I’m a scholar and critic who wants to understand media experiences from audiences of the past, present, and future. This fascination has taken me to study the language of smell, the work of recovered women writers, never-published manuscript fiction, fanwork, and livestreamed tabletop roleplaying games.

I believe that technological shifts of the past can illuminate our present, that book history and digital scholarship work beautifully together, that librarians and archivists are invaluable collaborators, and that hands-on experience of research is an important component of student learning.

My most important work is as academic hype-woman for literary and academic work. My project to make manuscript fiction more discoverable through better metadata led me to become the director of 18thConnect.org, an aggregator of eighteenth-century primary and secondary resources. I spend a good chunk of my time helping newbie digital scholars think about how to organize and plan their projects.


BA, Bryn Mawr College (2003)
MA, Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies, University of York (2005)
PhD, University of Missouri (2009)

Other Publications


Reading Smell in Eighteenth-Century Fiction (Bucknell 2016)


Refereed Publications


  • “Am I A Romanticist? My Department Can’t Decide.” Keats-Shelley Journal, “200 Years, 50 Voices” special issue (2020)

  • “‘Is It Thursday Yet?” Narrative Time in Critical Role” in Roleplaying Games in the Digital Age: Essays on Transmedia Storytelling, Tabletop Role-Playing, and Fandom, Eds. Jennifer Grouling & Stephanie Hedge (Studies in Gaming Series, McFarland & Co.)

  • “Must Anonymous Be a Woman? Gender and Anonymity in the Archives” (Special Issue on “Women in Archives” for Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature Winter/Spring 2021)

  • “Eluding Print: Manuscript Fiction and the Survival of Scribal Practices in the Age of Print” (Special issue of Huntington Library Quarterly by the Women in Book History Research Group, Spring 2021.)

  • “Novel Knowledge, or Cleaning Dirty Data: Towards Open-Source Histories of the Novel,” Data Visualization in Eighteenth-Century Studies. (Palgrave 2021)

  • “Ownership, Copyright, Ethics of the Unpublished” in Access, Control, and Dissemination in Digital Humanities (Routledge).

Other Public Writing​​

  • “Sanditon” The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Romantic-Era Women’s Writing.

  • Manuscript Fiction in the Archive,” The Eighteenth-Century Common. June 8, 2016. ​

  • (With Derek Ross) “Back to our roots: Digital humanities and the history of the book.” Auburn Speaks 2015.

  • “Sarah Fielding.” Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopaedia of British Literature, 1660-1789.

  • “The history of the novel as glimpsed through Chawton’s manuscripts.”  The Female Spectator. Autumn 2009, Vol 13. No. 4.

Blog Posts


  • Manuscript Fiction in the Age of Print, 1750-1900 (digital resource)

  • A Literary History of Alternative Circulation (monograph)

  • “Austen Among the Amateurs” (essay)

  • “‘Critical Reception up to 1900.” Daniel Defoe in Context, Eds. George Justice and Albert J. Rivero. Cambridge University Press. (Essay Due September 2020)

  • “Using Digital Methods to Introduce Students to Archival Work” (for ABO: Aphra Behn Online)​

  • “The Authorship of Smell” (article)

  • “The Strange Afterlife of Austen’s Cancelled Chapters of Persuasion” (article)

Upcoming Talks and Conferences

  • “Hester Thrale Piozzi’s Manuscript Fiction.” Symposium on Hester Thrale. UCLA/Clark Library. September 24-5, 2021.

  • Panelist [on future of Digital Humanities and 18th Century Studies], “Presidential Session: Innovating the Next Fifty Years of ASECS” American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies 2021.

  • Roundtable Participant [On 18thConnect and Peer Review], “Reviewing #C18dh Scholarship” [Digital Humanities Caucus] American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies 2021.


American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies
The Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing
Aphra Behn Society, Frances Burney Society, Jane Austen Society of North America

Emily Friedman

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