The Bounding Line

The Academic Portfolio of Christopher Martiniano (christophermartiniano@gmail.com). Scroll down to see.


Eighteenth-Century Literature+Art History | Creativity Studies | Public/ Digital Humanities

At the Morgan Library and Museum researching Blake's America A Prophecy and The First Book of Urizen. My technique of turning a manuscript sideways or upside-down to read it helps me to see it fresh. It's a technique I learned while working at The Metro Times in Detroit and that I also encourage with my students. I call the technique "to make strange" with an object.

_Hello, World. My name is Christopher Martiniano. "My Business is to Create."

Currently, I am a Ph.D. candidate of the Departments of English and History of Art from Indiana University/Bloomington. I received my M.A. as well as my B.A. (triple major: English, Philosophy, and Studio Art) at DePaul University Chicago. Besides teaching English literature and composition at Loyola, I also teach communication theory, media studies, creativity studies, and University core courses.


My research specialization includes: Eighteenth century literature, illustrated poetry, painting and contemporary creativity studies; Public Humanities; Creativity Studies; Public/Digital Humanities.


My teaching interests include: Theoretical inquiry in the Public/Humanities; literary theory/criticism including New Criticism, feminist criticism, structuralism, deconstruction, new historicism, and cultural studies; post-colonial literature; art as activism; mentoring thinkers.


As you can surmise from my site's design, William Blake is a pivotal figure for me. His work represents a locus for my research and teaching interests in aesthetic theory/philosophy, poetry, art, media, and music. Northrop Frye, in fact, states of Blake's work that it is actually an entanglement of all the arts. From my engagement with Blake and eighteenth-century literature, visual art, media, and thought, I am better able to untangle aesthetic problems of other periods including our own.


My multimodal dissertation,William Blake’s Bounding Line "Gath’ring Thick,” investigates Blake’s “bounding line” as it operates in his picto/poetic art. It argues that the bounding line, the principle of Blake’s “golden rule of art as well as of life”, operates as a synecdoche for his idea of imagination, creativity and divine vision. Juxtaposing other Eighteenth century figures including J.S Bach, Alexander Pope, G.W. Leibniz, Christopher Smart, and Sir Isaac Newton reveals the period’s unique pursuit of creativity through linearity. These various explorations of imagination and creativity during the eighteenth-century, I find, often contrast sharply with our own and motivate my research in current creative studies and the teaching of creativity. Committee: Professors Mary Favret (English), Nicholas Williams (English), Jesse Molesworth (English), and Diane Reilly (History of Art).


My choice of these particular images from Blake's poem, America A Prophecy (1793) and the way this site is designed (parallax) to 'compare' each image is to show that much of my work in the library and my multimodal classroom is textual, material, and dynamic. Classroom dynamism is integral to my method because it allows students to develop their own way of thinking about and applying the materials. In a recent, 2017 course evaluation, a student stated, "[Chris] is an excellent educator, not only to help us understand ourselves, [he] have given us the tools needed to dig deeper within, to find the reasons why we think the way we think, why we do what we do." Whether I am analyzing Blake's work or manuscripts of Christopher Smart, Isaac Newton, or 12c illuminated bibles, I compare primary sources when I can. Additionally, I apply innovative methods of digital humanities to not only aid my research but to find creative, innovative ways to present it to colleagues and to students.  I also incorporate new, digital media into my classroom whenever possible to make the learning experience as dynamic and flexible for different learning types.


I am mightily indebted to my students, my teachers, and my mentors over the years. They include Professors Jonathan Gross (Depaul U), Paula McQuade (DePaul U), W.J.T. Mitchell (U Chicago), Jonathan Elmer (IU), and my amazing committee of advisors at Indiana University: Professors Mary Favret (English), Nicholas Williams (English), Jesse Molesworth (English), and Diane Reilly (History of Art). And I would be remiss if I didn't mention the invaluable efforts of Bev Hankins (IU) for keeping me on track throughout the entire process. I am also grateful to Associate Dean Jeanne Widen of Loyola for making me a better teacher, mentor, and colleague.


