Jesse P. Karlsberg, PhD, is Senior Digital Scholarship Strategist at the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship (ECDS) and associated faculty in the Department of Music at Emory University. His research draws on bibliographic, ethnographic, archival, and music analytical methods, and engages digital and conventional publishing platforms. Jesse develops technologies, collections, and editions furthering analysis of musical and textual corpora in cultural context and studies connections between race, place, folklorization, and American music focusing on the vernacular sacred songbooks of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Jesse is editor-in-chief and project director of Sounding Spirit, a National Endowment for the Humanities–funded search lab and publishing initiative of ECDS and the University of North Carolina Press promoting collaborative engagement with the songbooks that sound America’s musical landscape. He is project director of Readux, a platform for annotating and publishing digital scholarly editions and thematic research collections 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 consulting editor of the journal Southern Spaces and editorial board member and past managing editor of the journal Atlanta Studies. An internationally recognized Sacred Harp singer, teacher, composer, and songbook editor, Jesse is a member of the committee revising The Sacred Harp tunebook, vice president of the non-profit Sacred Harp Publishing Company, editor of the organization’s Shape Notes Journal, and research director of the Sacred Harp Museum.