I’m not posting my map today, because it’s got all of the locations I visit in a week with my family and the idea of that being available online creeped me out. I did share the map with our Dr. Travis, though, and I have to say that I had fun making it, although I suspect it’s not very well done and I know it’s not very academic.
This week seems a bit open in terms of the weekly create, with the opportunity to choose a tool or theory and just run with it, so I’ve decided to take a deeper look at the site I’d really like to research for my final chapter project and see what I can find out.
I was really into the digital archives we examined for our last class and, even though I didn’t love everything the Walt Whitman archive did, I’m feeling like archival work is really interesting and exciting. We were asked, last week, to look into what archives are available in our fields and, since my field is YA dystopias, I didn’t think I’d find much. I didn’t consider fan fiction collections as being within the realm of archives, but the title of one site totally changed my mind.
You see, there is a fan fiction collection called Archive of Our Own. It’s huge, and it’s legitimate and it’s very ripe for critique.
This week, I’m presenting on the Walt Whitman digital archive. I love good old Walt, and I think his work is proto-multimodal, as he works within and outside of poetic forms, playing with notions of poetry, and as he becomes sort of multimodal himself, referenced in works ranging from Langston Hughes’s “Old Walt” (not to mention “I, Too,” written in response to “I Hear America Singing”) and Allen Ginsberg’s “A Supermarket in California” to this new visual edition of “Song of Myself” and even this scholarly essay on a student’s digital interpretation of “A Noiseless Patient Spider,” which can be found here.
Reading Kenneth Price’s “Edition, Project, Database, Archive, Thematic Research Collection: What’s in a Name?,” I see even more multimodalism in Whitman’s work. Price quotes Ed Folsom’s “Database as Genre” as thinking about how “Whitman formed entire lines as they would eventually appear in print, but then he treated each line like a separate data entry, a unit available to him for endless reordering, as if his lines of poetry were portable and interchangeable, could be shuffled and almost randomly scattered to create different but remarkably similar poems.”
Anyway, Whitman and his poetry is just really ripe for digital work.