Scroll down to view my education, teaching positions, a list of select conference presentations/publications, and #alt-ac/service. Along the left margin are passages from various articles I have presented as well as verbatims from student evaluations. Also, simply click here for a printable PDF of my CV. Feel free to contact me at christophermartiniano@gmail.com.

“This was the best class I have taken so far at Loyola. The teacher is amazing and very understanding...I would take this class 100 times if I could. I really enjoyed the knowledge I

gained and the presence of Professor Martiniano.”


-ENGL210 Advanced Writing/Digital Rhetoric  Student Evaluation (Loyola, 2018)

Continue to scroll down to see my education


Eighteenth-Century Literature+Art History | Creativity Studies | Public/ Digital Humanities

I developed this teaching exercise for my students to think about story telling and particular, the storymaking of digital narratives. I give each student group eight to ten “Pulcinella” drawings by Tiepolo. Like a storyboard, each group then creates an order for the images and constructs a narrative. They also caption each drawing according to their narrative (144 character limit). The main outcomes for this assignment are recognizing patterns, connections, and developing narratives from disparate content.

“As the declared principle of the 'golden rule of art, as well as of life,' William Blake’s 'bounding line' guides his philosophy, his spirituality, and the picto-poetic art of his illuminated manuscripts. Ruling this eighteenth-century artist-poet’s thought and execution, the bounding line figures itself simultaneously as a mark, a movement, an attitude and an energy.”


--From my article “In the Forests of the Night”:

Eighteenth-Century Imagination, Creativity, and

William Blake’s Bounding Line “Gath’ring Thick”


Ph.D. (ABD) Indiana University/Bloomington
Dept. of English, Dept. of the History of Art (PhD Minor)

Eighteenth-Century English Literature and European Art History (Projected Dissertation Defense: 2018)


M.A. Loyola University Chicago

Center for Textual Studies and Digital Humanities

(Began 2014/15 - part time graduate student)


M.A. DePaul University Chicago

Dept. of English (2009 with Honors)


B.A. DePaul University Chicago

(Triple major) Dept. of English, Philosophy Dept., The Dept. of Art + Media + Design (1995)




Nominee for the Op Ed Project: The Public Voices Greenhouse“A bold national initiative, undertaken in partnership with leading universities and foundations, to dramatically increase the public impact of our nation’s top and most diverse thinkers.” Loyola University Chicago, SCPS, 2017/18

Nominee for Excellence in Teaching, Loyola University Chicago, SCPS, 2015/16

Nominee for Outstanding Teaching Award, Indiana University, Dept. of English, 2012/13

Recipient of The R.A.W. Teaching Award (1 of 2 annually), Indiana University, Dept. of English, 2010/11

Nominee for First-Time Instructor Teaching Award, Indiana University, Dept. of English, 2010/11


_Academic Affiliations

MLA, MLA Commons, MMLA, North American Society for the Study of Romanticism, The American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Newberry Library Renaissance Center, Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations, Sigma Tau Delta (English Honor Society), GSAC (IU Graduate Student Advisory), The Images Forum, Meaning & Mattering, The Center for Theoretical Study in the Humanities, AIGA

“This was my favorite class this semester mainly because of professor Martiniano. He was very engaging with the students and helped me step out of my comfort zone and improve my participation.”

-ENGL210 Exploring Poetry Student Evaluation (Loyola, 2018)

Continue to scroll down to see my teaching experience and awards

_Teaching Experience

Eighteenth-Century Literature+Art History | Creativity Studies | Public/ Digital Humanities

“He did a wonderful job teaching this course. He made changes to the course that made it much more beneficial for us as students than it would have been. This class was one of the most meaningful

and important classes that I've taken at Loyola.”


-ENGL201 Advanced Writing/Digital Rhetoric Student Evaluation (Loyola, 2019)

“The professor is fantastic. The best so far. He is very good at [the] subject, helpful, friendly and fun-loving. I loved the class and I will miss it. The best part is that he … stimulated our thinking to write well.”


-w131BW Student Evaluation (IU, 2011)

“He goes the extra mile to help students; Meetings, advice, help with assignments, support, and [he's] a great mentor.”


-Student Nomination for Excellence in Teaching (Loyola, 2015)

“Every single class was so exciting and inspiring. I did learn from him.”


