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Stanford Professor of English Elaine Treharne named CESTA’s new director

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Stanford Professor of English Elaine Treharne named CESTA’s new director
Stanford Professor of English Elaine Treharne named CESTA’s new director

The Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA) has named Professor Elaine Treharne of the Department of English as its new director. Treharne, who is the Roberta Bowman Denning Professor of Humanities, begins her three-year appointment on June 1st.

Treharne is thrilled with her new position stating, “I was delighted to see that the School of Humanities and Sciences, the Dean of Research, and many other areas of the university are enthusiastically behind the dynamic research, training, and pedagogy pioneered by CESTA to date.”

As the new director, Treharne intends to build upon the work undertaken by CESTA’s founding director, Zephyr Frank, professor in the Department of History.

“Frank is renowned for his vision, his generosity, and his determination to build an agenda-setting enterprise that creates new knowledge from humanistic enquiry using digital tools, methods, and approaches. This same vision and energy will characterize my directorship,” Treharne said.

CESTA is an interdisciplinary collective of labs that operates independently of any particular home department; it is organizationally housed within the Dean of Research at Stanford.

The center offers staff support and technological resources to enable humanities scholars to conduct leading-edge research with digital tools. It also offers opportunities for fellows and affiliates of the Stanford Humanities Center to pursue digital humanities projects, to participate in workshops and training sessions, and to publish the results of their work in online venues.

Treharne aims to enhance CESTA’s research, scholarship and teaching in a fully resourced and staffed center and foster an even greater spirit of collaboration, both on campus and internationally.

She also intends to continue to promote best practice in this flourishing field of study by providing outstanding research and project participation opportunities for graduates and undergraduates at Stanford. She will also endeavor to secure major funding for the innovative exploration of the potential of Digital Humanities across the disciplines and time periods.

“I’m most excited about the opportunity to capitalize on Stanford's excellence in Digital Humanities which has developed from the ground-breaking work in CESTA and in Stanford University Libraries. We are ideally positioned to lead the world in this research and educational effort, and that is truly motivating,” she said.

Treharne’s scholarly expertise is in early British manuscripts. She has published widely in this area over the last twenty years, focusing most specifically on religious poetry and prose, and manuscripts dating from c. 600 to c. 1300.

For many years she has been an advocate and critic of the use of digital technologies in the classroom and in research. She is involved in a number of international projects that seek to investigate and develop new ways of exploring the rich medieval cultures of the book.

Treharne also directs Stanford Text Technologiesan interdisciplinary effort combining book historical approaches with digital methods and tools to investigate the long history of human communication from the earliest times to the present day. She is a recipient of Cyber Initiative Funding from the Hewlett Foundation for 'Cyber Text Technologies,' which aims to predict future innovation in the development of devices and tools for communication, based on analysis of trends in the long history of technological development.