Welcome to the website for the AHRC Network on the New Modernist Editing, led by Dr Bryony Randall at the University of Glasgow. Here you will find information about our activities and links to useful sources of information, including modernist editions currently underway. There is also a Members Area for Network Members to use.
The Network’s first output, a digital edition of Virginia Woolf’s ‘Ode written partly in prose on seeing the name of Cutbush above a butcher’s shop in Pentonville’, was launched at the Remaking the New: Modernism and Textual Scholarship conference organised by the Dorothy Richardson Editions Project, 13-14 July 2017. Please click here to access this innovative digital text, informed by the work of the Network.
About the Network
The field of modernist editing – that is, the editing of texts from the modernist period – has changed dramatically over recent years. There are also an unprecedented number of new editions of modernist texts being published, as modernist authors’ works emerge from copyright. It is, therefore, now urgently necessary to enable key figures working from a diverse range of theoretical and methodological perspectives in modernist editing to come together in person to share their experience and expertise, enhance their own practice, and disseminate this to a wider audience.
We have identified the New Modernist Editing (NME) as a phrase to describe the important recent developments in scholarly and editorial practice in the preparation and production of modernist texts. These developments include:
- Scholarly awareness of the particular set of challenges and opportunities presented by the editing of modernist texts, such as preserving the spirit of fluidity and uncertainty which permeates modernist aesthetics, and taking account of the self-conscious process of revision undertaken by many modernist writers.
- Recent developments in the modernist literary critical field making necessary a thoroughgoing appraisal of the responsibilities of the editor of the modernist text, most notably the inauguration of the New Modernist Studies by the establishment of the Modernist Studies Association in 1999.
- Recent developments in textual editing more generally, including the focus on material contexts of a text’s publication, but also and most notably genetic criticism which examines draft versions of the text without focussing on a ‘final’ text.
- Online editions: the development of new digital technologies enabling scholars to present their textual expertise and research in ways not possible through the traditional book format.
Hitherto, there have been only very limited opportunities for scholars working on the various different modernist editions underway to come together to discuss their work in this field, and none that has also included other key stakeholders such as publishers, archivists, theorists of textual editing and other makers of editions of modernist texts (such as book artists). Our project will enable this exchange, establish the NME as a coherent, original and productive interdisciplinary approach to textual editing, and communicate this project to a wide audience within and beyond the academy.
This Network will explore opportunities and challenges to modernist scholarship, textual editing and publication practices offered by the NME. It crosses disciplinary boundaries by including scholars in the fields of modernist literature, comparative literature, textual scholarship and the digital humanities, as well as reaching beyond the academy by including representatives of traditional publishing houses, independent digital publishers, archivists, and book artists. It includes representatives of all the major new modernist editions currently underway in the UK, as well as international participants involved in further projects. The Network also speaks to the AHRC theme of Digital Transformations in the Arts and Humanities by integrating, as fundamental to its aims, consideration of the opportunities offered to editors of modernist texts by developments in digital technology.