“We need to start documenting this phenomenon, moving out from the illustrious cases of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and Stanford University to grasp the reality of an enterprise that now numbers some 350 institutional participants and continues to grow. This enterprise is our literary history.”
– Mark McGurl, The Program Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing
The Program Era Project documents the aesthetic and cultural influence of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop by employing data visualization software to track connections between Workshop-affiliated writers and follow their migration into prominent positions at other creative writing programs. Along with these network visualization efforts, Program Era catalogs the history of creative writing at the University of Iowa, tracking trends and demographic shifts as well as employing computer-assisted quantitative analysis methods to compare the styles of Workshop-affiliated writers.
The Program Era Project is supported by the efforts of project manager and Digital Humanities Librarian, Nikki White; Lecturer in Rhetoric, Nick Kelly; and Ph.D. student in Communications Studies, John Witte.