Editing Modernism in Canada


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December 17, 2013

Avant Canada conference and bpNichol symposium

Call for Papers

The 28th Annual Two Days of Canada Conference
in partnership with EMiC

followed by a special one-day symposium on bpNichol’s life and works

Avant Canada
Artists, Prophets, Revolutionaries

5-7 November 2014

Since the 1920s, when Canadian avant-gardist Bertram Brooker announced art’s imminent triumph over business, the discourse of avant-gardism in Canada has frequently combined revolution, aesthetics, and ecstatic projections of the future. The 28th annual “Two Days of Canada” conference at Brock University, the oldest Canadian Studies conference of its kind in Canada, invites scholars and graduate students in all disciplines who research any aspect of the humanities or social sciences in the Canadian context to a conference centred broadly on the idea of what lies ahead for Canada and the arts in Canada.

This conference represents an opportunity to reflect on the state of the future in Canada as well as the role that forward thinking artists, philosophers, and revolutionaries have played and might yet play in shaping what lies ahead. Many possible topics comprise the broad theme of this conference, such as:

• dissent, disruption, and revolution: from early rights-based activisms to contemporary movements like Idle No More and Occupy
• future gardes in Canada and the future of the modernist avant-garde
• editing, publishing, and archiving the avant-garde
• teaching, mentoring, and inventing the avant-garde
• politics, political agency (especially including decolonization), and the arts
• equity, inclusiveness, and ideas/models of community
• movements, networks, nodes, and manifestations
• the impact of digital methodologies
• race, gender, and class in avant-garde production, dissemination, and recognition
• border crossing, transnationalism, and globalization
• futurist representations and the mediated future
• the theory of avant-gardism and modernism in Canada vis-à-vis international models
• the history, historiography, and boundaries of Canadian avant-gardism

Proposals for individual papers, presentations, or panels from all disciplines, covering any aspect of Canada’s future or the role of the avant-garde in Canada, are welcomed. Papers intended for the bpNichol symposium should be marked as such (see below). Abstracts should be no longer than 250 words and may be sent to Gregory Betts, Department of English Language & Literature (gbetts@brocku.ca) before 3 March 2014. Please attach a 50 word biography to your submission. Hardcopy proposals should be sent to: Professor Gregory Betts, c/o The Department of English Language & Literature, Brock University, 573 Glenridge Ave. St. Catharines, ON., L2S 3A1


At the corner of mundane and sacred: A bpNichol Symposium

Friday 7 November 2014

This collaborative symposium of scholars, writers, visual artists, musicians, and those interested and invested represents a cogent network of energies focused on the award-winning work of Canadian poet bpNichol (1944-1988). Nichol was a singular literary figure, with substantial influence on small press and experimental writing communities in Canada, the United States, and beyond. He has been the subject of countless books and essays by writers in both countries, and is the subject of a current outpouring of academic interest that has given rise to the republication of many of his books.

This one-day symposium on Nichol’s life and works will be held at the Niagara Artists Centre in downtown St. Catharines, in collaboration with Brock University’s Centre for Canadian Studies and the Editing Modernism in Canada Project. It will include plenary speakers, roundtable discussions, special topics panels, workshops on avant-garde pedagogies and production, a poetry reading, and a Fraggle Rock-themed dance party. Papers exploring any aspect of Nichol’s production or the scholarship on Nichol are welcome.

Proposals for individual papers, presentations, or panels are encouraged. Abstracts should be no longer than 250 words and may be sent to Gregory Betts, Department of English Language & Literature (gbetts@brocku.ca) before 3 March 2014. Please attach a 50-word biography to your submission. Hardcopy proposals should be sent to: Professor Gregory Betts, c/o The Department of English Language & Literature, Brock University, 573 Glenridge Ave. St. Catharines, ON., L2S3A1

November 28, 2013

Critical Edition by EMiC Scholars Hits Shelves

A critical edition of Malcolm Lowry’s novella Swinging the Maelstrom is available now from the University of Ottawa Press, and three members of the EMiC community have their names on the cover and the fruits of their research within the pages.



