The Marianne Moore Digital Archive is a major work in progress, digitizing the notebooks of a significant modernist poet and making available a wide range of resources devoted to the study of her texts. The project is directed by Cristanne Miller, with Associate Directors Elizabeth Gregory, Robin Schulze, and Heather Cass White (all highly distinguished Moore scholars) and in collaboration with the Rosenbach Museum and Library in Philadelphia.
The archive includes a catalog of the 122 notebooks held by the Rosenbach; these notebooks document Moore’s reading, drawings, her conversations, and her composition process. The site also offers a timeline of life and work, back issues of the Marianne Moore Newsletter, and a substantial scholarly bibliography. Some notebook images are available, and one element that has the potential to be a major asset to Moore scholars is a notebook reader, still in prototype. The Moore Digital Archive is a significant resource for scholars of modernist women’s writing and its archives.
Marianne Moore’s notebooks contain a vital record of a mind at work—drafts of poems and prose, playful drawings, copious notes from the events and performances she attended and her daily reading and research, impossibly catholic materials that range from quotations of high-toned commentary to advertisements for Johnnie Walker Scotch. Moore also recorded conversations—snippets of monologue and dialogue spoken by or about most of the most famous modernists and by family members and people she overheard on a train or at the zoo. Her notebooks constitute one of the great critical and cultural resources for modernist studies.
—from “The Notebooks,” Moore Archive
Screenshot of the homepage
Screenshot of the reader prototype
Screenshot of “The Notebooks”
Mina Loy: Navigating the Avant-Garde is a beautiful digital resource designed and maintained by Suzanne Churchill and Andrew Rikard of Davidson College, and Susan Rosenbaum of the University of Georgia. The site has a number of valuable features that might facilitate the teaching not only of Loy, but of the avant-garde more broadly.
The site offers a “Narrative” section, with five chapters: “Enter the Avant-Garde,” “Futurist Plays,” “Dada Prose,” “Surreal Scene,” and “No Man’s Land.” These well-researched and engaging multimedia chapters situate Loy’s work within a larger cultural and aesthetic context. Here readers will find discussion of plays like The Pamperers alongside other artifacts of Futurism, and consideration of Loy’s fiction in conversation with the art of Marcel Duchamp.
Churchill, Rikard, and Rosenbaum also provide bios with a gallery of images; an interactive timeline of Loy’s life and work; and an archive of Loy manuscripts built using Omeka. A manifesto positions this work within digital humanities and the kinds of close reading it can facilitate. Modeled on Blast, the manifesto calls for doing “close reading better: more informed, less closed.” I recommend scholars and teachers of modernism spend some quality time immersed in this rich and well-designed site.
A screenshot of the “Manifesto”
A screenshot of the “Documents” feature
A screenshot of the “Timeline” feature
ModNets is the long-awaited hub for peer-reviewed digital scholarship in modernist studies. Here’s an excerpt from “What Is ModNets?”:
Modernist Networks (“ModNets”) is a federation of digital projects in the field of modernist literary and cultural studies. ModNets has the dual goals of providing a vetting community for digital modernist scholarship and a technological infrastructure to support development of scholarly projects and access to scholarship on modernist literature and culture. ModNets aims to promote affiliated digital projects; to offer peer review based on content, conception, and technical design; to provide editorial and technical support; to evolve standards and “best practices”; and to maintain a system for the aggregation of scholarly resources in the field.
The collection will feature works of scholarship including:
- Digital editions of a text or set of texts
- Digital concordances or search engine referencing some archive
- Digital exhibits or teaching resources
- Presentations of linguistic data based on a set of texts
- Hypertext chronologies of lives or events
An inaugural member of the federation is Woolf Online, an important resource for those of us interested in teaching modernist women’s writing — and I’m also happy to see a feature that allows for instructors and students to work together in the ModNets Classroom. Potential contributors to TMWWE with an interest in digital scholarship are encouraged to visit the site and think about how they might use it in their teaching. Feel free to reflect in the comments.
SIDEBAR: Have you seen our hashtag? If you’re on Twitter, tweet your ideas and share resources using #teachingmodwomen!
The Modernist Journals Project, a collaboration between Brown University and the University of Tulsa, serves as a digital archive for literary magazines, “little magazines,” and assorted periodicals vital to the shaping of modernism. Those interested in modernist women writers will find a treasure trove of material, such as magazines focused on feminism, like The Freewoman, and magazines featuring the writing and editing of prominent women like Katherine Mansfield and Harriet Monro.
The Modernism Lab is a virtual space at Yale University dedicated to collaborative research into the roots of literary modernism. The lab seeks, by a process of shared investigation, to describe the emergence of modernism out of a background of social, political, and existential ferment. The project covers the period 1914-1926, from the outbreak of the first world war to the full-blown emergence of English modernism. The Lab has supported undergraduate classes on Modern Poetry, the Modern British Novel, Modernist London, and Joyce’s Ulysses, and a graduate course in English and Comparative Literature, “Moderns, 1914-1926,” as well as a class on modern German literature at the University of Notre Dame. Students in the classes have contributed materials to the website and used it as the platform for their research. The main components of the website are an innovative research tool, YNote, containing information on the activities of 24 leading modernist writers during this crucial period and a wiki consisting of brief interpretive essays on literary works and movements of the period.
The project as a whole aims to reconstitute the social and intellectual webs that linked these writers—correspondence, personal acquaintance, reading habits—and their influence on the major works of the period. We are interested, too, in broadening the canon of works studied in the period by paying attention to minor works by major authors, major works by minor authors, and works that may have been influential in their time but that are no longer much read.
The Pedagogy Toolkit, housed at the University of Victoria, offers a variety of resources for teaching writing and literature in all areas. Syllabi on the teaching of modernist literature are featured.
Orlando: Women’s Writing in the British Isles from the Beginnings to the Present is a substantial online resource from Cambridge UP; the scholarly introduction provides a conceptual overview useful for situating the teaching of modernist women writers within the context of recovery work.