Archival Expedition: Part 1
Posted April 15, 2011
By Dr. Amanda Golden, Post-Doctoral Fellow in Poetics at the Bill and Carol Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry
During the Spring 2011 semester, students in Dr. Golden's class completed a paper assignment using MARBL collections. Here, in a series of three blog posts, she talks about the experience she and her students had teaching from and researching in MARBL.
As the Post-Doctoral Fellow in Poetics at the Bill and Carol Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry, I have had the opportunity to study Emory’s archival resources this year. This term in my Midcentury Poetics course (American Studies 385, cross listed as English 389 and Women’s Studies 385) we have been analyzing poetic expression following the Second World War. In class, we have analyzed several different types of primary sources—including periodicals, material from writers’ journals, correspondence, and manuscripts—in order to interpret poets’ responses to and roles in shaping midcentury academic and artistic culture. I began the term, for instance, with my images of Sylvia Plath’s annotated copy of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land (1922) in order to introduce the difficulty of modernism and post-war poets’ response to it. (Sylvia Plath’s copy of T. S. Eliot’s Complete Poetry and Plays is in the Mortimer Rare Book Room at Smith College.) We also discussed facsimiles of Sylvia Plath’s manuscript drafts of her Ariel (1965) poems housed in Smith College’s Mortimer Rare Book Room, Robert Lowell’s manuscript drafts, which are in Harvard University’s Houghton Library, and examples from Anne Sexton’s teaching notes for a course on her own poetry at Colgate University (1972).
Read the rest of Part I on Emory University's Woodruff Library Blog. See also Part II and Part III.