MSA 18: Codex Industries

I’m excited to be presenting my work on the Armed Services Editions at this year’s Modernist Studies Association annual conference (and also excited to escape to Southern California in November!). My friend Alex Christie has organized a panel on Modernist Codex Industries, with four really fantastic papers addressing issues of modernism and media theory, with a dash of DH.

Panel Abstract

While modernist scholarship has documented the formal relationships between literature and film, it has yet to attend to production methods that move between book printing and mass media.While Edisonian innovations in the mechanical reproduction of sound and sight marked the emergence of old media as an industrial product, equal revolutions in the apparatuses of print production—including the introduction of the linotype and the rotary press—transformed the printed word into an industrial commodity. As Matt Huculak has recently noted in the Journal of Modern Periodical Studies, the production of modern periodicals relied upon the mass extraction of paper from Newfoundland. As such, “In effect, on or about 1910, Newfoundland’s natural timber resources began to underwrite the material production of modernity.” Attending to the modernist word’s instantiations as an industrial commodity, this panel unites book history with media studies to uncover modernist literature as media products. Papers may take up broad and ranging intersections between literary and mass mediated modernity, addressing topics such as: mechanical reproduction techniques that cross literature and media (old or new), the geopolitics of cultural production and consumption in the modernist period (including ecocritical approaches), the relationship between subject and object in industrial culture, the emergence and influence of experimental writing techniques (i.e. automatic writing), and the shifting nature of representation across formal and material registers. Additionally, papers may reflexively consider modernist literature’s re-emergence as a mass mediated enterprise through the mechanisms new media and large-scale digitization. Considering the confluence of modernist studies with the digital humanities, specifically as it inherits the legacies of industrial modernity, participants will collectively take stock of the ongoing politics of literary reproduction as they play out through technological and disciplinary transformations of the printed word.

Papers include:

Hannah McGregor: “You Owe Very Much to Advertising”: Mass Mediating the Modern Nation in Canadian Magazines

Kathryn Holland: The family in the network: an infrastructure for modernist literary activity

Me: Reading the Armed Services Editions: The Book Industry and the Production of Vernacular Modernism

Alex Christie: Unspooling Roussel’s Spectacle: Mass media and the manuscript

…and our chair, James Gifford!

Hope to see you there!

MLA 2017: Digital Holland and Community-Based DH

I’m happy to announce that my paper, “Digital Holland and Community-Based DH,” has been accepted to MLA! This panel, “Local Digital Humanities” is organized by the MLA Forum on Digital Humanities. I’m excited to be sharing my work at Hope College– and, more importantly, the work of undergraduate Mellon Scholars.

Paper Abstract

Digital humanities has been celebrated for its emphasis on collaborative research. Yet DH’s transformative collaborative ethos is restricted to institutional spaces—within the university, between universities, or in formal academic communities—and at large research universities. This paper is interested in collaboration of a different sort and in different places, considering the role of the local community in the digital research program of the small liberal arts college, arguing for a model of Community-Based DH. Literature in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning has emphasized Community-Based learning as a hallmark of “high-impact” education, encouraging classrooms to expand beyond their institutional havens (Kuh, 2008). Digital humanities research lends itself, especially, to these pedagogical practices, expanding the reach of collaboration into the local community—work that small liberal arts colleges are especially equipped to undertake. To make this case, I rely on my own community, university, and students. As the Mellon Fellow for Digital Liberal Arts at Hope College (Holland, MI), I oversee a robust partnership between local partners (archives, historical associations, churches) and diligent undergraduate researchers. Our flagship research project, Digital Holland, has been running for four years; students have been partnering with local organizations and independent researchers to make Holland’s cultural heritage freely available and accessible to the public in the form of digital archives and exhibits. In addition, students have also developed a series of “turnkey” projects to make digital research methods accessible to the public, inviting community members to participate in the making of Digital Holland, partnering in the act of knowledge creation alongside student project managers. In placing the discourse of Community-Based learning in conversation with DH Pedagogy, I hope to transform both: reframing the local community as more than simply a site, object of study, or recipient of service, but as a partner in research, and by expanding the traditional models of the DH Lab or Center to consider the applications of digital research and scholarship for the public good.

Modernism In/And The Contemporary

I’m excited to announce a panel for MSA 17, “Modernism In/And the Contemporary.”

In the context of modernism, modernity, and modernist studies, “revolution” is commonly associated with change, upheaval, and rupture. This panel considers “revolution,” in another sense: return, circularity, cyclical recurrence. As David James and Urmila Seshagiri note in their eponymous “Metamodernism,” contemporary fiction recycles and remixes modernism with great implications for modernist studies. This panel considers the ways that modernism—as a concept, a historically defined period, a series of aesthetic and political commitments—is reshaped by, in, and for the contemporary. Our panel considers the usefulness of modernism as a concept for contemporary scholarship, the archival and methodological investments of modernism and media studies, and modernism’s situation within a contemporary field of cultural production.

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