-COMM200 Student Evaluation (Loyola, 2015)

“I appreciate how much thought he gives to the assignments tasked to us - so that we can squeeze every ounce of learning out of this class. I am taking away much more than I expected to, and am grateful for the opportunity to have participated in such an intriguing, thought-provoking class.”


-22-2510 Student Evaluation (Columbia, 2015)

“[Chris] was always available for everyone and did everything in his power to reach out to people. Whenever we would ask for help, he would provide the best support and tell us exactly what we were lacking without giving us the answer. He is a great teacher.”


-UCWR 110 (045) Student Evaluation (Loyola, 2016)

“I would like to thank him for being an amazing teacher. He really goes above and beyond when it comes to giving us the best experience possible to prepare us for the real world.”


-21-3542 Creative Strategies Student Evaluation (Columbia, 2016)

Instructor, Virginia Commonwealth University, Dept. of Focused Inquiry, 2019-

Teach small, seminar-style classes for first- and second-year students as part of the core curriculum at VCU. Faculty strive to foster curiosity about the world at large through inquiry-based, community-engaged, and experiential learning. Focused Inquiry classes are about asking questions; Good questions; Thoughtful questions; Probing questions through reading scholarly essays, contextualizing and analyzing art objects including visual art, film, and literature and writing academic essays. Students inquire and celebrate the plurality of voices in the classroom through rich discussion, collaboration, and presentations of student work. The primary focus of the two-semester sequence of these liberal arts courses is reading Richmond, VA “as text” grounded in contemporary events. Courses included:


UNIV111: Focused Inquiry (4 sections, 2019; 3 sections 2020)

UNIV112: Focused Inquiry (5 sections, 2020; 4 sections 2021)

Instructor, Virginia Commonwealth University, Dept. of English, 2020-

Developed a literature course that asked the questions, “What is evil? Who is evil? How do we know evil when we see it? How do we conceptualize evil in an increasingly secularized world?” To answer these questions students come to an historical understanding of how evil is theorized from Aquinas to Arendt and the many literary representations throughout history that reflect these theories. Studentsd survey illustrated, literary works that includes novels, short fiction, poetry, and contemporary graphic novels from Milton, Edgar Allen Poe, William Blake, Charles Baudelaire, Octavia E. Butler, and Angela Carter. This course teaches students the basic skills of literary criticism: close reading, formal analysis, critical thinking, as well as theoretical and historical contextualization of primary, illustrated texts. 

ENGL215 Reading Literature: “Imagining Evil” (1 section, 2020-)


Instructor (Adjunct), Loyola University Chicago, Dept. of English,School of Communications, 2015-2019

Set high academic standards for small classes (<18) at a social justice, mission-driven university. Independently developed (digital, hyper-linked) course syllabus, (multimedia, tech-centric) lectures, and promoted rich exchange of ideas during class discussions. Promoted the inclusion of plurality of voices in the classroom through formal presentations of student work. Developed rubrics for effective, analytical, critical prose and evaluated students’ writing assignments. Maintained high levels of interaction with each student during class and held daily office hours. Mentored a diverse, urban student body of primarily first- year and second-year students. Courses included


ENGL271: Exploring Poetry (one section, 2018)

UCLR100: Interpreting Literature (one section, 2017)

UCWR 110 Writing Responsibly (eight sections, 2016-19)

ENGL210: Advanced Writing/Digital Rhetoric (one section, 2019)

COMM200 Communication and New Media (one section, 2015-16)

COMM211 Principles of Advertising (online; one section, 2017)

COMM288 Digital Public Relations (independent study, 2017)


Assistant Professor, Loyola University Chicago, SCPS/School of Comm, 2017-2018

Developed “Applied Inquiry” in FA2017: an applied, multidisciplinary, and self-directed approach to framing courses and addressing societal challenges at Loyola University Chicago, SCPS. Pedagogically, it is a sustained, project-based, applied learning experience for SCPS students examined through the lens of global challenges like gender, climate change, racism, crime, etc.  Held weekly office hours and mentored a diverse, adult/non-traditional student body. Promoted plurality of voices and inclusion of ideas through formal presentations of student work. Served on numerous committees. Traditional and online courses included:


COMM215: Communication (Digital) Ethics (online; one section, 2018)

