Choose an avant-garde figure associated with the first two decades of Loy’s career (see list at the bottom of this page)

  • Research and compile an annotated bibliography
  • Compose a biography to be added to
  • Compile metadata in spreadsheet and use to generate social network visualizations with Palladio
  • Here’s the Google folder that contains information, including standards and formats for metadata, for this project, including a doc for you to add suggestions, and questions and spreadsheet for you to enter your metadata.

Project Summary

Each student will complete a biographical research project about one of the figures in Loy’s social and artistic network in Florence or New York (c. 1905-1920). Students at University of Georgia and Duquesne University will simultaneously complete research on figures in Loy’s networks in Paris and New York. With the help of Information Literacy Librarian James Sponsel and Instructional Designer Sundi Richard, students will use this biographical information to generate a spreadsheet and some basic visualizations of the data about Loy’s avant-garde network. Through the first half of the semester students will research and revise their Bio project, which will contribute to a display of the figures in Loy’s social networks on the scholarly website Mina Loy: Navigating the Avant-Garde (

Project Due Dates

  • Thu, Sep 7:  List of top 3 choices due at beginning of class
  • Fri, Sep 15:  Annotated Bibliography due by midnight (category = bibliography)
  • Tue, Sep 19:  Drafts of biographies and bio template (see below) due before class (category = bio-draft1)
  • Thu, Sep 21: Comments on bio drafts due before class
  • [note: you may exchange more comments with UGA & Duquesne students in interim]
  • Fri, Sep 29: Revised draft due, including metadata (category = bio-draft2)
  • Fri, Oct 6: Revised bio due before you leave for break (category = bio-rev)

Project Details

Each student will write a brief (500-word) biography of one of the figures in Loy’s social and artistic network in Florence or New York, circa 1905-1920, including the figure’s relationship to Loy (choose one from the list at the bottom of this page). The project has three components:

  1. ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY: The first stage of the project is an annotated bibliography, which will require a brief summary of 6 secondary sources that will inform your biography. You may also consult tertiary sources, such as encyclopedias and reference books (The Dictionary of Literary Biography is a good starting point). Make an appointment with a librarian to familiarize yourself with search engines and relevant literary databases for biographical information. Working with a librarian will save you time and help you find better, more authoritative secondary sources than just Googling. James Sponsel will be familiar with this project, but other librarians can provide expertise as well. You may also find it useful to consult the UGA Research Guide (biography emphasis) and Duquesne Research Guide (Loy emphasis).
  2. BIOGRAPHY: The second stage of the project is the biography itself. You will complete at least two drafts of the biography, refining research, ideas, and style in response to feedback. As you gather information, complete the Bio Template below, recording basic information about your figure and his or her relationship to Loy. Pending approval, the final draft of your biography will be uploaded to the scholarly website, where it may contribute to a clickable array of all of the figures in Loy’s social networks in New York, Paris, and Florence. (Bios may be subject to further editing at the discretion of the project directors.) Since this will be a public-facing project, students may choose whether or not to attach their names to their writing.
  3. METADATA & VISUALIZATIONS: The third stage of the project involves using metadata (the basic facts about your avant-garde figure from the Bio Template below, such as birth, death, relationship to Loy, etc) to fill in a spreadsheet. We then can feed the spreadsheet into a program called Palladio which will generate visualizations of our data (such as social network maps). Sundi Richard and James Sponsel will be working with our class on this component of the project.  This stage will begin as soon as you have completed the first draft of your biography. With guidance from James Sponsel, we will be entering your data into the same spreadsheet used by students at UGA and Duquesne.

Annotated Bibliography

The steps involved in preparing an annotated bibliography are as follows:

