Paul Fyfe

Picture of Paul Fyfe

Associate Professor


Paul Fyfe's research and teaching spans British Victorian literature, nineteenth-century book and media history, scholarly communications, and a broad spectrum of digital humanities practices. He is the author of By Accident or Design: Writing the Victorian Metropolis (2015) and is currently developing projects including: Victorian Telecommunication, an exploration of the consequences of writing in a new era of steam transport and electric communications media; Nineteenth-Century Newpaper Analytics, using content mining and computer vision techniques on digitized collections of nineteenth-century British newspapers; and the Victoria's Lost Pavilion project, an interdisciplinary effort to virtually reconstruct Queen Victoria's garden pavilion as an interactive three-dimenional model. He is part of NC State's Visual Narrative interdisciplinary faculty cluster and serves as the Coordinator of Digital Humanities for the English department, organizing NC State's graduate certificate in digital humanities. As an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Critical Bibliography at Rare Book School, he pursues research into historical and contemporary text technologies. In 2016, he received NC State University's Alumni Association Outstanding Teacher Award.

Funded Research

Project member, "Oceanic Exchanges: Tracing Global Information Networks in Historical Newspaper Repositories, 1840-1914 (OcEx)." Digging into Data Transatlantic Partnership Grants, 2017-2019.

Project member, "Speech Across Dialects of English (SPADE): Developing an Integrated Speech Corpus Analysis system for assessing stability and change in spoken Cross-Atlantic English." Digging into Data Transatlantic Partnership Grants, 2017-2018.

Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Critical Bibliography, Rare Book School, University of Virginia, 2015-2017.

PI, "Visual Analytics for Large-Scale Collections of Texts." Laboratory for Analytic Sciences, North Carolina State University, 2016.

PI, "Victoria's Lost Pavilion: Reconstructing the Arts in Digital Space." CHASS Scholarship and Research Award, 2014.

PI, "Tracking Networks, Tracing Genre in Historical Text Bases." Laboratory for Analytic Sciences, North Carolina State University, 2014-2015.

Extension and Community Engagement

Lead organizer, Triangle Book History Symposium, April 20-22, 2017.

Lead organizer, Victorians Institute Conference, "Victorian STEAM," October 14-15, 2016.

Facilitator, THATCamp RTP: Digital Knowledge. James B. Hunt Library, March 28, 2014.

Co-organizer, The CHAT Festival: Collaborations in Humanities, Arts, and Technology. February 28, 2014.



with Antony Harrison, David Hill, Sharon Joffe, and Sharon Setzer. Victoria’s Lost Pavilion: From 19th-Century Aesthetics to Digital Humanities. New York: Palgrave Macmillan (forthcoming 2017).

By Accident or Design: Writing the Victorian Metropolis. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2015.

Articles and Chapters

"An Archaeology of Victorian Newspapers." Victorian Periodicals Review 49.4 (Winter 2016): 546-577. (web copy)

"A Great Exhibition of Print: Illustrated London News Supplement Sheet (1851)." Special issue "Object Lessons: The Victorians and the Material Text," Cahiers Victoriens et Eduardiens 84 (2016).

"'Data Copperfield': A Pedagogical Experiment in Distributed Collaboration." Co-written with Richard Menke. Journal of Victorian Culture 21.4 (2016). (free access)

"Mid-Sized Digital Pedagogy." Debates in the Digital Humanities 2016. Eds. Matthew K. Gold and Lauren Klein. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2016. 104-117.

"Technologies of Serendipity." Victorian Periodicals Review 48.2 (Summer 2015): 261-266. (web copy)

"1862, Accidental Death: Lizzie Siddal and the Poetics of the Coroner's Inquest." Victorian Review 40.2 (2014): 17-22. (web copy)

"The Scholarly Monograph Unbound." Literature Compass 10.8 (August 2013): 643-654. (preprint)

"Illustrating the Accident: Railways and the Catastrophic Picturesque in the Illustrated London News." Victorian Periodicals Review 46.1 (Spring 2013): 61-91. (web copy) (INCS Essay Prize)

"The Opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, 1830." BRANCH: Britain, Representation, and Nineteenth-Century History. Ed. Dino Franco Felluga. Extension of Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net (2012). Web.

"Electronic Errata: Digital Publishing, Open Review, and the Futures of Correction." Debates in the Digital Humanities. Ed. Matthew K. Gold. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012. 259-280.

"Digital Pedagogy Unplugged." Digital Humanities Quarterly 5.3 (Summer 2011). Web.

"How to Not Read a Victorian Novel." Journal of Victorian Culture 16.1 (Spring 2011): 102-106. (preprint)

"Accidents of a Novel Trade: Industrial Catastrophe, Fire Insurance, and Mary Barton.Nineteenth-Century Literature 65.3 (December 2010): 315-346.

