Jesse P. Karlsberg is Senior Digital Scholarship Strategist at the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship (ECDS). Jesse’s research draws on ethnographic, archival, and music analytical methods, and engages digital and conventional publishing platforms. His work examines the capacities afforded by web publication for facilitating analysis into digitized texts and analyzes connections between race, place, folklorization, and American music focusing on the editions of The Sacred Harp—a shape-note tunebook first published in Georgia in 1844—and their attendant music culture.
Jesse is editor-in-chief of of Sounding Spirit, a National Endowment for the Humanities–funded collection of digital and print editions of vernacular sacred American music co-published by ECDS and the University of North Carolina Press. He is project director of Readux, a platform for annotating and publishing digital critical editions employed by Sounding Spirit. Jesse edited Original Sacred Harp: Centennial Edition (Pitts Theology Library and Sacred Harp Publishing Company, 2015), a facsimile reprint of a 1911 edition of The Sacred Harp with a new introduction. His 2015 dissertation, “Folklore’s Filter: Race, Place, and Sacred Harp Singing,” was profiled in the New York Times and earned the first ever honorable mention for the Society of American Music’s Wiley Housewright Dissertation Award. He is the managing editor of Atlanta Studies, an interdisciplinary scholarly journal and blog on metropolitan Atlanta, and consulting editor of Southern Spaces, a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary, open-access journal about real and imagined spaces and places of the US South and their global connections. An active Sacred Harp singer, teacher, composer, and organizer, Jesse is the vice president of the Sacred Harp Publishing Company, the non-profit organization that publishes The Sacred Harp, editor of the Sacred Harp Publishing Company Newsletter, and research director of the Sacred Harp Museum.