Melodee Beals

Melodee Wood

BA MA, PhD, PgCAPP, FRHistS

  • School Open Research Lead
  • Senior Lecturer in Digital History

Melodee undertook her undergraduate studies at Clark University and completed her PhD at the University of Glasgow. Since completing her degree, Melodee has worked as a pedagogical researcher for the History Subject Centre, a teaching fellow for the School of Comparative American Studies at the University of Warwick and a Principal Lecturer for Sheffield Hallam University, where she acted as Subject Group Leader for History. She joined Loughborough University in September 2015.

In order to promote a more collaborative research community, within and beyond academia, Meloddee is an ardent supporter of open research and social media for academic purposes and is happy to discuss her research and teaching through various social networks, including Twitter.

Responsibilities

The focus of Melodee's research has been anglophone media history and she is particularly interested in the role of newspapers in public perceptions of identity and migration. Melodee's current research project uses digitised newspapers, magazines, and other popular publications to explore depictions of imperial identity at the start of the second British Empire and how we might better leverage High Processing Computing (HPC) to improve historical scholarship. As part of this wider work, Melodee also maintains the Scissors and Paste database, an online repository of newspaper transcriptions that aims to trace the composition, reprinting, abridgment and paraphrasing of newspaper content as it travelled along periodical networks.

An ardent advocate of Open Research, Melodee is keen to work with students and other researchers to widen our understanding of the historical underpinnings of open knowledge and the ways in which the free flow of information effects economic and social change.

Alongside her historical research, Melodee is also active in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), authoring reports and papers on history teaching in higher educationShe is senior fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has contributed to several higher education teaching organisations, including the East Midlands Centre for Teaching History and HistorySOTL, and has organised a range of training events for the HEA’s History Subject Centre and History Lab Plus. Melodee is particularly interested in the ways in which historians can rebalance their pedagogy away from long-term socialisation and towards more explicit training in the specific means of undertaking robust and thoughtful research.

At Loughborough, Melodee contributes to several team-taught undergraduate modules, including Smart ScholarshipWhat is History, Research Design, and The Atlantic World. She also convenes the third-year module, Convicts and Kangaroos: Australia 1788-1868, which explores the social, political, and cultural history of colonial Australia.

Melodee is keen to hear from students interested in postgraduate studies on migration in the British Empire and the United States before 1850, newspaper and periodical history and the digital humanities.

Monographs:

Coin, Kirk, Class and Kin: Emigration, Social Change and Identity in Southern Scotland. Oxford: Peter Lang, 2011.

Journal Articles

  • “Of Global Reach Yet of Situated Contexts: An Examination of the Implicit and Explicit Selection Criteria that Shape Digital Archives of Historical Newspapers.” with Tessa Hauswedell, Julianne Nyhan, Melissa Terras and Emily Bell. Archival Science: International Journal on Recorded Information (2020).
  • “Close Readings of Big Data: Triangulating Patterns of Textual Reappearance and Attribution in the Caledonian Mercury, 1820-1840” Victorian Periodicals Review 51:4 (Winter 2018/9)
  • “Scissors and Paste: The Georgian Reprints, 1800-1837” Journal of Open Humanities Data 3 (March 2017)
  • “Stuck in the Middle: Developing Research Workflows for Multi-Scale Text Analysis” Journal of Victorian Culture 22:2 (2017)
  • “Rapunzel and the Ivory Tower: How Open Access Will Save the Humanities (from Themselves)” Journal of Victorian Culture 18:4 (December 2013)
  • “The Sojourning Settler: Transatlantic Networks and Identities in the British-American Tobacco Trade, 1740-1841” Journal of Irish and Scottish Studies 3:1 (August 2009)
  • “‘Passengers Wishing to Embrace This Commodious Conveyance, Will Apply Immediately’: The Rise in Emigrant Passage Advertising in the Scottish Borders, 1800-1830” International Journal of Local and Regional Studies 4:1 (Spring 2008)
  • “Caledonian Canaan: Scottish Cultural Identity in Colonial New England as Demonstrated by the Scotch-American Company of Farmers” International Review of Scottish Studies 30 (September 2005

 

Book Chapters (with Significant Use of Digital Collections)

  • “Transnational Exchanges” In Edinburgh History of the British and Irish Newspaper Press, edited by David Finkelstein. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2020.
  • “The Role of the Sydney Gazette in Scottish Perceptions of Australia, 1803-1842” In Historical Networks in the Book Trade, edited by Catherine Feely and John Hinks, 148–70. The History of the Book. Basingstoke: Routledge, 2016.

 

Other Scholarly Works

  • The Atlas of Digitised Newspapers and Metadata: Reports from Oceanic Exchanges. Co-authored with Emily Bell, with contributions by Ryan Cordell, Paul Fyfe, Isabel Galina Russell, Tessa Hauswedell, Clemens Neudecker, Julianne Nyhan, Mila Oiva, Sebastian Padó, Miriam Peña Pimentel, Lara Rose, Hannu Salmi, Melissa Terras, and Lorella Viola. Loughborough: 2020. DOI: 10.6084/m9.figshare.11560059.
  • “Dumfries & Galloway Courier (1809-1939)” Dictionary of Nineteenth-Century Journalism (Proquest Digital Edition)

 

Datasets

  • Map of Digitised Newspaper Metadata v.1.0.0, with Emily Bell. Loughborough, 2020. DOI:10.6084/m9.figshare.11560110.
  • Re-Visualisations of The Caledonian Mercury by Source Type and Source Location with legends and associated data. Loughborough, 2018. Dataset.  DOI:10.6084/m9.figshare.5998454
  • Scissors and Paste: The Georgian Reprints v1.0.0. Loughborough, 2016. DOI: DOI:10.5281/zenodo.200399

 

Pedagogical Research

  • “Historical Insights – Focus on Research: Newspapers” with Lisa Lavender. History Subject Centre (2011)
  • “International Students in History: A Comparative Study in First Year Transition” History Subject Centre (2010)

Current Postgraduate Students:
Jiaxin Zhang: Sport Activity through the Complete Song Ci

Completed Theses:
Olivia Mitchell: Representations of the Begums of Bhopal in the British Press, 1857-1912: A Study of Loyalty, Race, and Gender