The text was edited by EMiC collaborator Vik Doyen, who researched Lowry throughout his graduate degrees and did a genetic study of Lowry’s works for his dissertation. Doyen previously edited an edition of Lowry’s Lunar Caustic (an alternate name for Swinging the Maelstrom). EMiC co-applicant Miguel Mota has also edited an extensive list of Lowry works and joins Doyen as introduction co-author for Swinging the Maelstrom. Chris Ackerley, another EMiC collaborator and editor of Lunar Caustic, contributed the notes to the Maelstrom edition– an edition that lays out all versions of the text that exist under all of its various titles. EMiC scholars Paul Tiessen and Patrick A. McCarthy also contributed to this critical volume.

Read more about the edition, the author, and the editors (or purchase your copy!) here:


September 17, 2013

An EMiC Update for the New Academic Year

The temperature is dropping and the piles of books are rising as we start another academic year, and I wanted to take this opportunity to make a few announcements for the EMiC community. First—after keeping us organized, answering our questions, and making sure our funding was waiting for us in our bank accounts for the past two years, in addition to contributing countless hours to EMiC since 2009—Emily Ballantyne is stepping down as project administrator and handing over the position to recent MA graduate Alix Shield. Emily’s dedication has been an invaluable asset to the project, and she has kindly shared her administrator know-how with Alix to ensure that the project continues to run smoothly.

Alix completed her Master’s at Dalhousie University and wrote her thesis on a selection of early twentieth-century First Nations collaborations with non-aboriginal authors, anthropologists, and ethnographers. She framed her thesis within versioning theory, and some of you may have seen her at this past spring’s DHSI in the versioning class. She has also worked as an RA collecting and digitizing versions of the texts she studied in her thesis, focusing particularly on Pauline Johnson’s Legends of Vancouver, which she hopes to present in a digital edition as part of her continuing work with Dean Irvine.

Second, my name is Katherine Wooler, and I am taking over Amanda Hansen’s role in writing and coordinating the EMiC blog. I’m hoping to keep tabs on everyone’s projects as well as she has over the past year. I have also just completed my MA at Dalhousie University and have previously worked as an EMiC RA and held an EMiC MA stipend. I am currently developing a digital edition of bpNichol’s concrete poetry, which was the topic of my thesis. I am looking forward to getting to know each of you and your projects better as I organize blog posts over the next year and profile the great work being done by our ever-growing community of scholars and researchers.

I encourage all of you to share your thoughts, plans, struggles and triumphs in your own blog posts, as this is a great forum for initiating collaborations, generating feedback, and finding inspiration. These blog posts serve as a comforting reminder that we’re not all slaving away at out projects in complete isolation, but that we’re part of a diverse support system in which all of us are making similar discoveries in our own unique ways. The blog archives are full of exciting and though-provoking writing by many talented academics, and I am eager to see this archive grow in the coming year.

My third order of business is to mention our stipend holders, as well as our newest postdoctoral fellow. While there are no MA stipend holders this year, I am pleased to list three PhD stipend recipients: Alana Fletcher, Christopher Doody, and Amanda Visconti. Alana (Queen’s University) is continuing with her compilation of the George Whalley database with Michael DiSanto of Algoma University, while Christopher continues at Carleton University working with Zailig Pollock (Trent University) on the P.K. Page Brazilian materials. Amanda’s project is called “Joyce, Klein, and Transferring Digital Knowledge to Canadian Texts,” and she will be working with Dean Irvine and Matthew Kirschenbaum while pursuing her degree at the University of Maryland. Paul Barrett of McMaster University now holds the EMiC postdoctoral fellowship and is working with Daniel Coleman to study Austin Clarke’s Survivors of the Crossing.

I’d like to congratulate EMiC’s latest stipend recipients and postdoctoral fellow, thank Emily and Amanda for all their hard work with the project, and welcome Alix to her new position. Please feel welcome to make your own introductions and announcements on this blog, as well as keep fellow EMiC-ers updated on your experiences with the project. Facebook and Twitter are also a great way to keep in contact with your EMiC colleagues, so please don’t hesitate to keep those channels of communication active as well. If you haven’t already, you can join the Facebook group by searching Editing Modernism in Canada (EMiC) and keep up with EMiC tweets by following @emic_project. I am looking forward to talking with you all more in the upcoming semesters. Happy September!

June 20, 2012

Editing Modernism in Canada joins DHWI!

