Category Archives: Web Sites

Resource: Digital Marianne Moore

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 homepage

 

Screenshot of the reader prototype

Screenshot of the reader prototype

 

Screenshot of "The Notebooks"

Screenshot of “The Notebooks”

 

Resource: Digital Mina Loy

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.

 

 

 

Navigating Modernism’s Visual History 

This is a guest post by Teaching Modernist Women’s Writing in English hopeful contributor Amanda Golden.  Amanda Golden is an Assistant Professor of English at the New York Institute of Technology. She previously held the Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Poetics at Emory University’s Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry and a Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is the author of Annotating Modernism: Marginalia and Pedagogy from Virginia Woolf to the Confessional Poets (Routledge, forthcoming) and editor of This Business of Words: Reassessing Anne Sexton (UP of Florida, 2016). She has published in Modernism/modernityWoolf Studies Annual, and The Ted Hughes Society Journal and her essays on digital pedagogy can be found in TECHStyle and Postcolonial Digital Humanities.

My “Writing New York” course this term at the New York Institute of Technology invites students to develop greater facility with visual and digital tools as they construct arguments analyzing the role of New York in poetry, prose, and fiction from predominately the first half of the twentieth century.

The students began navigating modernism’s visual history early in the term. While reading Elizabeth Losh, et al.’s Understanding Rhetoric: A Graphic Guide to Writing, the students practiced constructing visual arguments while exploring the relationship between the design of a little magazine published in New York and its contents in our “Visual Literacy and the Modernist Journals Project” assignment.  (The digital tasks described here took place during the second half of an eighty-minute class period.)  When we read Edith Wharton’s “New Year’s Day” from Old New York (1924), the students interpreted the role of the city in the characters’ interactions in an assigned section of the reading, investigating the significance of their locations using Google Maps. In “Locating Old New York,” the students had unexpected observations, including the number of fires that the novella’s Fifth Avenue Hotel experienced in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This assignment also enabled the students to gain greater familiarity with “New Year’s Day” in preparation for their essays analyzing the role of humanity amidst the machinery of the city in E. B. White’s “Here is New York” (1949), Wharton’s story, or in both texts.

As we turned to the Harlem Renaissance, our class assignments began to include more written, oral, visual, electronic, and nonverbal components.*  We held a thesis contest in which students presented arguments addressing Langston Hughes’s poetry and prose. Students then combined text, images, and videos in their interpretations of the role of New York in at least one poem during our “Snapchat with Claude McKay.” When we read a chapter of Nella Larsen’s Passing, the students used Google Tour Builder to depict its events, including the contents of the conversations and their significance. The task of mapping Passing presented an opportunity for students to explore the text and the software in preparation for their group map assignments. In this project, the students have the option to use Google Maps, Google Tour Builder, or a combination of elements in a Prezi, Power Point, or Word Document, to create a visual argument analyzing at least one text by one of the writers we have read. Each group will also compose a rationale addressing the arguments that their map makes.

The linear format of Google Tour Builder provides a legible structure in which students can insert annotations interpreting passages from the text. After I learned of this program from Gabriel Hankins, I asked students in my Global Digital Modernisms course this term to construct tours of Paris in Jean Rhys’s Good Morning, Midnight (1938). Google Maps, which my previous classes have used in projects, such as creating annotated maps of Virginia Woolf’s Jacob’s Room, allows for a visual interpretation in which the lines on the map need not address one route, but could indicate various connections with different colors.

Figure 1

Figure 1

When I last taught my Global Digital Modernisms course, the students used Prezi when mapping Good Morning, Midnight to combine annotations and current Google Street views with backgrounds, such as historical maps (Figure 1). Prezi also allows for more complicated maps of texts, such as one group’s depiction of the protagonist’s memories (Figure 2). A current issue with Prezi is that their free educational subscription no longer allows students to keep materials private. I prefer that students keep their work offline, sharing it with their professor. If students choose to do so, they can make their work public when it is finished.

Figure 2

Figure 2

The final project in my Writing New York course will combine research and digital media as students compose a script that they will record or film as a podcast or video. This assignment includes students’ research using primary and secondary sources and builds on the digital and visual literacy skills they acquired in previous assignments. Complementing our reading during the second half of the course, we will look to The History Chicks’s Dorothy Parker podcast and Patti Smith’s interview with Paul Holdengräber at the New York Public Library video as examples for synthesizing elements of conversation, research, and close reading.  When I assigned a similar project in my African American Literature from the Harlem Renaissance to the Digital Present course, the students found our critiques of sample interviews particularly helpful in developing their own projects.  Their assignment, “Mock Interviews with Contemporary African American Writers,” grew out of one that Anne Sexton proposed to her “Anne on Anne” students at Colgate University in 1972.

In their script and podcast or video assignments, my Writing New York students will demonstrate the ability to analyze quotations, acknowledge sources, and develop arguments. Creating podcasts or videos, using such tools as Audacity, Soundcloud, and VoiceThread, the students can use phones, tablets, and computers to record and edit their projects, working in new ways with devices with which they may already be familiar. Blending creativity and research, this assignment invites students to combine language, sound, and media to create digital interpretations of modernist texts.

 

*In the Writing and Communication Program at the Georgia Institute of Technology, this is called WOVEN Communication and the ways these elements overlap comprise an artifact’s “multimodal synergy.” See WOVENText. Version 2.2. Bedford/St. Martin’s Press. http://ebooks.bfwpub.com/gatech.php. Accessed 21 March, 2016.

Resource: Feminist inter/Modernist Association and Feminist Modernist Studies

Great news for those of us interested in teaching modernist women’s writing:  the founding of a new professional organization and journal devoted to feminist modernist studies.fima_flyer1

We announced this back in July, and in the months since there has been a lot of movement by those involved:  Anne Fernald and Cassandra Laity, who will serve as the editors of Feminist Modernist Studies, as well as Sarah Cornish and Julie Vandivere, who have been integral to the organizing of the new society. There’s a new website, a listserv, and a flyer calling for members and contributors.

Visit the FiMA site, and join the listserv to keep current on this exciting development.

 

Resource: Z-Axis: A Tool for Mapping Modernism

The University of Victoria Makers Lab has launched a new tool for mapping modernism:  Z-Axis.  The purpose of the tool is to help scholars of modernism analyze subjective experiences of space.  In addition to offering an innovative way to explore the psychogeography of modernist novels, the website provides a number of resources for those interested in learning more about theory and practice.

A sample from the Z-Axis site

A sample from the Z-Axis site

Resource: ModNets

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 M_O_D_N_E_T_S_-_Classroomdevelopment 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!

Resource: The Modernism Lab

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.