Migration

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“Untitled,” Anna Kavan

Between teaching for the first time, writing a master’s thesis and wrapping up grad school, it’s been a breezy year filled with a respectable number of emotional crises.

I spent most of my fall and spring semesters in the company of remarkable women — Mina Loy, Jessie Redmon Fauset, Margaret Fuller, Virginia Woolf, Victoria Ocampo and Anna Kavan.

Kavan held me in thrall. The University of Tulsa holds most of her diaries, fiction manuscripts and paintings. My thesis project was anchored in this archive as I catalogued her artwork and examined how her interest in borders, the body and torment radiates across her life and letters.

I also worked for the Modernist Journals Project, a joint endeavor between TU and Brown. The universities have been building a digital repository of early twentieth-century magazines, and another grad student and I were tasked with curating some of the content in online exhibits.

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Stuart Davis, “Gee, Mag,”

Here’s one, on humor and changing representations of American women amid the suffrage debates.

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Holeproof Hosiery Company, “Holeproof Hosiery”

Here’s another, on women and femininity in advertising. (Omeka proficiency obviously still in question, but aren’t the illustrations marvelous?)

 

May came in a whirlwind. I graduated, saw our sweet foster dog off to her new home and migrated north to Minneapolis to intern at the Star Tribune.

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This farewell to academia (maybe?) marks the end of my abusive relationship with the Oxford comma.

And now, an excerpt from Mina Loy’s Songs of Joannes – because I will always love her and because her jarring image of a butterfly with newsprint wings fills me with wonder.

We might have coupled

In a bed-ridden monopoly of a moment

Or broken flesh with one another

At the profane communion table

Where wine is spill’t on promiscuous lips

 

We might have given birth to a butterfly

With the daily-news

Printed in blood on its wings