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Making Models of Modernism

Distribution of Modernist Topics
Distribution of Modernist Topics

This semester, with the Modernist Versions Project and the Maker Lab in the Humanities, Belaid Moa (Compute Canada) and I have been topic modelling modernist texts. In doing this work, we are hoping to identify heretofore unidentified patterns, both thematic and stylistic, across a (for now, admittedly small) corpus of modernist texts.

Topic modelling assumes authors create documents using collocated clusters of words. By working “backward,” computer algorithms sort the words from a set of pre-processed documents and generate lists of words that comprise these clusters. In our work, we are using the LDA (Latent Dirichlet Allocation) probabilistic model. This popular model operates on the Bayesian method of inference, a mathematical concept that works backward from an observed set of data to calculate the probability of certain conditions being in place in order to produce that set of data. In other words, it depends on a notion of causality and asks what circumstances need to be in place in order for certain results to occur. Read more

BLOOMSDAY 2014

Image Courtesy IMEC. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce
Image Courtesy IMEC. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce

The Modernist Versions Project, the University Library, and the Department of English are pleased to announce BLOOMSDAY 2014 Celebrations. We are sponsoring TWO events: An Exhibition of Photographs of James Joyce and a Reading of Ulysses. ALL ARE WELCOME.

1. Talk by MVP Co-Founder J. Matthew Huculak: Monday, June 16, from  3:30 – 5:00 p.m., Mearns Centre for Learning –McPherson Library Classroom A003, lower level. Free and open to the public (Parking info and maps are available at www.uvic.ca/visitors/explore/maps)

2. Readings from Ulysses at Peacock Billiards (1175 Douglas Street) at 7:00 p.m

From Paris to Victoria: exhibit of rare photos

For the first time in Canada, British Columbians have an opportunity to view a rare collection of photographs of James Joyce in Paris taken in 1938 by the young Franco-German photographer Gisèle Freund.

The University of Victoria Libraries and the Department of English are pleased to announce the opening of Paris to Victoria: a photographic exhibition of Gisèle Freund’s Paris from June 16-July 1, 2014 at the University of Victoria William C. Mearns Centre for Learning – McPherson Library. “UVic Libraries has internationally recognized holdings in Modernist British, American, French and Anglo-Irish literature and we are delighted to be hosting this unique event,” says Jonathan Bengtson, university librarian.

June 16, the opening day of the exhibit, marks the day-long celebration of Bloomsday in Victoria. Bloomsday is an annual celebration of the life of James Joyce and, in particular, his novel Ulysses, which is entirely set in Dublin on June 16th, 1904.

All members of the community are invited to a lecture and guided viewing of the exhibit by Joyce scholar, Dr. J Matthew Huculak, UBC Master of Archival Studies graduate Kathy Bohlman, and artist and writer Robert Amos. A reception follows this event.

The Bloomsday celebrations continue at the Peacock Billiards (1175 Douglas Street) at 7:00 p.m. with readings from Joyce’s Ulysses. All lovers of literature are welcome to pull up a chair and share a pint in celebration of Ireland’s greatest 20th century novelist.

Talk by MVP Co-Founder J. Matthew Huculak: Monday, June 16, from  3:30 – 5:00 p.m., Mearns Centre for Learning –McPherson Library Classroom A003, lower level. Free and open to the public (Parking info and maps are available at www.uvic.ca/visitors/explore/maps)

The exhibition is a joint project of the UVic Libraries, the Department of English, the Modernist Versions Project (MVP) and the Electronic Textual Cultures Lab (ETCL).

Media contacts:

Dr. J. Matthew Huculak (Department of English) at 250-217-0063 or jhuculak@uvic.ca

Susan Henderson (Library Communications) at 250-853-3612 or shenders@uvic.ca

Tara Sharpe (University Communications + Marketing) at 250-721-6248 or tksharpe@uvic.ca

Interdisciplinarity at MSA15

Last month, I made the trip from Victoria to Brighton for the fifteenth Modernist Studies Association conference. This was my second outing at MSA, after last year’s conference in Las Vegas. While I battled jet lag, joining my colleagues on the train

from Brighton to the University of Sussex, following the mod symbols across campus and rifling through our newspaper copies of the conference program, I was particularly struck by the diversity of this year’s conference. Although MSA is traditionally a North American phenomenon (see Katherine Ebury’s post here: http://tinyurl.com/mcwuj32 ), this year I had the pleasure of meeting fellow modernists coming from places as diverse as Greece, Japan, and Poland. And although the conference was still largely populated by Anglophones from either side of the Atlantic (most easily distinguished by how much sleep they were getting),  I found my conversations with colleagues from further away some of the most exciting and most memorable of the week. Read more

Year of Ulysses International Art Competition Winner

The MVP is proud to announce the winner of our “Year of Ulysses International Art Competition.” Travis Williams, whose “Ulysses — The Human Bodyssey” “seeks to stand as a visual microcosm of Joyce’s masterpiece and to visually represent, as Joyce brilliantly achieved in Ulysses, the unions of world and word, science and art, the body and language, and ultimately, the flesh and the spirit.”  Travis receives a $500 cash prize. Read more