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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


Associate Professor | English | CSPT | U. of Victoria

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