[Cross-posted from http://www.mith.umd.edu/dhwi/]

The Editing Modernism in Canada (EMiC) project and the Digital Humanities Winter Institute (DHWI) are delighted to announce the 8th course for the upcoming 2013 institute. Digital Editions, led by EMiC director Dean Irvine, is designed for individuals and groups who are interested in creating scholarly digital editions. Topics covered will include an overview of planning and project management, workflow and labour issues, and tools available for edition production. Participants will be working with the Modernist Commons, a collaborative digital editing environment and repository designed by EMiC in collaboration with Islandora and its software-services company DiscoveryGarden.This course was made possible through the generous sponsorship of EMiC. We invite you to visit DHWI and EMiC to learn more about this training opportunity and this exciting international project.

* * * * *

EMiC participants (faculty, postdocs, graduate and undergraduate fellows) and other students affiliated with EMiC co-applicants and collaborators may apply to attend DHWI online at http://editingmodernism.ca/training/summer-institutes/demic/.

Read the new DEMiC, DEMiC Travel, and DEMiC Accommodations pages and Application Form carefully. There are new deadlines and new mechanisms of oversight for booking travel and accommodations for both DHSI at Victoria and DHWI at Maryland.

Looks like we’re going to have to update that summery URL. Welcome to winter training. Now there’s no off season for DH enthusiasts.

June 13, 2012

Radical, Humane & Digital

The editors of Book 2.0 invite articles on the rapidly growing application of digital tools to research and publishing strategies in the humanities and social sciences for a special issue scheduled for 2013.

Contributions may relate to curating online collections and archives, the design and implementation of new applications that support or enrich research, and emerging forms of cross-­disciplinary scholarship that are supported by technology. In particular, we welcome submissions on innovative publishing and dissemination models that increase access to digitised and born-­digital materials. Abstracts of no more than 200 words should be submitted to Dr Mark Turin <mark.turin@yale.edu> and Dr Mick Gowar by 4 August 2012.

Book 2.0 is a new, interdisciplinary peer-­reviewed journal focusing on developments in book creation and design—including the latest in technology and software affecting illustration and production. Book 2.0 also explores innovations in distribution, marketing and sales, and book consumption, and in the research, analysis and conservation of book-­related professional practices. Through research articles and reviews, Book 2.0 provides a forum for promoting the progressive practice in the teaching of writing, illustration, book design and publishing across all sectors.

To read Issue 1, Volume 1 of Book 2.0 for free, please visit http://bit.ly/Book201 Or read our blog at http://booktwopointzero.blogspot.co.uk

June 1, 2012

EMiC Postdoc and Graduate Awards (2012-14, 2012-13)

It is with great pleasure that we announce the results of the 2012-14 Postdoctoral Fellowship and the 2012-13 MA and PhD stipend competitions. We received an impressive batch of outstanding applications at all levels. Many thanks to members of the postdoc and graduate awards committee (Paul Hjartarson [Chair], Neil Besner, and Alan Filewod) for their expert adjudication of these appplications.

EMiC has awarded one new postdoc fellowship to Emily Robins Sharpe (University of Guelph) and five graduate stipends to candidates working on EMiC-affiliated editorial projects (Melissa Dalgleish [York University], Christopher Doody [Carleton University], Alana Fletcher [Queen’s University], Freeda Wilson [University of British Columbia (Okanagan)], and Katherine Wooler [Dalhousie University]).

We hope that you’ll be able to watch these projects develop through posts on our community blog, but in the meantime here’s a foretaste of their proposed research:

Emily Robins Sharpe
University of Guelph
Postdoctoral Fellowship 2012-14
Supervisors: Alan Filewod and Susan Brown

Canada and the Spanish Civil War: A Digital Research Environment

My postdoctoral work contributes to a collaborative project, “Canada and the Spanish Civil War: A Digital Research Environment,” which I am co-directing with Dr. Bart Vautour, an EMiC co-applicant. The Digital Research Environment (DRE) is a long-term, multi-phase project that will provide integrated public access to the large amount of diverse Canadian cultural materials concerning the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939). The conflict animated Canadian public discourse, and inspired nearly seventeen hundred Canadians to travel to Spain where many joined the International Brigades as armed volunteers in the anti-fascist cause. The artistic community in Canada also adopted Spain as one of the most rigorously represented subjects of the time. Yet, while American and British scholarship on the conflict has persisted, Canadian cultural texts remain dispersed, difficult to access, and in some case completely undocumented. Our project begins to remedy this unfortunate critical disparity by seeking to develop a long-term research agenda for the recovery and remediation of Canadian responses to the conflict. Dr. Vautour and I envision “Canada and the Spanish Civil War” as a three-phase project that aims to alleviate this critical gap, representing the first scholarly effort to collate this Canadian material for public consumption in a systematic way. The first phase requires conducting archival research and gaining digital skills, as well as scholarly consultation and project development. The second phase of the project builds upon the first to see the preparation and publication of a clean-text print anthology, Selected Canadian Writing on the Spanish Civil War, with a scholarly apparatus housed in the DRE. The third phase of the project—perhaps the most logistically challenging—will see a massive collation and digitization in order to create a digital collection within the DRE. I am excited to take up my postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Guelph, where I will work under the supervision of Dr. Susan Brown and Dr. Alan Filewod.

