of works in the field, including 132 literary works from 42 author nationalities in 31 languages. The prior three editions of this anthology were published in 2016, 2011, and 2006. ELO editors explai: “E-literature . . . derive[s] meaning from a fusion of computational and literary layers. This fusion shows that human literary creativity entwines technological innovation with cultural and historic context.” (ELC 2022)

Prof Sherwood teaches special topics courses on Electronic Literature in the graduate program in Literature and Criticism at IUP and he designed the undergraduate ENGL 421 Digital Writing course. He also presented virtually on the teaching of E-lit to IUP Honors College students at the annual ELO conference this past summer.

English Doctoral Students Cronin and Canton Awarded HASTAC Fellowships

IUP Literature and Criticism Doctoral students Joseph Canton and Meghan Cronin have been recognized as 2022 HASTAC scholars

Portrait, Cronin and Canton
Meghan Cronin and Joseph Canton, 2022 HASTAC Scholars and IUP L&C Graduate Students

Ms. Cronin plans to look at how Shakespeare can be studied and taught through digital means, with two scheduled presentations on the topic in 2022.  She has previously conducted computational analysis of Shakespeare plays using the text visualization tool Voyant. “I am tremendously honored and thankful that IUP English has recognized my award. I am excited about the avenues of exploration HASTAC participation opens up for me.”

Mr. Canton plans to lay the groundwork for his dissertation, helping to develop an academic podcast at IUP. “Incorporating podcasting will broaden the audience for my dissertation research and, through the process, should help expose others to how podcasting can complement literary study.” Canton’s project aligns with the newly formed national Humanities Podcast Initiative and broader trends in the “Public Humanities.”


Serving as the scholars’ IUP/HASTAC mentor is Dr. Kenneth Sherwood, Professor of English and co-director of the Center for Digital Humanities and Culture at IUP. “It was a pleasure to nominate Meghan and Joe, as two of our most creative, energetic, and forward-thinking students.” Sherwood became acquainted with their work in two IUP courses: ENGL 857 Digital Composition, Literature and Pedagogy and ENGL 865 Literature as a Genre: Podcasting, Narrative, Poetics, and Sound.

Cronin and Canton are among only four IUP students ever to receive this recognition. “I am happy that they will enjoy this opportunity to nourish their scholarship and professional development” says Sherwood, and “knowing Joe and Meghan, I am confident they’ll also bring their experience back to IUP to enrich the graduate community.”

Only 100 scholars each year are recognized by the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC), a national network administered by CUNY Graduate Center and Dartmouth College with 16,000+ members from over 400+ affiliate organizations. HASTAC aims to support young scholars “rethinking pedagogy, learning, research & academia for the digital age.”

Deliberate Tech Choice for Fulbright Teachers

DHC faculty Ken Sherwood and Gian Pagnucci offered a workshop entitled “Deliberate Tech Choice: My Domain for Teachers” to resident Fulbright teachers on Friday, October 1, 2021. The workshop introduced these international teachers to the framework of deliberate technology choice, aligning digital enhancements to teaching with student needs. Fulbright teachers learned to code a simple web page, create a self-hosted blog, and build a collaborative multi-authored wiki — as three tools from the MyDomain toolbox.

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The DHC is proud to announce the first phase — a collaboration to extend the valuing and study of global poetries.

Using the affordances of an open-access wiki, Dr. Kenneth Sherwood initiated the project in Summer 2021 with graduate students in ENGL 766/866 Comparative Literature Ethnopoetics. Students from a Fall class in Digital Humanities have been helping to develop the project. They have learned to create accessible, scholarly contextualization and commentary for important texts of global poetry originally collected by Alcheringa in the 1970s.

Ethnopoetics names an informal movement in poetry and scholarship dating to the late 1960s but has come more broadly to designate writing that reflects a heightened awareness of the artfulness of oral and traditional poetries and the ways in which diverse verbal arts illuminate world cultures; this writing can also reflect innovative theorizing and practices of representational practices, including transcription/translation. Coined by Jerome Rothenberg, ethnopoetics involves collaborations among poets, storytellers, singers, anthropologists, translators, linguists, and literary scholars.

Alcheringa was digitized by the Kelly Writers’ House at the University of Pennsylvania, and the content is used with permission of UPenn and the original editor, Jerome Rothenberg.

In the coming months, students working on the project will join Dr. Sherwood to talk more about what they have learned through this collaborative research, as well as next steps in the project.

Wikimedia Foundation

Congratulations to Prof. Matthew Vetter and IUP Graduate Student Oksana Moroz. The Wikimedia Foundation has approved a grant to help support the Art+Feminism Edit-a-thon at IUP.

Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon

We’re writing to invite you and your students to participate in IUP’s fourth annual Interdisciplinary Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, to be held Tuesday, April 21, 2020, 10am-2pm (Stabley 201/210). At last year’s event, 91 editors made 228 edits to 73 articles in Wikipedia, adding over 12,000 words to help improve representation of women and the arts across disciplines. In addition to these accomplishments, student-participants were also given a chance to practice crucial digital literacy skills, collaboration, and critical thinking.This year’s event will emphasize topics related to language and literature as we work to build a more inclusive, diverse, and representative Wikipedia.

Wikipedia’s gender gap, which results in problems of representation attributed to the lack of women and non-male editors participating in the encyclopedia’s production, is by now well-known and well-documented. A groundbreaking survey conducted in 2011 by the Wikimedia Foundation, found that less than 10% of Wikipedia editors identify as women, and less than 1% as transgender. A startling statistic: only 17% of all biographical articles on Wikipedia focus on women. This event is a critical response to Wikipedia’s gender gap which invites the IUP community to help improve coverage of subjects related to women’s representation, art, language, literature and other under-represented topics.

Advance training workshops: We will be offering two hands-on workshops in advance of the main event, to be held Tuesday, March 31, 10am-12pm, and Wednesday, April 15, 2pm-4pm (Stabley 201). Both students and faculty are welcome at these events, which will support basic Wikipedia editing training, and article selection in anticipation of the Editathon. Contact to RSVP for these workshops.

Register in advance: Finally, We encourage advance registration of faculty and students (when possible) by visiting the following link: 


Questions? Concerns? Please follow up with us to chat more about this event. We look forward to hearing from you and hope you can find a way to participate in this event. Thank you,

Matt Vetter, on behalf of the Editathon Organizing Committee

Coal Code Node

Coal Code Node was produced as installation by Ken Sherwood and Bob Sweeny, October 2018, Kipp Annex. For the exhibit, Sherwood coded a poetic sound/image generator, video sequences of which were captured and this projection was combined with a film loop created by Sweeny and projected through a network of ropes strung across the space.

The javascript program can be run in Firefox and the code examined on


2018 Twine Story Game Festival Hosted at IUP

On April 25, some seventy regional middle and high-school students will visit IUP in the culmination of a semester long activity.  Beginning early in the year, a team of IUP graduate students and faculty led on-site workshops to introduce students to the elements of hypertext, interactive fiction, and basic coding.

Visitors are welcome to enjoy and vote for viewer’s choice awards during the festival. The website of student works can be accessed during the festival and subsequently.

DHC Co-sponsors Second Annual Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

wiki editors at table

Photo courtesy of Zeeshan Siddique

For the second year in a row, the Center for Digital Humanities and Culture (DHC) at IUP has co-sponsored an Edit-a-thon event focused on improving representation of women and the arts in Wikipedia. In a 2011 survey, the Wikimedia Foundation found that less than 10% of its contributors identify as female. This lack of female participation has led to an alarming dearth of content about women and art in the world’s most popular online research tool. DHC affiliate Dr. Matt Vetter organized and led the event with Women’s and Gender Studies Director Dr. Lynn Botelho. The DHC also provided technical support and laptops for the event.

The Edit-a-thon took place March 7, 2018 in the Humanities and Social Sciences Building, Room 226. As part of this event, 66 editors made 429 edits to 29 articles in Wikipedia, adding nearly 6,000 words to help improve representation of women and the arts across disciplines.

This year’s Edit-a-thon also included a broader assessment initiative. Organizers conducted a survey to which 24 participants responded. Preliminary analysis of survey results demonstrates positive outcomes related to the event. In particular, 70% of those surveyed indicated that they would edit Wikipedia in the future. Additionally, 80% of the surveyed participants agreed that a Wikipedia classroom project is a worthwhile experience. Finally, as part of this survey, participants were asked to rank learning outcomes. Averages across these rankings showed that participants found the event useful for learning about outcomes in the following order: (1) critical thinking, (2) digital literacy, (3) technical skills, (4) online source reliability, (5) about the class topic, (6) writing for a general audience.

Doctoral students in Dr. Vetter’s English 846: Digital Rhetoric also conducted video interviews with 6 Edit-a-thon participants to learn more about their experience and learning related to digital literacy and critical thinking. This research is ongoing.

In addition to the sponsorship provided by the Center for Digital Humanities and Culture, this event was supported by the Wikimedia Foundation, IUP Libraries, Women’s & Gender Studies, Art, Theatre & Dance, and Composition & Applied Linguistics.