Assistant Professor of English Receives Grant to Pursue Groundbreaking Project in Transgender Historical Research

April 15th, 2014 by 

K.J. Rawson, assistant professor of English at the College of the Holy Cross, was one of seven winners of the 2013-14 American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Digital Innovation Fellowship. He received an $84,700 grant to pursue his project entitled “Building the Digital Transgender Archive,” the first digital archival collection of transgender-related historical materials.

“I’ve been doing research related to transgender history since 2005 and I have learned time and again that it can be very difficult to figure out which archives collect trans materials and what their collections include,” said Rawson. “As I continued gaining research experience and networking with others interested in trans history, I met more and more researchers and archivists who shared my concern that trans materials can be unnecessarily difficult to locate and access.”

The ACLS selects its fellows for this prestigious grant by deeming the projects’ potential to move beyond basic digital capabilities to accomplish widely influential, digital scholarship. Rawson’s project involves creating a website to serve as a central location for transgender historical materials, streamlining the search for researchers to access transgender historical materials. The website will include a searchable database of metadata and select digital content from a number of archives in the United States and Canada. The Digital Transgender Archive will virtually merge the separate archival collections together with a flexible database, which contains a range of metadata.

“I am interested in how archives impact researchers with things like classification and cataloging, the language used to describe historical materials, and the archival environment,” said Rawson, who cites his unique perspective as a rhetorician as an advantage when analyzing archives. “After having spent so much time thinking rhetorically about archives, it’s certainly challenging to flip the script and build one myself.”

Rawson will begin constructing the basic skeleton of the website this summer, specifically focusing on how the website will be organized to make a large amount of information easily accessible. He plans to collaborate with Holy Cross’s ITS department to build the website and database, with a beta version of the website completed by the end of the year.

For additional information, please contact Bridget Cass at 508-793-2419.

| More

Comments are closed.

Sort By:
11/25/15 Two-Time Super Bowl Champion Bill Curry to Join Best-Selling Author Steve Almond for Working Writers Series
11/25/15 Holy Cross Hosts Annual Tree Lighting and the Time-Honored Tradition of the Advent Festival of Lessons and Carols
11/25/15 ‘The Curse of Black Friday’
11/24/15 Holy Cross Community Celebrates Retirement of Beloved Employee
See All
See All

Featured Videos

See video
Video: The Splendor of Autumn on Mount St. James

Watch Video >
See video
Photo Gallery, Video: Campus Conversations and Discussion Connect Students with Distinguished Alumni

Watch Video >
See video
Video: Holy Cross Faculty Offer Multidisciplinary Analysis of Pope’s Encyclical on Environment

Watch Video >

What’s Happening on Campus


Men's Ice Hockey vs. Niagara University

See More >

Men's Ice Hockey vs. Niagara University

See More >

Men's Basketball vs. Harvard University

See More >

Katrina Then and Now: Artists as Witness

See More >

Holy Cross in the News


Holy Cross Accounting Program Ranks No. 3 in Massachusetts

Accounting Degree Review

The College of the Holy Cross’ accounting program ranks No. 3 in Accounting Degree Review’s “Top 10 Undergraduate Accounting Programs in Massachusetts.” According to...


‘Women in Business conference: Holy Cross alumna at Vanity Fair says degree is key to success’

Telegram & Gazette

“Earning a liberal arts degree is the smartest thing a person can do to become successful in the business world,” said Aimee Bell ’88 to the Worcester Telegram...


Economist Magazine Places Holy Cross in Top 3 Percent of ‘Best Value’ Ranking

The Economist

The College of the Holy Cross is No. 36 among 1300 public and private institutions reviewed by the Economist in its first-ever best value rankings, putting the College in the...