Melissa Dalgleish
York University
PhD Stipend 2012-13
Supervisor: Stephen Cain

Anne Wilkinson’s Counterpoint to Sleep: A Digital Edition

I am currently at work on a digital social-text edition of Anne Wilkinson’s first collection, Counterpoint to Sleep (1951), which I’ve planned as the first of five modular editions that together will comprise the digital Collected Poems of Anne Wilkinson project. Rather than attempting to replace existing editions of Wilkinson’s work, my project seeks to reproduce them in digital form in order to illuminate the ever-evolving composition, transmission, and reception history of her poetry. The digital Counterpoint is image-based in order to foreground the reading experience in the edition as it was originally published and read; readers will also be able to view all of the variant versions of the poems in the collection, read embedded notes that highlight textual variance and provide bibliographic and explanatory information, and challenge or support my editorial decisions.

Christopher Doody
Carleton University
PhD Stipend 2012-13
Supervisor: Zailig Pollock

Digital Edition of P.K. Page’s Brazilian Journal

My project is to start creating a digital edition of P.K. Page’s Brazilian Journal, as part of the larger Digital Page Project. It will be a database, containing a reading version of the text, alongside all its variant versions—there are nine manuscript versions, and three variant print versions of the text. For each variant version, the database will contain both a high-quality image and a transcription of each page. This will allow users to quickly compare changes between the different versions of the text. It will also allow users to follow Page’s creative process as the text was transformed from a personal written diary in Brazil in the late 1950s to a published public text in the late 1980s.

Alana Fletcher
Queen’s University
PhD Stipend 2012-13

George Whalley: A Digital Edition of Selected Poetry Materials

The project I am currently undertaking with the assistance of an EMiC PhD stipend will produce an open-access, online database of the primary materials of George Whalley. One of the aims of this project is to make Whalley’s poetry manuscripts and typescripts and documents related to their production (such as related letters, personal papers, and photographs) available to a wider scholarly audience. The database is also foundational to subsequent digital and print editions of Whalley’s works Michael DiSanto (Algoma University) and I will produce, the first of which is a digital edition of selected materials that will provide rich insights into Whalley’s creative process as a poet. This digital collection will serve as the counterpart to a scholarly print edition of Whalley’s collected poems that Professor DiSanto is editing for McGill-Queen’s University Press, with an expected publication date of 2015.

Freeda Wilson
University of British Columbia (Okanagan)
PhD Stipend 2012-13
Supervisor: Karis Shearer

Digital Visualization of the Evolution of Gabrielle Roy’s Bonheur d’occasion

The focal point of this project will be to present a digital visualization of the evolution of a given chapter of Gabrielle Roy’s Bonheur d’occasion. Under the supervision of Dr. Karis Shearer, I will focus on the major editions between 1945 and 1977, as well as the two English translations (The Tin Flute), and identify the differences (additions, changes, omissions) which occur between each of the editions and the original, and then proceed to determine the source (author, editor, translator) and reason (language, text length, etc.) for each change. The resulting data will be organized and structured in a digitized, 3D format in which the data can be manipulated, allowing for further research. Other scholars will be able to build on this work, expanding the research to cover an entire text, to include several or all of Roy’s texts [or other authors’ works] and to incorporate this research in larger projects.

Katherine Wooler
Dalhousie University
MA Stipend 2012-13
Supervisor: Dean Irvine

Editing Evolution: Assembling and Analyzing bpNichol in a Digital Edition

I will be creating a digital critical edition of bpNichol’s works that highlights Dada aesthetics within his writing. Using genetic criticism to emphasize the evolutionary nature of his multi-versioned works, the edition will highlight Nichol’s use of intermedia, word processors, and unconventional forms. A digital medium will expand the functionality of genetic criticism to encompass Nichol’s attention to bibliographic codes. Nichol’s poetry, prose, and drawings deserve a non-traditional textual apparatus, a redefinition of the standard systems of criticism, and the adoption of new bibliographic codes to better reflect the text and the purposes of the paratext. By implementing these changes, my critical edition will become a direct extension of the creative work, as opposed to a format in which the text and the textual apparatus are completely different species.

