Mina Loy: Navigating the Avant-Garde documents Loy’s avant-garde affiliations and pursues new modes of textual and visual expression in order to invite a closer, more informed engagement with her work. This scholarly website offers a digital narratives and visualizations that contextualize and interpret Loy’s work and related artifacts. Our goals are to:
- provide access to and interpretations of Loy’s verbal and visual work, much of which remains buried in archives or private collections;
- transform close reading through multimodal tools and environments that activate verbal and visual reading practices;
- develop a crowd-sourced, flash-mob, feminist theory of the en dehors garde that accounts for the contributions of women and people of color to the avant-garde;
- conduct an experiment in public humanities scholarship that involves scholars and students in transforming scholarly methods and products, tests new processes for peer review, and sets UX design standards for digital scholarship.
Our aim is not to create a comprehensive digital archive, but to provide a curated, multimedia, interactive platform for accessing and understanding Loy’s writing, artwork, and career. Using Loy as a case study, our project aims to broaden understanding of the diversity of avant-garde production and activate a network of interested readers and scholars. Mina Loy: Navigating the Avant-Garde demonstrates how digital tools can transform humanities scholarship from the traditional model of a lone scholar writing a monograph to a team of researchers collaborating on a “multigraph”—an interactive, multi-authored, multimodal resource that sets UX design standards for DH scholarship.
We have transformed our scholarly methods and products in order to involve students, faculty, librarians, and technologists as equal partners in the production of original humanities research. Students contribute to New Frequencies as authors, coders, and creators of innovative Loy scholarship. Our UX design affords equal prominence and value to their work, while allowing for experimentation with new tools and formats for humanities research. Scholars contribute peer-reviewed chapters to Mina Loy Baedeker: a scholarly handbook for digital travelers, which provide expert analysis of Loy’s experimental art and writing. The question of “how we read” remains central to our website design, which seeks to transform Close Readings, rendering the practice more interactive and embedded in social, material, and historical contexts.
We invite you to explore our interpretations of Loy’s work, rethink existing theories of the avant garde, and participate in the formation of a new, feminist theory of the avant-garde—what we’re call the “en dehors garde,” in order to account for artists who came from the outside and worked on the margins.