"The Random Selection of Victorian New Media." Victorian Periodicals Review 42.1 (Spring 2009): 1-23. (web copy) (Rosemary VanArsdel Prize)

Online edition of "Mrs. Holmes Grey" by William Michael Rossetti. The Rossetti Archive. Ed. Jerome McGann. Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, University of Virginia.


Invited Lectures

"Ways of Seeing Victorian Periodicals." Michael Wolff lecture, Research Society for Victorian Periodicals, Freiburg, Germany (2017)

"Digital Humanities and the Visual/Virtual Turn." Oxford University Press Journals Day (2016)

"Radiant Virtuality." Stanford Text Technologies Collegium, Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis, Stanford University (2015)

"The .txtual Condition of Victorian Newspapers." CUNY Annual Victorians Conference, CUNY Graduate Center (2015)

"Serendipity In/As Digital Humanities." Keynote panel, Association of English Graduate Students Conference, North Carolina State University (2015)

"What Is Fair Use of Seven Terabytes?" Scholarly Communication Interest Group, Association of College and Research Libraries, New England Chapter (2015)

"The Scale of Digital Pedagogy." Keynote lecture, Freedman Center for Digital Scholarship Colloquium, Case Western Reserve University (2014)

"The Scholarly Monograph Unbound." The Future of Scholarly Publishing, Faculty Luncheon Series, Florida State University (2012)

"Charles Dickens: The Greatest Victorian Novelist Never to Have Written a Book." Dickens Bicentennial Lecture, Florida State University Library (2012)

"The Chapter of Accidents of the Victorian Newspaper." Georgia Colloquium in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Literature, University of Georgia (2011)

"Open Access, Open Secrets: Peer Review and Alternative Scholarly Production." Open Access Week, Florida State University Libraries (2010)

Presentations and Workshops

"Copying, Computational Analysis, and Fair Use in the Digitized Nineteenth-Century Press." Copying and Copyright in Nineteenth-Century British Newspapers and Periodicals, Université Paris Diderot (2017)

"Illustrated Image Analytics: How Computers See Illustrated Victorian Periodicals." Research Society for Victorian Periodicals, University of Missouri-Kansas City (2016)

"Digital Pedagogy from Handwriting to Critical Making." SHORE Symposium, Purdue University (2016)

Convener, "Visualization and Virtual Spaces: Scholarly Communication Beyond Text" working group. Triangle Scholarly Communications Institute, Duke University (2014)

"Radiant Virtuality." Victorians Institute Meeting, Charlotte, NC (2014)

"Technologies of Serendipity." Research Society for Victorian Periodicals, University of Delaware (2014)

"Counting Words with Henry James." Digital Humanities 2013, University of Nebraska—Lincoln (2013)

Organizer and Chair for linked panels "Rebooting Graduate Training: Collaboration, Computing, and the New Thesis" and "The Third Degree: Joint Programs in Languages, Literature, and Libraries" (selected for the Presidential Theme, "Avenues of Access"). Modern Language Association, Boston, MA (2013)

"Is the Mail Coach the Message? Thomas De Quincey’s Textual Networks." Seminar paper. North American Victorian Studies Association (NAVSA), University of Wisconsin (2012)

"How to Not Read a Victorian Novel." MLA, Seattle, WA (2012)

"Performing Wombats; or, The Past and Future Play of Victorian Proofreading." NAVSA, Vanderbilt University (2011)

"Boz on the Bus." Victorians Institute, Coastal Carolina University (2011)

"Illustrating the Accident: Railways and the Catastrophic Picturesque." Research Society for Victorian Periodicals, Yale University (2010)

"The Great Exhibition and the Explosion of Print." Material Cultures, Centre for the History of the Book, University of Edinburgh (2010)

"Digital Pedagogy Unplugged." South Atlantic Modern Language Association, Atlanta, GA (2009)

Panel chair, "Ephemeral Arts." Paper, "Popular Media and Random Access." NAVSA, Yale University (2008)

"Accidents of a Novel Trade: Insurance, Industrial Catastrophe, and Mary Barton." NAVSA, University of Victoria (2007)

"Accidents and Omnibus Agency in Sketches by Boz." NAVSA, Purdue University (2006)

"‘The Palace of Art’ in the Age of Museological Reproduction." Victorians Institute, University of North Carolina at Greensboro (2005)

"Double Tech: ‘Lightning Communication’ and Mark’s Telephonic Twainness." Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies (INCS), Louisiana State University (2005)

"Couplets and Eighteenth-Century Science: A Much-Abused Poetic Alliance." Society for Literature and Science, Durham, NC (2004)

"Cultural Landscape and Network Topologies in Jules Verne's Journey to the Centre of the Earth." Society for Literature and Science, Austin, TX (2003)


  • BA in English from Wake Forest University, 1998
  • PhD in English from University of Virginia, 2009