  1. Finding Sources: As soon as possible, you should begin identifying and collecting your sources. Do not delay your research: you may find that your sources are not available or are only available through interlibrary loan. Also, don’t wait until you having difficulties to consult a librarian or ask me for help. If you can’t find sources, you may need to choose a different figure or widen the scope of your research. Use Zotero to organize your sources in one folder.
  2. Evaluating Sources: The research stage not only involves identifying and collecting your sources, but deciding which sources seem most relevant. At this stage, evaluation usually involves skimming the index, the introduction or preface, and any potentially relevant sections of the article/book/website. The sources you choose to include in the annotated bibliography should be the sources you will make use of in your biography; weed out irrelevant, unreliable, or unhelpful sources. As you select your six secondary sources, aim for a combination of scholarly books and articles that can help you to complete your brief biography. Articles and books accessed electronically are fine, but you will need to indicate this in your bibliography. However, do not limit yourself to what you can find on-line: many of the figures in Loy’s network are fairly obscure, and you may need to do some sleuthing to track down information about your figure and their relationship to Loy. Do not rule newspapers and magazines from the 1920s-30s, memoirs by figures in Loy’s circle (McAlmon’s is well-known), etc. If you consult tertiary sources such as encyclopedias or reference books, you must also include these in your bibliography.
  3. Citing Sources: An annotated bibliography involves the citation of each source in MLA format. Use Zotero to generate a bibliography in MLA Style, but remember to check each entry for errors and omissions. Zotero often makes mistakes; you don’t want to.
  4. Summarizing Sources: An annotated bibliography involves following the citation of each source with a brief (one double-spaced paragraph) summary and analysis of the source. Summaries should indicate the author’s basic aims and approach; they might also include the topic[s] covered, the methodology employed, authorial bias, i.e. whatever seems most important to your evaluation of the source’s relevance (see questions and example entry below).
    • DO NOT just describe what the source is about, e.g.: “this article discusses Beatrice Wood’s relationships to other women in the avant-garde” (in which case I have no idea what the article actually says).
    • DO give a substantive summary, e.g.: “this article argues that Beatrice Wood’s relationship to other women in the avant-garde, such as Louis Norton and Clara Tice, were as important to her work as Marcel Duchamp and the other more celebrated male figures she consorted with” (in which I understand the substance of argument.
    • Read They Say/I Say for advice on how to write a purposeful summary that is accurate and true to the original, but reflects your emphasis on a specific avant-garde figure.
  5. Formatting Sources: At the top of your post, indicate the figure you are researching. Arrange your sources alphabetically according to authors’ last names, and begin your summaries immediately following the citations. Follow the MLA citation format for a “Works Cited”
Questions for Evaluating & Summarizing Sources
  • Relevance: is the source closely related to the topic of your research? How does the source address your figure?
  • What is the author’s argument or approach? Does the author have an obvious bias? What is the author’s tone?
  • What are the author’s credentials? Is the author an expert? What is the author’s point of view on the topic?
  • When was the work published? Is the work recent or contemporary to Loy’s time in Paris?
  • Who is the audience — was the source written for the general public? specialists?
  • Is the work published by a reputable company? If a periodical, what kind: academic? literary? art historical? popular?
  • What kind(s) of evidence are used? How accurate is the information? How well does the source credit its own sources?
  • How comprehensive is the information? Have the best available resources been used?
  • If using a digital source, who has posted the document: an individual? a journal? an institution? Is the source peer-reviewed and/or respected in the academic community?
Sample Annotated Bibliography Entry

Topic:  “Gender and Contemporary Confessional Literature”

Gammel, Irene, Ed. Confessional Politics: Women’s Sexual Self-Representations in Life Writing and Popular Media.  Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1999. This collection of essays explores the connections between sexuality and women’s literary, artistic, and media-based confessions. Gammel argues that the tradition of confession is patriarchal, but that recently “the confession has become a specifically female discursive practice” (1).  The essays largely share a feminist perspective, investigating how women  “shape the telling of their sexual stories in order to resist, manipulate, and negotiate” confessional conventions, and positing that such acts are political (7-8). Organized into three sections — body politics, sexual trauma, and negotiating identity — the essays focus particular attention on how women use confession to transgress sexual norms and to resist sexual victimization and shame. Most essays involve interpretation and analysis of contemporary literary and cultural texts (poetry, memoirs, talk shows, film, performance art); in their reliance on literary theory, they are clearly aimed at a scholarly audience.

Nodes & Edges

As you research, keep a list of other people that your Bio project figure came into contact with (as you’re doing your research, you may notice particular names cropping up often). If you can evaluate the relationship between their Bio figure and these additional figures, that would be helpful to the network we can create (friend/collaborator/acquaintance/enemy). We are calling these additional people connected to the Bio Figure the “Loy Edges,” whereas the more central figures are called “nodes.”

Bio Template
  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Place of Birth
  • Date of Death
  • Place of Death
  • Country of origin, citizenship
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Kind of Artist/Cultural worker (writer, painter, photographer, gallery director, editor, etc)
  • Address in Florence or New York
  • Dates & Places of Overlap with Loy
  • Avant-garde movements the figure was associated with [list]
  • Brief summary of the figure’s Biographical/Historical significance
  • Brief summary of the figure’s Relationship to Loy:
  • What was the nature of their overlap or connection?
  • Was it social, literary, artistic? Were they involved in collaborative ventures (publications, exhibitions, performances, readings)?
  • What other artists/writers did your figure come in contact with? (keep a list – this will not contribute to your word count)
  • Bibliography: Works Cited & Consulted
  • Wordcount for Brief Summaries: 500

Mina Loy’s Social & Artistic Network in Florence & New York

Please sign up for one of the following figures (see this Google doc for figures assigned to UGA and Duquesne students; I’ll do my best to strike off any figures from our list if they get selected):


  • Stephen Haweis
  • F. T. Marinetti
  • Giovanni Papini
  • Francis Simpson Stevens
  • Gordon Craig
  • Mabel Dodge [Luhan] – Erin
  • Carl Van Vechten  – Grady
  • Gertrude Stein
  • Neith Boyce
  • Hutchins Hapgood
  • Herbert Trench


  • Alfred Kreymborg – Ellie
  • William Carlos Williams
  • Marianne Moore – Abbey
  • Ezra Pound (in London at the time) – Royce
  • Lola Ridge
  • Clara Tice – Maura
  • Louise Norton
  • Allen Norton
  • Walter Conrad Arensberg
  • Marcel Duchamp
  • Alfred Stieglitz
  • Francis Picabia – Leigha
  • Joseph Stella
  • Frank Crowninshield
  • Louis M. Eilshemius
  • Charles Demuth
  • Charles Duncan
  • Marie Laurencin – Sarah
  • Gabrielle Buffet – Bean
  • Florine Stettheimer
  • Beatrice Wood
  • Katherine Dreier
  • Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven – Meredith
  • Arthur Cravan
  • Robert Carlton Brown