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Abigail DrogePost Doctoral Fellow


Abigail Droge joins the Emory English Department as an ACLS Emerging Voices Fellow. Her research focuses on nineteenth-century British literature and the history of reading, the digital humanities, and the public humanities. Droge received her Ph.D. from the Stanford English Department in 2018 where her dissertation, “Reading Skills: The Politics of Literacy in the Nineteenth and Twenty-First Centuries,” won the Alden Dissertation Prize. The project unites teaching and research in the same conversation by tracing an archival history of literary engagement in low- and middle-income communities throughout nineteenth-century Britain. Droge activates such reception history to inspire new readings of familiar novels by Charles Dickens and George Eliot and reflects on the potential these novels have to catalyze crucial conversations in the twenty-first-century classroom.

Before coming to Emory, Droge worked at the University of California, Santa Barbara as a Postdoctoral Scholar for a Mellon-funded digital and public humanities project called “WhatEvery1Says: The Humanities in Public Discourse” (WE1S). This highly-collaborative, multi-institutional project used digital methods to study public perceptions of the humanities in recent news media at a big data scale. As the Director of the WE1S Curriculum Lab, Droge focused particularly on student experiences of the humanities in higher education. With a multi-disciplinary research team, she analyzed thousands of campus newspaper articles from colleges across the US and conducted ethnographic research on UC Santa Barbara’s campus in order to understand how students engage with the humanities. Droge also spearheaded the WE1S project’s public-facing resources, such as “Research-to-Action Toolkits,” and kept a scholarly blog documenting her innovative pedagogy at UCSB.

Droge’s courses often bridge disciplines (especially literature and science), time periods (especially the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries), and reading communities (especially those on- and off-campus). Inspired by her research and teaching experiences, she is in the process of developing a project called “Reading With: Building Bridges with Books,” which reimagines how the humanities could operate in higher education. “Reading With” proposes a model in which shared reading might build bridges between specialized disciplines and practitioners otherwise isolated from each other, using literature to talk about everything from the ethics of driverless cars to the social impacts of genetic engineering.


  • Ph.D., Stanford University
  • B.A., Yale University

Selected Publications

“Always Called Jack’: A Brief History of the Transferable Skill,” Victorian Periodicals Review 50.1 (Spring 2017): 39-65. (Winner of the VanArsdel Prize, Research Society for Victorian Periodicals.)

Teaching Literature and Science in Silicon Valley,” Journal of Literature and Science 10.1 (Summer 2017): 58-64.

Review of Kathryn Strong Hansen’s ‘Literature for Specific Purposes: A Literary Approach to Teaching Ethics in Science and Technology.’Journal of Literature and Science 12.1 (Summer 2019): 77-79.

Review of Jessica Roberts’s ‘Teaching Literature and History of Medicine in the National Health Service.’Journal of Literature and Science 12.1 (Summer 2019): 80-82.

Curriculum Lab Blog, WhatEvery1Says Project (July 2018-present).