COMM175: Introduction to Communications (one section, 2018)

COMM275: Web Design and Usability (a History) (one section, 2018)

COMM211: Principles of Advertising (online; one section, 2017)

COMM288: Digital Public Relations (online; one section, 2017)


Instructor (Adjunct), Columbia College Chicago, Art+Design Department, 2015-Present

Independently developed (digital, hyper-linked) course syllabus, (multimedia, tech-centric) lectures, class discussions, and coordinated weekly, guest speakers in both creative writing and visual arts. Developed rubrics for effective, analytical, critical prose and evaluated students’ assignments.  Held weekly office hours and mentored a diverse, urban student body of artists and creative thinkers. Courses included:


21-2901: Special Topics: New Media, Convergence, & Technogenesis

(I developed this course specifically for Columbia art students; one section, 2017)

21-3542-01: Creative Strategies II  (two sections, 2016)

22-2510: Introduction to Advertising (co-taught, one section, 2015)


Associate Instructor, Indiana University/Bloomington, Dept. of English, 2010-2013

Independently developed (digital, hyper-linked) course syllabus, (multimedia, tech-centric) lectures, and class discussions. Wrote and evaluated research and analysis assignments. Attended weekly training seminars. Held weekly office hours. Courses included:


W231: Professional Writing (two sections, (2011-12)

W131BW: Basic (Developmental) Composition (three sections, 2011-12)

W131: Elementary Composition (three sections, 2010-11)


Intern/Teaching Assistant, Indiana University/Bloomington, Dept. of English, 2012-2013

Co-developed course syllabus, lesson plans, lectures and class discussions. Evaluated paper assignments and exams. Met with professor proceeding each class to discuss outcomes of course. Courses included:


L371 Critical Practices with Nicholas Williams (one section, 31 Students, 2013)

L347 The Novel and the Enlightenment with Jesse Molesworth (one section, 35 Students, 2012)

“Chris Martiniano inspired me to dig deep to find meaning in all things I do.”


-Former Student & Loyola President’s Medallion Recipient (2016)

“[Chris] helped us all discover who we are, what we are working towards, how we want to help others. All of it in such a creative and exciting way that makes everyone

really think!”


-CPST201 Student Evaluation (Loyola, 2017)

“[Chris] explained the [poetry] course very distinctly and made learning poetry fun and relatable in comparison to when I've taken classes about it in the past. He made a huge effort to get to know his students while delving into different periods and topics. He is great at reviewing and wants his students to do well.”


-ENGL210 Student Evaluation (Loyola, 2018)

“I genuinely learned new things about poetry as well as improved my writing skills. The content was always very engaging because he would connect poetry to art and everyday life. As an instructor, he was amazing. He engaged every single person and made each of us feel competent!”


-ENGL210 Exploring Poetry Student Evaluation (Loyola, 2018)

Continue to scroll down to see my conference presentations + publications

_Select Conference Presentations + Publication

Eighteenth-Century Literature+Art History | Creativity Studies | Public/ Digital Humanities

Manuscript detail from Christopher Smart's Jubilante Agno (1759-1763) that I am currently working with. MS Eng 719, Houghton Library, Harvard University.

"With the NEA, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis produced 'the first federal effort to provide in-depth analysis of the...cultural sector's contributions to current-dollar GDP.' It shows that creativity has expanded beyond individual talent to become a process, activity, and a product with an industry to produce and distribute it. Creativity is not only vital, creativity is viable. In fact, creativity is now valued as capital.”


-From my published paper "Scientization of Creativity" (JMMLA 2017)

"John Locke’s impasse between an enlightened world of reason and a dark one of incomprehensibility opens the door to William Blake’s Jerusalem. Its borders between light/dark, waking/sleeping, reason/fancy are endlessly obscured over its 100 plates.”


-From my paper "Sleeping Through the Apocalypse" (MMLA 2016)

“I have never taken a course that challenged my creativity and furthered my understanding of the business world simultaneously.”


