Your browser (Internet Explorer 7 or lower) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.


Ronan Crowley’s “A Medley of Voices”

The MVP is excited to present the next installment of the YoU Lecture Series: Ronan Crowley’s “A Medley of Voices.”

To view this video in HD (recommended), please click here.

Read more

Pirates and Poldy: Telemachiad + 1, Part 1

Let us not begin at the beginning, nor even at the archive. -J.D.

So we begin at a computer screen in the Electronic Texts and Cultures Lab, where I sit in a small room looking out into a conifer-filled courtyard. My colleague sits across from me attempting to prototype Jonathan Safran Foer’s The Tree of Codes for the digital environment.  I envy him his project. I am a scholar in search of an idea, and there is an anxiety that accompanies an untenured scholar who needs to perform in terms of research and publication.  The fear of failure accompanies each uneventful search in WorldCat and Google. But in DH we are beginning to embrace failure. As we adapt lab-models of research in the humanities, we must record each experiment so that we know a “thousand ways not to build a lightbulb,” until, that is, the lightbulb goes off over our head.

And then it happened.

For all the electricity that surrounds me, it was the nudge of human instinct that made me look. My current project is to create a prototype and archive for the first four episodes of James Joyce’s Ulysses (The Telemachiad + 1). My postdoctoral research at the Modernist Versions Project has been generously supported by Stephen Ross, Ray Siemens in the ETCL, as well as my colleagues and friends in the library’s Special Collections. My goal is to bring together each published version of Ulysses in one system. For my prototype, I am using the first two periodical versions published in the Little Review and the Egoist. 

That is, until I found the rare, pirated edition of Ulysses by Samuel Roth hidden in the archives at the University of Victoria. Read more

MVP turns 6 months old!

When human children reach 6 months of age, they become more interactive, more “human,” more mobile. It’s the start of what some call the “golden age” of infancy — 6-18 months — when children learn to walk, maybe even to talk. Of course, there’s lots of falling in there, and plenty of what it appears people now refer to as “productive failure.” The MVP is not far off that timeline.

A little over six months ago we launched our website and the Year of Ulysses initiative, began devising and testing workflows for digital collation and versioning of modernist texts, reviving the Versioning Machine for a new age of vitality, preparing key works for digital presentation, and talking talking talking about our work. Here’s a quick run-down of all we’ve been up to in the last half year, and some of what we hope to be up to in the coming months:

Conferences presented at/accepted to: 


  • CSDH – “Engaging the Edges of Digital Literary Studies through the TEI” (Millar Usiskin, Tanigawa)
  • CSDH – “A Method for Scaled Interpretation” (Christie, Barclay, Sayers, Ross, Tanigawa, Huculak)
  • CSDH – “A Linked Data Approach to the Study of Global Modernism” (Sayers, Ross, Barclay, Christie)
  • CSDH – “An Experimental Approach to Quantitative Literary Interpretation and Reading the Crowd Reading” (Ross, Tanigawa, Millar Usiskin)
  • MLA – “Linked Open Data for Modernist Studies” (Sayers)
  • HASTAC – “Problematizing Literature with Digital Methods: He Do the Police in Different Voices and The Brown Stocking” (Hammond)
  • HASTAC – “The Key to All Ontologies?: The Long Now of Linked Data” (Barclay, Sayers, Susan Brown)
  • HASTAC – “Gaming the Edition: Play, Collaboration, and Shared Tacit Knowledge in the Editorial Process” (Belojevic, Christie, Sayers)
  • HASTAC – “Empty Tags and Dis-contents: Strategies for Challenging Markup Teleologies” (Millar Usiskin, Tanigawa) 
  • DH – “Versioning Texts and Concepts” (Huculak, Ross, Schreibman, Clement, Sayers, Gifford, Irvine)
  • ACLA – “He Do the Police in Different Voices: Looking for Voices in T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land” Seminar: “Vocal Positioning: Mapping the Fictional Voice.” (Hammond)
  • CLfL-NAACL – “A Tale of Two Cultures: Bringing Literary Analysis and Computational Linguistics Together” (Hammond, Julian Brooke, Graeme Hirst)
  • CLfL-NAACL – “Clustering Voices in The Waste Land” (Julian Brooke, Graeme Hirst, Hammond)
  • ACCUTE – “‘Close to her construct I pace the line:’ Marianne Moore as Modernist Icon in Robert Duncan’s ‘The Maiden’” (Barclay)


  • MSA – “Reading Gaps, Tracing Erasures, Attending Différance : Introducing the Modernist Versions Project.” Modernist Studies Association Conference, Las Vegas (October 2012). (Clement)
  • MSA –  Making Spectacles of Ourselves: Modernism and Social Media.” The Modernist Studies Association, Las Vegas, Nevada, 2012. (Clement and Huculak)
  • Humanities Research Forum (Athabasca University) – “Digital Humanities and Personal Modernisms” (Gifford) 


Papers submitted: 

  • Tanigawa, Katie. “Using the Mandala Browser for Algorithmic Criticism in Nostromo.” Forthcoming collection on Mandala, ed. Stan Ruecker.
  • Tanigawa, Katie. “Visualizing a Changing Nostromo.” Conrad First. Web.


