Martha Nell Smith

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Professional Biography

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. Her numerous print publications include five singly and coauthored books, three of them award-winning—Emily Dickinson, A User’s Guide (2013); Companion to Emily Dickinson (Jan 2008); Open Me Carefully: Emily Dickinson’s Intimate Letters to Susan Dickinson (1998); Comic Power in Emily Dickinson (1993); Rowing in Eden: Rereading Emily Dickinson (1992)—and scores of articles and essays in journals and collections such as 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. 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. Smith co-edited Emily Dickinson’s Correspondence: A Born-Digital Textual Inquiry (Dec 2008) published by Rotunda New Digital Scholarship, University of Virginia Press and has worked on two interrelated Mellon-sponsored data mining and visualization initiatives, NORA and MONK (Metadata Offer New Knowledge) . A founding board member of the Emily Dickinson International Society (EDIS), Smith also serves on the Advisory Board of Harvard University Press’s Emily Dickinson Archive. On the editorial board and steering committee of NINES (Networked Interface for Nineteenth-Century Electronic Scholarship), she serves in an advisory capacity for C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, and is on numerous advisory boards of digital literary projects such as The Poetess Archive, Digital Dickens, and the Melville Electronic Library (MEL). A leader in innovations in academic publishing, Smith served on the Executive Council of the Association for Computers in the Humanities (2001-2004), co-chaired the Modern Language Association (MLA)’s Committee on Scholarly Editions (CSE, 2004-2008), and chairs the University of Maryland’s Library Council (2008-2011). 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 in 2009, the highest honor that the college bestows upon its former students. In 2010, Smith was named a Distinguished Scholar-Teacher at the University of Maryland, and in 2011 she was appointed ADVANCE Professor in the College of Arts and Humanities as part of a NSF-funded project to cultivate inclusive excellence, and in 2012 was appointed an ADVANCE Fellow. In May 2011, Smith was voted Chair-Elect of the University of Maryland Senate, and became Chair in May 2012.