Each student will complete a biographical research project about one of the figures in Loy’s social and artistic network in Paris: students at Davidson College and Duquesne University will simultaneously complete research on figures in Loy’s networks in Florence and New York. With the help of Emily McGinn, Director of UGA’s DigiLab, students will use this biographical information to generate a spreadsheet and some basic visualizations of the data about Loy’s Parisian network. Through the course of the semester students will revise their Bio project, which will contribute to a display of the figures in Loy’s social networks on the scholarly website Mina Loy: Navigating the Avant-Garde (mina-loy.com). In addition, students will complete a final research paper, which may build on the earlier biographical research project.
Each student will write a brief (500-word) biography of one of the figures in Loy’s social and artistic network in Paris, including the figure’s relationship to Loy. Students will work on this project over the course of the semester. It has three components:
- This project will involve use of secondary sources, and will begin with research instruction at the library with Kristin Nielsen. This session will familiarize you with internet search engines and relevant literary databases. The first stage of the project is an annotated bibliography, which will require a brief summary of six secondary sources that will inform your biography.
- The second stage of the project is the biography itself. Students will complete three drafts of the biography over the course of the semester, refining research, ideas, and style with each round of feedback. The final draft will be uploaded to the scholarly website Mina-loy.com, where it will ultimately contribute to a visualization of all of the figures in Loy’s social networks in New York, Paris, and Florence. Bios will be subject to further editing at the discretion of the project directors. Since this will be a public-facing project, students can choose whether or not to attach their names to their writing.
- The third stage of the project involves using information from the biographies to fill in a spreadsheet, which we then can load into the program Palladio which will generate useful visualizations of our data (such as maps). Emily McGinn, Director of UGA’s DigiLab, will be working with our class on this component of the project. This stage will begin as soon as students have completed the first draft of their biography. In one session with Dr. McGinn, students will learn how to fill in a spreadsheet using data from their Bios and a Data Dictionary, and in a separate class session, Dr. McGinn will show us how to upload this information into Palladio to generate different kinds of visualizations. Students will reflect on the uses and applications of the biographical information collected by the class in a short response paper (see below).
Annotated Bibliography Assignment: Figures in Loy’s Network in Paris
Each student will write a brief (500-word) biography of one of the figures in Loy’s social and artistic network in Paris (a signup sheet will be circulated in class), using the template attached to this document. Students will find factual information about the figure’s life and career, and will also research and discuss the figure’s relationship to Loy. Thus this project will involve use of secondary sources, and will begin with research instruction at the library with Kristin Nielsen. This session will familiarize you with relevant library search engines, databases, and other electronic resources.
The steps involved in preparing an annotated bibliography are as follows:
- As soon as possible, you should begin identifying, collecting and evaluating your sources. Do not delay your research: you may find that your sources are not available or are only available through interlibrary loan or GIL Express. Also, do not be shy about asking for help if you are having difficulty locating sources; you may need to choose a different figure or widen the scope of your research.
- The research stage not only involves identifying and collecting your sources, but deciding in cursory fashion which sources seem most relevant. At this stage, evaluation usually involves skimming the index, the introduction or preface, and any potentially relevant sections of the article/book/website. The sources you choose to include in the annotated bibliography should be the sources you will make use of in your biography; weed out irrelevant or unhelpful sources.
- For this assignment, you will evaluate six secondary sources: aim for a combination of scholarly books and articles that can help you to complete your brief biography. Articles and books accessed electronically are fine, but you will need to indicate this in your bibliography. However, do not limit yourself to what you can find on-line: many of the figures in Loy’s network are fairly obscure, and you may need to do some true sleuthing to track down information about your figure and their relationship to Loy. Do not rule newspapers and magazines from the 1910s-50s, memoirs by figures in Loy’s circle (McAlmon’s is well-known), etc.
- An annotated bibliography involves the citation of each source in MLA format, followed by a brief (one double-spaced paragraph) summary and analysis of the source. Summaries should indicate the author’s basic aims and approach; they might also include the topic[s] covered, the methodology employed, authorial bias, i.e. whatever seems most important to your evaluation of the source’s relevance. Arrange your sources alphabetically according to authors’ last names, and begin your summaries immediately following the citations. Follow the MLA citation format for a “Works Cited” https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/05/
Bio Template for mina-loy.com
- Date of Birth
- Place of Birth
- Date of Death
- Place of Death
- Country of origin, citizenship
- Kind of Artist/Cultural worker (writer, painter, photographer, gallery director, editor, etc)
- Dates & Places of Overlap with Loy
- Avant-garde movements the figure was associated with [list]
- Brief summary of the figure’s Biographical/Historical significance
- Brief summary of the figure’s Relationship to Loy:
- What was the nature of their overlap or connection?
- Was it social, literary, artistic? Were they involved in collaborative ventures (publications, exhibitions, performances, readings)?
- What other artists/writers did your figure come in contact with? (keep a list – this will not contribute to your word count)
- Bibliography: Works Cited & Consulted