CESTA welcomes Will Fenton
The Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA) is delighted to welcome Dr. William D. Fenton, who will take on the new role of Associate Director beginning on August 15. Will’s responsibilities will include developing, implementing, and administering the vision, strategy, and goals of the Center; advancing its array of research interests, training programs, and publication initiatives; and managing its day-to-day research activity and programs.
Will comes to Stanford from a position at the National Endowment for the Humanities, where he oversaw ARP: Humanities Grantmaking, a major sub-granting program that supported more than 150 individuals and 500 organizations, and the Digital Infrastructure program in the Office of Challenge Programs. Prior to the NEH, just after gaining his PhD in English from Fordham University, he served as Director of Research and Public Programs at the Library Company of Philadelphia, where he managed the institution’s 35-year-old research fellowship program along with its public programming, which included book talks, seminars, symposia, research colloquia, and numerous digital initiatives.
Will brings a rich background in digital humanities and early American literature. His scholarship has appeared in journals such as American Quarterly, Common-place: The Journal of Early American Life, and The Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy, and his thinking about the contemporary humanities was recently published in the 2021 collection The Reimagined PhD: Navigating 21st Century Humanities Education (Rutgers University Press). Will is also the creative director and editor of Ghost River: The Fall and Rise of the Conestoga (Red Planet Books & Comics, 2020), a graphic novel that reimagines colonial history using new interpreters and new bodies of evidence. Ghost River is part of Redrawing History: Indigenous Perspectives on Colonial America, a project of the Library Company of Philadelphia which is supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage; for this project Will received the 2021 Leadership in History Award by the American Association for State and Local History. Will’s ongoing digital projects include Digital Paxton, a digital collection and scholarly edition dedicated to the 1764 Paxton pamphlet war; Diaries Held at the American Philosophical Society, an online research guide traversing more than 1700 journals; and Americanization: Then and Now, a digital case study of post-WWI naturalization policies.
We are thrilled that Will is joining us!