University of Wisconsin–Madison

Connection Central – Ilango Villoth

Ilango Villoth- Student Manager of the Text Technologies Press
In this blog series, we introduce people working for or associated with the Center for the History of Print and Digital Culture.

My undergraduate career has been largely shaped by a small number of professors who, going above and beyond the usual standard, have driven me to remarkable collaborations and projects. One such person is Professor Joshua Calhoun, who (among other things) first engaged me with the study of book history. Another is Professor Senchyne, the driving force behind the Text Technologies Press. Since last Spring, I’ve been managing the press, coordinating events/workshops, and handling outreach. It’s been a remarkable experience, and we’re both very excited for another year.

I’m a firm believer in keeping busy. Aside from working with Professor Senchyne on the press, I help coordinating the Holding History program. We predominantly host public humanities events at UW Special Collections, where student curators research and present about rare books in their areas of expertise. It’s a truly unique program, where students with an incredible range of studies collaborate on incredible presentations. I’m also the Jazz Coordinator for PAC, meaning I handle– in a broad sense– all the jazz shows in the Union Theater season, and am working on programming the upcoming season. I’m hoping to devote this semester to more artistic ventures– I’ve just begun a collaborative webcomic with a local artist, and have tentative plans for a project involving Digital Collections… should my grant applications be successful.

I also recently published my first novel! My academic (and personal) areas of scholarship are Melville, Shakespeare, and 19th century theology, and the book puts all three in conversation. It’s much weirder and more engaging than it sounds– one review summarized it as “a book about whales, madness, and heroin.” It’s called The Inconsistencies: A Comical Tragedy In Two Parts.