Carol Chiodo, Ph.D.

illustration by JoJo Karlin

Carol Chiodo is the Librarian for Collections and Digital Scholarship in the Americas, Europe and Oceania Division at Harvard University Library.

She received her Ph.D. from Yale University with a dissertation on the poetic use of the mechanical arts in Dante Alighieri’s medieval poem, the Divine Comedy.

Carol’s research in Italian Studies sits at the crossroads of Global Medieval Studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies. Her work attends to the history of a text’s travels, translations, and material forms as well as to textual representations of the world and its inhabitants.  A former faculty member at Princeton and Yale, she chaired the 700th Anniversary Commemoration Committee which organized the Dante Society of America’s virtual symposium at Harvard in May 2021. She has published widely on Dante Alighieri’s reception among women readers in North America and is the editor of the recent publication, Dante’s Volume: From Alpha to Omega, published by ACMRS Press. Her next book, nearing completion, is on Dante’s cross-border and cross- linguistic fortunes among women in North America. She also has a manuscript in preparation on collaborative modes of vernacular literary production against the backdrop of 16th century religious reform in Europe.

Her work in digital humanities sits at the intersection of cultural heritage and digital technology, examining the ways in which digital reproduction affects not only the form and provenance of cultural heritage, but also the possible forms of scholarship. With experience in supporting academic departments, libraries, archives, and museums in making the best use of digital tools and infrastructure to accomplish their mission, Carol has also led initiatives at Harvard Library focused on strategy and policies around digital scholarship and its stewardship and preservation. Recent efforts include curriculum development in digital scholarship for a masters program in regional studies at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard and the development of ethically informed machine learning methods and workflows to analyze cultural heritage at scale. To this end, she was the principle investigator on the Mellon-funded initiative Images as Data: Processing, Exploration and Discovery at Scale ($50,000) at Harvard University Library and is now a senior member of a collaborative research team that has received two grants to further this work: a three year, $485,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation and a $325,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, with the aim of further developing open-source technology for computational analysis and public engagement with visual culture.

For more information on the Mellon-funded Images as Data Initiative and how it aims to transform the ways in which cultural heritage institutions make their digital collections amenable to computationally inflected research, see this presentation from the 2020/2021 Digital Humanities -Theorie und Methodik Lecture Series at the University of Leipzig, Germany.

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