-ENGL210 Advanced Writing/Digital Rhetoric Student Evaluation (Loyola, 2019)

Applied Inquiry: Implementing Problem/Project-Based Learning Pedagogy to Address Societal Challenges at Loyola University Chicago

Co-presenter with Dr. Amy Jordan and Associate Dean Jeanne Widen. "Focus on Teaching & Learning:" 21st Semiannual Focus on Teaching & Learning Conference at Loyola University Chicago (Chicago, IL), 2018

The Art(s) of #Resistance

Forms of Academic Activism special panel (Also Co-Chair), MMLA/Interdisciplinary Conference "Arts and Activism" (Cincinnati, OH), 2017


The Art + Science of Dissent in the 1790s: William Blake’s Jerusalem Illustrating the Feminine Principle of Life

Illustrated Texts panel (Also Chair), MMLA/Interdisciplinary Conference "Arts and Activism" (Cincinnati, OH), 2017


Sleeping Through the Apocalypse: John Locke, William Blake’s Jerusalem, and the Somnambulistic, Hypnagogiac Logic of the Romantic Imagination

Illustrated Texts panel (Also Chair), MMLA/Interdisciplinary Conference "Border States" (St. Louis, MO), 2016


It’s Not a Mess, It’s Creativity!

Faculty Lecture, Columbia College (Chicago, IL), 2015


The Scientization of Creativity

The Sciences & Creative Writing panel, MMLA/Interdisciplinary Conference "Arts & Sciences" (Columbus, OH), 2015


The Calculus Controversy and An Unlikely, Aesthetic Outcome

English Lit Before 1800 panel, MMLA/Interdisciplinary Conference "Arts & Sciences" (Columbus, OH), 2015


"If You Brand Too Deep, The Worms Will Get In": Inhabiting, Crossing-Over & Crossing-Out Textual Space in Crispin Glover’s/W.M. Baker’s Novel(s), Oak-Mot (1828 & 1989)

Illustrated Texts panel (also Chair), MMLA/Interdisciplinary Conference "Arts & Sciences" (Columbus, OH), 2015


William Blake’s Bounding Line "Gath’ring Thick" (PechaKucha 20x20 Presentation)

Center for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Indiana University/Bloomington, 2014


"Ever Building Amidst the Ruins": The Manufacture of Art and the Revival of a New City

The Lives of Cities. MMLA/Interdisciplinary Conference (Detroit), 2014


Bounding Through the Picto/Poetic Art of William Blake

Art & Artifice. MMLA/Interdisciplinary Conference (Milwaukee), 2013


19c Scientific Illustration and Narrative Space: A New Species of Scientific Aesthetics

Collaboration/Co-Presentation with Sarah Hopfer

Species, Space & Imagination of the Global. ASLE Interdisciplinary Conference. Indiana University/Bloomington, 2011


"Illuminating the Ecstatic": William Blake’s "Unscientific & Irregular Eccentricity"

Communicating Forms: Aesthetics, Relationality, Collaboration. University of Chicago English Literature Annual Conference, 2010



The Scientization of Creativity

Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association (JMMLA): "Border States." Ed. Jason Arthur, Rockhurst University, Spring 2017


The Science of Life as Art+Dissent: Blake and Epigenesist Poetics

Lady Science: “Series on Fascism, Gender, and Science.” Eds. Anna Reser, Leila A. McNeill, and Nathan Kapoor, Spring 2017


#ntwrkd-phd: Plugging-In PhDs to Networks Outside the Academy

MLA Commons: Connected Academics (Online: connect.commons.mla.org). Ed. Nicky Agate, Managing Editor, MLA Commons, 2015


Continue to scroll down to see my #alt-ac/service

_#alt-ac + Select Service Opportunities

Eighteenth-Century Literature+Art History  |  Creativity Studies  |  Public/ Digital Humanities

“You would be crazy for ever questioning the credibility of this professor's teaching. He's truly a great person that cares about his students and has changed my writing abilities for the better. He didn't see me as just another student, but rather made everyone in the class feel like we were special in more ways than one. Honestly would love to take a class with him again.”


-UCWR 110 (008) Student Evaluation (Loyola, 2017)

“Group work was challenging and I think he purposefully put us in groups that WOULD challenge us, which I hate to admit but it made me a stronger group member and/or leader/listener.”


-21-3542 Creative Strategies Student Evaluation (Columbia, 2016)

“[Chris'] class was one of the most meaningful and important that I've taken at Loyola.”


