The VEP group has grown and changed for the project’s duration. Here is the current team.

Michael Gleicher (Principal Investigator)
Michael Gleicher is a professor in the department of Computer Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He works in Computer Graphics and related areas (visualization, multimedia, animation, vision). For the VEP project, he is motivated by applying computational thinking to find new ways of understanding literature and the development of language. Under his supervision, the VEP group explores ways to combine visualization and statistical analytics to help with humanist understanding and allow scholarship of large text collections.

Jonathan Hope (Collaborator)
Jonathan Hope is a professor at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. His teaching and research focuses on the intersection of language and literature: he uses techniques from linguistics to explore literary texts, and literary texts as evidence for the linguistic history of English. With the VEP project, Hope oversees the building of an early modern drama corpus from the Text Creation Partnership’s (TCP) XML files. He analyzes the corpus’s linguistic features to discern how they contribute to genre.

Michael Witmore (Collaborator)
Formerly holding positions in the English departments at Carnegie Mellon and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Michael Witmore is the Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. He works with Jonathan Hope on constructing the early modern drama corpus. Witmore is invested in questioning cultural narratives through the VEP project’s findings.

Eric Alexander
Eric Alexander is a PhD Dissertator at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, studying data visualization in the Computer Sciences department under Professor Mike Gleicher. Alexander has been working with the VEP group for three years. His research interests include text visualization, algorithmic criticism, machine learning, and human-computer interaction. In particular, he is interested in the use of probabilistic topic models for hypothesis formation in large corpora of text, and has built tools for visualizing topic models with the VEP project.

Heather Froehlich
Heather Froehlich is finishing her PhD at the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, UK), where she studies social identity in Early Modern London plays using computers. Her thesis draws heavily from sociohistoric linguistics and corpus stylistics, though she sustains an interest in digital methods for literary and linguistic inquiry. Read more about her and her research at or on twitter (@heatherfro).

Alan Hogarth
Alan Hogarth is a Research Associate at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. His research interests are in early modern Natural Philosophy, the Aristotelian tradition, John Donne, and the intersections of literary and scientific writing in English Renaissance literature. Alan is also interested in early modern transport and has published on coach travel in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century London. For the VEP Project, he is currently developing and testing a series of ‘early modern science’ corpora in order to compare the language of scientific writing across genres, periods, and intellectual networks.

Shota Kikuchi
Shota Kikuchi is a PhD student at the University of Tokyo in Japan, currently doing an MRes in English at the University of Strathclyde, Scotland. His research focuses on corpus-based analyses of the use of relativizers in early modern English drama. For the VEP project, he is producing a parsed version of the early modern drama corpus.

Beth Ralston
Beth Ralston is a graduate student in Linguistics at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. Since joining the VEP team in November 2014, she has been helping to build the early modern drama corpus. She has been curating and cross-checking the metadata for these texts (data publicly available on Wine Dark Sea). Outside of VEP, her research is in Sociolinguistics–in particular, she is interested in children’s acquisition of variation and social network theory.

Rebecca Russell
Rebecca is an undergraduate student studying English Literature and Spanish at the University of Strathclyde, Scotland. She was part of the TextLab analysis project last year, focusing on the use of language in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. This year she is returning to work as an assistant with a new group of students to further develop the project.

Deidre Stuffer
A graduate student in English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Deidre Stuffer specializes in 18th-century British Literature. Her research focuses on the history of reading/writing technologies, the history of the English Language, and media theory. She provides historical and literary knowledge regarding the early modern English texts and XML documents that the VEP project processes, informing its coding practices. As a result, her efforts revolve around building, curating, and documenting corpora.

Erin Winter
Erin Winter is a first-year graduate student in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Computer Sciences program. She has spent three years on digital humanities projects, and her research interests include databases, machine learning, and programming languages. Her work with VEP centers on XML processing. She writes scripts to extract text from XML files, identify word frequencies across large corpora, and refine the VEP group’s text cleaning/extraction process.

Previous Members

Robin Valenza
Robin Valenza was a founding member of the project team. She specialises in Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature and culture, history of the academic disciplines, history of science and mathematics, Samuel Johnson and his circle, print culture and the history of the book, theories of narrative and of description, digital humanities, text mining. Visit her faculty page here.

Mattie Burkert
Mattie Burkert is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where her final year of research is supported by a 2015-16 Mellon-ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship. She worked as a Research Assistant for Visualizing English Print in 2012-13, and her experiments with the group’s prototype tools led to an essay, “Plotting the ‘Female Wits’ Controversy: Gender, Genre, and Printed Plays, 1670-1699,” which will appear in the collection Early Modern Studies and the Digital Turn: New Tools for New Research Questions, edited by Laura Estill, Diane Jackaki, and Michael Ullyot (Iter / Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, forthcoming in 2016). Mattie is thrilled to be starting a tenure-track position as an Assistant Professor of English at Utah State University in Fall 2016. You can learn more about her work at and follow her on Twitter:

Catherine DeRose
Catherine DeRose is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she specializes in Victorian literature. She also works full time as the Engagement and Outreach Manager for Yale University’s Digital Humanities Lab. One of the founding group members of Visualizing English Print, Catherine assisted in writing the initial Mellon grant and worked as a Research Assistant in 2011-2012. More about her work can be found on her website. You can also find her on Twitter.