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Bill Endres

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Bill Endres

Bill Endres

Assistant Professor

Ph.D., Arizona State University, 2009

Office: Cate 2, Room 336 

As a digital humanist and visual rhetorician, I study early medieval manuscripts, particularly those made in the British Isles from 600-850 CE. I examine the complexities of these manuscripts and their cultural interplay in the development and transmission of artistic and monastic practices. My current book project, The St Chad Gospels: Its Images, Text and Textuality, explores the materiality of the St Chad Gospels and its decorative and textual expression as an anchor for identity within an evolving and uncertain cross-cultural context.

To ask the questions that I want to ask, I need prolonged access to study these manuscripts and the ability to recover damaged text and imagery.  Therefore, I specialize in advanced imaging techniques. In 2010, I led efforts to digitize the 8th-century St Chad Gospels: "American experts help record Lichfield Cathedral's St Chad Gospels."  

I am also quite interested in advanced imaging technologies and techniques. This interest comes in handy because a number of the early medieval manuscripts I study lack a printed or digital facsimile. Of particular interest to me is capturing aspects of the materiality of manuscripts. This materiality contains essential evidence that is regularly lost or under-represented in typical 2D photography, such as the three-dimensionality of a page or difficult to see surface details, such as dry-point writing. I employ a variety of techniques, including 3D, RTI, and VR, working to enhance what we can see and know. 

Teaching Interest:  
Motivated by the power and potential of methods in the Digital Humanities, I integrate these methods into my teaching. I teach a range of courses, focusing on digital composing, medieval manuscripts, and visual rhetoric.

Recent Publications: 
"Oh Lord, make haste to help me: Prayer and Imagery Atop Canon Table II in the Book of Kells” in An Insular Odyssey: Manuscript Culture in Early Christian Ireland and Beyond, edited by Rachel Moss, Felicity O'Mahony, and Jane Maxwell. Dublin: Four Court Press, 2017, p. 213-230.

"A Literacy of Building: Making in the Digital Humanities" in Making Humanities Matters, Debates in the Digital Humanities Series, ed. Jentery Sayer (Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2018, p. 44-54). 

"Ligatures and the Question of Scribes for the St Chad Gospels," Manuscripta 59.2 ( 2015): 158-86.
"Imaging Sacred Artifacts: Ethics and the Digitizing of Lichfield Cathedral's St Chad Gospels," Journal of Religion, Media & Digital Culture 3:3 (December, 2014) 39-73. 

"More than Meets the Eye: Going 3D with an Early Medieval Manuscript," Proceedings of the Digital Humanities Congress 2012, ed. Clare Mills, Michael Pidd and Esther Ward, University of Sheffield, March 2014.

Recent Invited Talks and International Conferences: 
“The Devil Is in the Details: Reflectance Transformation Imaging for Discovery and Preservation.” Digital Humanities Symposium, Oklahoma State University, 2018.

"Color Literacy: What Every Medievalist Should Know." International Medieval Congress, Leeds, England, 2017.         

"Digital Skin: Sensory Experiences of Digital Manuscripts II." International Medieval Congress, Leeds, England, 2017.         

"eManuscripts: Digital Humanities and Medieval Studies." International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, 2017. 

“Transforming What Can Be Known: Comparing Digitized Historical Photographs for Cultural Heritage.” DH 2017, Montreal, Canada, 2017 (paper accepted but I was unable to attend).

"Digitally Across Time: Generating Knowledge from 125 Years of Photography for the St Chad Gospels," 9th Annual Lawrence J. Schoenberg Symposium on Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age, University of Pennsylvania, November 17-19, 2016. 

"Intrigues & Revelations: Digitizing the St Chad Gospels," Keynote, International Calligraphy and Lettering Arts Society, Lichfield, England, September 2016. 

"OVAL: A Virtual Ecosystem for Immersive Scholarship and Teaching" (with Matt Cook & Will Kurlinkus), DH 2016, Krakow, Poland, 2016. 

"Transformed Materiality: Advanced Imaging Techniques and the Study of Medieval Manuscripts." International Medieval Congress, Leeds, England, 2016. 

"Beyond 2D: Representing the Materiality of Medieval Manuscripts." International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, 2016. 

"Digitally Across Time: Learning from 125 Years of Photographs of the St Chad Gospels," The Wandering Word: The Travels of Insular Manuscripts, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, May 2016.

"O Lord, Make Haste To Help Me: The Complex Interplay of Image and Text in Early Medieval Manuscripts." International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, 2015. 

“Knowledge in Surface Details: Reflectance Transformation Imaging for Studying and Preserving Medieval Manuscripts.” Digital Humanities Congress, Sheffield, England, 2014. 

Recent Grants: 
$5000 Forum Grant Award, OU Humanities Forum, University of Oklahoma. Funding for building a traveling Virtual Reality Workstation for Experiencing and Studying Medieval Manuscripts (2018).

Junior Faculty Fellowship, University of Oklahoma. Summer support for book project: Digitizing Manuscripts: Materiality, Methods, and Ethics in 2D and 3D and funding for travel to England to present at the International Medieval Congress (Leeds) and acquire further historical photographs of the St Chad Gospels (2017).

Grant for Advanced Imaging Technology (Reflectance Transformation Imaging), sponsored by the West Semitic Research Project, University of Southern California. Captured Lichfield Angel, medieval fresco, and selected pages of the St Chad Gospels (Lichfield Cathedral, Lichfield, England), early Christian stone carvings (Ireland), and medieval manuscripts and fragments (National Library of Wales), 2014. 

Digital Humanities Projects on the Web:  
Manuscripts of Lichfield Cathedral. Multispectral images (ultraviolet to infrared) of the St Chad Gospels and Lichfield Cathedral’s Wycliffe New Testament. Website also includes interactive 3D and RTI renderings of selected pages for the St Chad Gospels, collation model, and historical image overlays to gauge how the St Chad Gospels is aging.

Downloads available: the Chapter of Lichfield Cathedral generously granted Creative Commons licensing for the multispectral imaging of the St Chad Gospels and the Cathedral's Wycliffe New Testament

The St Chad Gospels: Potentials for 3D in Manuscript Studies (video) 

The St Chad Gospels: Reflectance Transformation Imaging and Dry-Point Glosses (video)