The manifesto is a celebrated avant-garde genre, used most notoriously by the Italian Futurists in the early 20th century to publish their principles and aims. The Futurists used varying size types, boldface, and aggressive language to shock their readers and disrupt habits of reading and thought.
Inspired by the Manifesto of Modernist Digital Humanities, we reanimate this genre for the digital age, experimenting with typeface and layout to encourage you to read online in new and unexpected ways.
Our manifesto is formatted not by using CSS stylesheets but by hand-tagging unique attributes to individual words and phrases. We chose this method partly because we are not fluent in CSS and partly because we wanted to reflect “the strangeness and labor-intensive nature of modernist manifestoes.”
As Andrew Pilsch discovered in the process of converting Loy’s “Feminist Manifesto” and selected poems into HTML for Mina Loy Online, “Loy’s typographic practices resist the informational rationality and linear, stable reading subject embedded in both print textual and online hypertextual practices”:
the markup language allows no lawful way to fragment linear-textual blocks of content in the manner that is so essential to Mina Loy’s art. Moreover, the kind of rational, linear, limited perspective Loy associates with boorish masculinity in “Songs to Joannes” is literally encoded into the very structure of HTML itself.
Just as Loy’s writing resists the dominant, rational, linear logic of both print typography and HTML markup, our manifesto challenges you to read outside the norms of scholarly writing.
 Shawna Ross, Hypothesis annotation, 9 April 2019.
 Andrew Pilsch, “‘We Twiddle … and Turn into Machines’: Mina Loy, HTML and the Machining of Information,” Reading Modernism with Machines: Digital Humanities and Modernist Literature, ed. by Ross, Shawna, and James Christopher O’Sullivan, Palgrave Macmillan, Published by Springer Nature, 2016, pp. 243-263. https://link-springer-com.ezproxy.lib.davidson.edu/book/10.1057%2F978-1-137-59569-0. Accessed 30 May 2019.
Digital Humanities are E X P A N D I N G at a VELOCITY
that defies the limits of human CONSCIOUSNESS.
Much of the EXCITEMENT and INTEREST congregates on possibilities for
and TEXTUAL ANALYSIS of BIG DATA.
NEW digital tools, platforms, plug-ins, and apps allow scholars to analyze literature in BULK.
The opportunities are especially rich for modernist periodical studies,
where the VAST QUANTITY of data—
• THOUSANDS of magazines,
• MILLIONS of pages,
• BILLIONS of characters
—exceeds the capacity of the individual mind.
BUT Mina Loy’s corpus is relatively small.
YOU can read ALL her published work—poetry, plays, fiction, essays, art—
in a finite period: a few weeks of concentrated study.
CONCENTRATION is key.
Loy’s work defies conventions.
It is DIFFICULT to digest and make sense of.
It demands CLOSE READING.
This site DEMANDS and DELIVERS close reading of works by Loy that have received the least attention:
• Futurist plays
• Dada prose
• Surrealist art & fiction
This is ABSURD.
WE KNOW that online “users” do not READ; they SCAN.
BUT WE BELIEVE that DIGITAL DESIGN can be utilized to
• strengthen concentration
• foster close reading
• enable the delivery of complex arguments
FEMINIST DESIGN means
breaking down hierarchies,
fostering o p e n exchanges of expertise,
reflecting artistic diVeRSity & inter-
embracing style & aesthetics as crucial to Digital Humanities
(rather than insufficiently techy or rigorous)
We are NOT simply preserving or retrenching traditional scholarly practices in the digital age.
We aim to TRANSFORM these practices for a digital environment.
We want to DO CLOSE READING BETTER:
This site delivers scholarly arguments enriched by documents, maps, timelines, images, and interactive commentary.
AUTHORSHIP is neither eliminated nor crowd-sourced, but
E X P A N D E D I N F I N I T E L Y . . .
THE WORK OF SCHOLARSHIP
IN THE AGE OF
must be created through collaboration
between faculty & students & staff
& reproduced through interaction with readers
authors = designers = readers = users
The processes of writing & revision & peer review are made VISIBLE,
AUTHORSHIP becomes PUBLIC & COLLABORATIVE
(rather than PRIVATE and INDIVIDUALISTIC).
WE WANT Ux(user experience) to be
~ I M M E R S I V E (we hope you will be drawn in)
~ G E N E R A T I V E (we hope you will respond in kind)