Written as a collaborative endeavor, Laura McGrath's (2011) edited collection, Collaborative Approaches to the Digital in English Studies, explored the increasingly collaborative nature of English studies to produce, consume, and analyze texts in digital spaces. Situated in conversations from big-science collaboration and emerging big humanities collaboration, such as the work being done at the Stanford Humanities Lab and other institutions around the country, McGrath's collection focused on English studies. Because of the nature of digital work, McGrath argued that collaboration is a natural fit since "such work… often calls for a variety of perspectives and technical proficiencies" (p. 2).
Divided into two sections, Part I focused on "Scholarship, Research, and Professionalization." The five chapters in this section explored and analyzed theoretical approaches to collaboration, current collaborative humanities projects and groups, and the role collaboration plays in professionalizing future scholars. Part II moved the conversation about collaboration into the classroom. With chapters on creating space for collaboration and cross-cultural collaborative projects, Part II offered insight into practical and pedagogical means of incorporating digital collaboration, as well as stressing the importance of doing so.
Published by the Computers and Composition Digital Press/Utah State University Press, McGrath's book not only provided the foundational scholarship to encourage and support collaboration in English studies and digital spaces, but also stands as an example of the work the book advocates. Collaborative Approaches is a testament that collaborative digital texts in English studies can, indeed, produce meaningful and important knowledge for our field.