-ENGL210 Advanced Writing/Digital Rhetoric Student Evaluation (Loyola, 2019)

Served on Textbook Committee (VCU Dept. of Focused Inquiry, 2019-2020)

Participated with “Richmond as Text” Faculty Learning Community (VCU Dept. of Focused Inquiry, 2019-2020)

Participated with “Interdisciplinarity” Faculty Learning Community (VCU Dept. of Focused Inquiry, 2019-2020)

Co-presented to Department of Focused Inquiry (VCU) Faculty Institute Breakout Session w/Elizabeth Fagan: “Miscreant Content and Malinformation: Why Applied Analysis is More Important Than Ever” (VCU Dept. of Focused Inquiry, Jan. 9 2020)

Presented Department of Focused Inquiry (VCU) Faculty: “Ambiguously Yours: Manafacturing Ambiguity in the Classroom” (VCU Dept. of Focused Inquiry, Oct 10, 2019)

Led Department of Focused Inquiry (VCU) GTA Practicum “Quantitative Literacy” with Coordinator, Dr. Jennifer Selman (VCU Dept. of Focused Inquiry Wed. Feb 26, 2020)“

Applied Inquiry: Implementing Problem/Project-Based Learning Pedagogy to Address Societal Challenges” Co-presenter with Dr. Amy Jordan and Associate Dean Jeanne Widen. “Learning to Change:” ICCHE-ACHE Great Lakes Joint Conference; 43rd Annual Continuing Higher Education Conference (Chicago, IL), Spring 2018

Chair of Illustrated Texts Permanent Section, The Midwest Modern Language Association Interdisciplinary conference "Arts+Activism" (Cincinnati, OH 2017), "Border States" (St. Louis, MO 2016),  and "Arts & Sciences" (Columbus, OH 2015).


Rebrand/Redesign of The Midwest Modern Language Association and its Journal (JMMLA) with the guidance of former MMLA presidents, Profs. Andrea Kaston Tange (EMU) and Sam Cohen (U Missouri), 2014-15


Co-organized event, with Jonathan Vickers (IU Cinema), featuring Crispin Hellion Glover, his incomplete It trilogy (film) and Big Slide Show (dramatic performance of his eight books). Indiana University/IU Cinema, 2013


Photo Editor/Compositor, Oxford University Press/New York, 2011 (freelance)

Dror Wahrman, Mr. Collier’s Letter Racks: A Tale of Art & Illusion at the Threshold of the Modern Information Age,  2012 (ISBN 978-0-19-973886-1)


Graduate Student Representative for Search Committee Events for Digital Rhetoric Faculty, 2013


Marketing (print, web, PR) for (IU) College of Arts and Humanities Institute (CAHI). Jonathan Elmer, Director, 2013


Marketing (print and web PR/design) for (IU) Masters Classes in the Humanities / The Art of Interpretation. Events featured: T.J. Clark, Marina Warner, David Wellbery, Lorraine Daston, Catherine Gallagher, Tom Gunning, Jonathan Spence, Carlo Ginzberg. Conveners: Michel Chaouli [IU Germanic Studies], Dror Wahrman [IU History]. 2011-12


Marketing (print and web PR/design) for (IU) Department of English. Jonathan Elmer, Chair, 2010-12



_Select Non-Academic Employment (Advertising/Marketing)

Sr. Graphic Designer, University Marketing+Communication, Loyola University Chicago, 2014-2015


Sr. Creative Director (Copy/Art), Leo Burnett/ARC Worldwide/Chicago (Advertising/Marketing), 2012, 2013, 2014

Clients: McDonald’s, Coca-Cola Company (Diet Coke, Sprite and portfolio marketing), MillerCoors, Bridgestone


Vice President Creative Services (Copy/Art), Upshot/Chicago (Advertising/Marketing), 2007-08

Sr. Creative Director (Copy), 2004-07 / Art Director, 1998-1999

Clients: Miller Brewing Co., Finish Line, Kraft, Procter & Gamble, Tremor, Disney Vacation Club, SBC Wireless (Cingular), Seagrams/Diageo, Sony

©2019 Christopher Martiniano. Images courtesy of blakearchive.org