PhD, University of Missouri
MA, University of York, England
BA, Bryn Mawr College
Emily C. Friedman teaches courses on British literature, book history, and game narratives. Trained as a book historian, narratologist, and digital humanist, her work examines the history of cultural production outside of commercial mass media from the eighteenth century to today, from never-published manuscript fiction to emerging media. Now one of the senior scholars and public intellectuals in the field of "Actual Play," a new media form where roleplaying games are performed for audiences, her research on the topic has appeared in multiple academic books and journals, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and she is a regular contributor to Polygon. She is at work on two book projects on Actual Play: a field-defining history of the form online, as well as a multiauthored critical companion to major Actual Play Dimension 20.
long 18th-century British literature; adaptation; material culture; genre studies; performance studies; game studies; gender studies; history of the book; textual criticism; new media
Representative Recent Publications
- “Austen Among the Amateurs” Austen After 200. Eds. Kerry Sinanan, Daniel Cook, and Annika Bautz. (Palgrave 2022)
- “Must Anonymous Be a Woman? Gender and Anonymity in Archives” Special Issue on “Women in Archives” (Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature Winter/Spring 2021).
- “Eluding Print: Manuscript Fiction and the Survival of Scribal Practices in the Age of Print” Special issue of Huntington Library Quarterly by the Women in Book History Research Group (Summer 2021)
- (with Emily M.N. Kugler) “‘Avoiding’ Racism: Race and Representation in Austen-Inspired Games." Persuasions Special Issue "Beyond the Bit of Ivory: Jane Austen and Diversity", (Summer 2021)
- “Novel Knowledge, or Cleaning Dirty Data: Towards Open-Source Histories of the Novel,” Data Visualization in Enlightenment Literature and Culture. (Palgrave 2021)
- "'Is It Thursday Yet?" Narrative Time in Critical Role" in Roleplaying Games in the Digital Age: Essays on Transmedia Storytelling, Tabletop Role-Playing, and Fandom, Eds. Jennifer Grouling & Stephanie Hedge (Studies in Gaming Series, McFarland & Co. 2020)
- "Ownership, Copyright, Ethics of the Unpublished" in Access, Control, and Dissemination in Digital Humanities (Routledge 2021)
Sample Public Writing
- "What we talk about when we talk about Eighteenth-Century Fan Fiction” Eighteenth-Century Fiction special issue on “Refusing Eighteenth-Century Fictions” (Eds. Eugenia Zuroski and Manu Chander) January 2024.
- "Expanding Exandria: Narrative Adaptation & Compression in Critical Role" for How Do We Want To Do This?: Critical Essays on Critical Role.
- (with Emily M.N. Kugler) "Playable Partners: Spectrums of Queer Possibility in Indie Video Games" (essay for Pop Enlightenments: The Eighteenth Century Now, edited by Madeleine Pelling & Emrys Jones)