Courses Planned/Taught:


  • Digital Editions (DHSI) – Dean Irvine, Alan Stanley, and Tanya Clement
  • Versioning in a Digital Environment (DHSI) – Stephen Ross and J. Matthew Huculak
  • Digital Ulysses (Master Class @UVic) – Stephen Ross and Hans Walter Gabler


Workshops given/planned: 


  • Data Visualization using Mandala (Hello World/DHSI) – Katie Tanigawa
  • Digital Versioning (MSA pre-conference workshop scheduled for August 2013) – Stephen Ross and J. Matthew Huculak


  • Digital Collation (Hello World/DHSI) – Stephen Ross and J. Matthew Huculak
  • Data Modeling (Hello World/DHSI) – Jana Millar Usiskin
  • Ulysses Versioned – Brown Bag Lunch Talk/ETCL) – J. Matthew Huculak


Texts digitized: 

  • The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890 and 1891) both by Gifford
  • Dubliners (by Jarom MacDonald and his class at BYU)
  • Nostromo (Harper’s edition 1904 near complete OCR and TEI Lite)
  • Nostromo (TP’s serial edition 1904 near complete OCR)
  • Marianne Moore’s “Poetry” by Barclay
  • The Tunnel by Ross and Thomson
  • Pointed Roofs by Ross and Thomson
  • Tarr (1918 Egoist Press and 1928, parts of 1918 Knopf and 1951, some OCR) by Hammond
  • Tono-Bungay (1909 US, English Review) Huculak
  • Ulysses Episode 13 (Little Review & 1922) Huculak
  • Madeleine scene from La Recherche du Temps Perdu (1919 and 1954) Christie
  • Penmarch fragment from Jean Santeuil (1952 and 1971) Christie


Methods tested: 

  • TXT-JUXTA-TEI-Mandala (Tanigawa)
  • Github (Barclay)
  • TEI-VM (Barclay)
  • TEI-Mandala (Tanigawa)
  • TXT-JUXTA-TEI-Mandala 2 (Christie)
  • Collatex (Carter)
  • TXT-JUXTA-TEI-VM (Christie)


Tools Developed: 

Versioning Machine JQuery tool (Carter&Clement)


Grants Received: 


  • Partnership Development Grant – $200,000
  • Internal Research Grant (Ross) – $7,000
  • Internal Research Grant (Sayers) – $7,000

Grants Applied for: 


  • Internal Research Grant (Ross) – $7,000
  • Internal Research Grant (Sayers) – $7,000


  • SSHRC Insight Grant (Ross) – $362,000
  • NEH DH Start-Up Grant (Clement) – $60,000
  • Provost’s Seed Grant (Gifford) – $5,000
  • College Research and Creative Activity Grant (Gifford) – $3,000


Materials Produced: 

  • Project Charter
  • Project Roadmap
  • Project Initiatives
  • TXT and PDF of 15/18 episodes of 1922 Ulysses online
  • 15 Twitter chats
  • 15 Video presentations posted online

Versioning Tarr: First Results

The first results are now in for my work on versioning Tarr. And they’re fascinating.

I decided to begin by looking at a scene about versions, and indeed filled with the word “version.” It occurs near the middle of the novel (Part IV, Chapter 5 in the 1928 edition) and at a key moment. Bertha—her fiancé Tarr having somewhat equivocally broken up with her—is out for an evening with her friends when she is accosted in the street by the unstable Kreisler, who suddenly kisses her. Read more

Collaboration at Work: Special Collections

One of the  pleasures of working with the MVP is the close relationship we enjoy with the University of Victoria’s Libraries–especially its special collections. I’ve been fortunate to work with great librarians over the years; in fact, much of my PhD research could not have been accomplished without the friendliness shown by the librarians at Tulsa’s McFarlin library. Yet, there’s something special about the public outreach and service performed by the people of McPherson Library. For example, Dr. Laura Estill’s Nuts and Bolts series, sponsored by the ETCL, is frequently attended by librarians as they actively seek out how they can better serve the UViC community. Read more

Cleo Hanaway to Moderate Thirteenth YoU Twitter Chat

On Friday, March 22 at 1 pm EDT / 10 am PST, Cleo Hanaway will moderate the MVP’s thirteenth YoU Twitter chat, focussing specifically on “Circe.” The hashtag for the Twitter chat is #yearofulysses. Read more