Digital Archives in the Wired World Literature Classroom in the US


  • Charlotte Nunes Southwestern University


world literature, digital archives, digital humanities, British imperialism, undergraduate research, the research process, information literacy, interdisciplinarity, inquiry-based learning


Digitized archival materials open up exciting possibilities for teaching and learning in the undergraduate World Literature classroom. Generally, if undergraduates are introduced to archival analysis at all, it is often not until the junior or senior year. However, current research suggests that students can greatly benefit even from a preliminary exposure to archives early in their undergraduate careers, by means of short-term, small-scale archival research tasks. In this essay, the author draws on case studies from her introductory World Literature classes in order to demonstrate how digital archives enable students to tap into the rich history of English-language world literature as intimately tied to legacies and contexts of imperialism. The article concludes with strategies and considerations to assist educators interested in incorporating digital archives in the undergraduate World Literature classroom.

Author Biography

Charlotte Nunes, Southwestern University

Charlotte Nunes ( received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a Mellon/Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Scholarship at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. In her current research she develops strategies for incorporating digital archival collections into undergraduate humanities education. She blogs about her work at