May 15, 2012

Digital Humanities Winter Institute

MITH will host the first annual Digital Humanities Winter Institute (DHWI), from Monday, January 7, 2013, to Friday, January 11, 2013, at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland. We’re delighted to be expanding the model pioneered by the highly-successful Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI) at the University of Victoria to the United States.

DHWI will provide an opportunity for scholars to learn new skills relevant to different kinds of digital scholarship while mingling with like-minded colleagues in coursework, social events, and lectures during an intensive, week-long event located amid the many attractions of the Washington, D.C. region.

Courses are open to all skill levels and will cater to many different interests. For the 2013 Institute we’ve assembled an amazing group of instructors who will teach everything from introductory courses on project development and programming, to intermediate level courses on image analysis, teaching with multimedia, and data curation. DHWI will also feature more technically-advanced courses on text analysis and linked open data. We hope that the curricula we’ve assembled will appeal to graduate students, faculty, librarians, and museum professionals as well as participants from government and non-governmental organizations.

An exciting program of extracurricular events will accompany the formal DHWI courses to capitalize on the Institute’s proximity to the many cultural heritage organizations in the region. This stream of activities, which we’re calling “DHWI Public Digital Humanities,” will include an API workshop, a hack-a-thon, and opportunities to contribute videos and other materials to the 4Humanities campaign to document the importance of the humanities for contemporary society.

Both the outward-looking DHWI Public Digital Humanities program and the week of high-caliber, in-depth digital humanities coursework will be kicked off by the Institute Lecture. This year’s speaker will be Seb Chan, currently the Director of Digital & Emerging Media at the Smithsonian, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York City.

We hope that many of you will join us this winter in Maryland for what promises to be a terrific event. Registration is now available at this site.

Like DHSI, we will be offering a limited number of sponsored student scholarships to help cover the cost of attending the Institute. The scholarships are made possible through the generosity of this year’s DHWI Instructors and the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities

To keep up with news and events related to DHWI, follow @dhwi_mith. For all other enquiries, please contact Jennifer Guiliano, dhinstitute@umd.edu

April 26, 2012

Evaluating Digital Scholarship

Great news for EMiC scholars: The MLA has released its guidelines for evaluating digital scholarship. I encourage everyone to look through this important document as a way of thinking about your own projects. http://www.mla.org/guidelines_evaluation_digital. Does your individual project meet these basic guidelines? How can EMiC help you attain the goals set forth in this document?

In other news: in the next few weeks we’ll be launching a new “resources” page put together by Kaarina Mikalson. We’ll make sure these guidelines are a part of this new resource.

March 21, 2012

EMiC Spring Bulletin 2012

2012 has been a very eventful time for the EMiC community.  To keep everyone informed about some of the exciting advancements and contributions made by our project members this year, we have put together a Spring Bulletin full of updates, upcoming events and recent publications.

We are taking this as an opportunity to introduce some of our new co-applicants and graduate fellows, as well as to highlight on-going research and new publications.  Enjoy!

EMiC Spring 2012 Bulletin


December 7, 2011

Spectres of Modernism

[Excerpt of editorial cross-posted from Canadian Literature.]

Canadian Literature’s winter 1995 Marx and Other Dialectics issue watched over the changing of disciplinary and literary old guards—or, if you will, an old left guard. This was the same number that announced the establishment of the journal’s home page (canlit.ca) and the creation of the Canadian Literature Discussion Group listserv (CANLIT-L) hosted by the National Library. It was “an hour / Of new beginnings,” as F.R. Scott said in his 1934 poem “Overture.” That same year observed the deaths of Earle Birney and George Woodcock. Dorothy Livesay passed away the year following. These deaths signaled the passing of a generation that put into practice the dialectics of modernism and political radicalism. With the appearance of an issue devoted to Marxism and Canadian literature, it may have seemed at the hour of their death that their generation’s literary and political legacies had for the moment been granted reprieves and survived the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of European communism.

[Click here to read the rest of the editorial at canlit.ca]