• Questions? Email the class:, or come to my office hours: Mon & Thu 1:30-3 pm, or by appt (CH 3288)
  • Items in green are recommended but optional.

Tue, Aug 22

Introduction: The Avant-Garde Challenge

  • The Armory Show (1913)
  • The Exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists (1917)

Thu, Aug 24

Marcel Duchamp & the Historical Avant-Garde


  • The Blind Man 2
    • “The Richard Mutt Case” (5)
    • Louise Norton, “Buddha of the Bathroom” (5-6)
    • Charles Demuth “For Richard Mutt” (6)
  • Martin Gayford, “Duchamp’s Fountain: the practical joke that launched an artistic revolution
  • Avant-Garde,” Wikipedia entry
  • “Avant-Garde: Overview and Militancy,” Encyclopedia of the History of Ideas (PDF)
  • Recommended: Rosalind Krauss, “The Originality of the Avant-Garde” (pdf; assigned during theory unit, but it’s a really interesting argument and you may want to get a head start on it now)


  • Bring your own “found object” or “ready-made” to class for The Society of Independent Artists 2017, to be held in Wall 320 (provide title & author)

Sun, Aug 27

Scavenger Hunt & Survey responses due by midnight.

Tue, Aug 29
  • Common Hour: Domains set up & WordPress training (Carolina Inn parlor)

Avant-Garde Precursors



  • Prep pages 
    • Part A: your notes; Part B: How does the form of the book and the format of the page affect how you read the poem? Close read the book.
    • Print copies due at the beginning of class

Thu, Aug 31
  • Common Hour: Domains set up & WordPress training (Carolina Inn parlor)

Davidson Domains & the Digital Avant-Garde



  • Prep pages
    • A: your notes; B: What does Davidson Domains mean to you?
    • Print copies due at the beginning of class
  • Blog posts
    • About Me post (150 words + 1 image, category = About Me)
    • 2017 Independents’ Exhibition post (image of found object, title, author, short description, category = Independents)
    • due at the beginning of class, posted to class website or electronically accessible via email, thumbnail drive, or Dropbox, etc…
    • Bring a laptop to class.

Long-range assignments:

Tue, Sep 5

Mina Loy & Futurism


  • Mina Loy, The Lost Lunar Baedeker
    • Roger Conover, Introduction (xi-xx)
    • Futurism X Feminism (3-50)
    • “Aphorisms on Futurism” (149-152)
  • T. Marinetti, “The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism” (pdf)
  • Lucia Re, “Mina Loy and the Quest for the Futurist Feminist Woman” (pdf)


  • Prep Pages
    • A: your notes; B: Choose a poem by Loy and close read it; then choose the most salient feature(s) and make an argument about not only what the poem means but also how it means.
    • Print copies due at beginning of class
  • Secondary Source Report (SSR) on Re article

Wed, Sep 6
  • Comments on “About Me” posts due by midnight (minimum 4, spread the love)

Thu, Sep 7

Mina Loy & Feminism



  • Bring to class your list of top 3 avant-garde figures for Biography Project
  • Mark up poem and manifesto in the margins and bring annotated copy to class.
  • SSR on Burke article Training with Sundi Richard

  • Bring laptop to class

Tue, Sep 12

Mina Loy & Cubism


  • Mina Loy, The Lost Lunar Baedeker
    • Corpses and Geniuses (71-105)
    • “Modern Poetry” (157-161)
  • Gertrude Stein, “Objects,” from Tender Buttons
  • Ashley Lazevnic, “Impossible Descriptions in Mina Loy and Constantin Brancusi’s Golden Bird,” Word & Image 29: 2 (April-June 2013): 192-202. (pdf) [NOTE: if you have read this article in a previous class, consult me for an alternative]
  • Recommended reading
    • Joshua Schuster, “The Making of ‘Tender Buttons’”
    • Loy also investigates the notion of genius in a series of strange, experimental plays: “Collision,” Citabapini,” “Sacred Prostitute,” and “The Pamperers.” I try to make sense of in my online essay,  “Courting an Audience”. This essay/website links you to the plays, including facsimiles of how they first appeared in little magazines of the period. You don’t have to read what I say about them, but I do recommend the plays, which are fascinating. I’d love to hear your thoughts about them.


  • Use to group annotate Stein’s “Objects”
  • SSR on Lazevnic article

Thu, Sep 14

Mina Loy & Dada



  • Following Bochner’s example, create a fictional conversation among any or all of the artists involved in the making of the Blind Man. Use the conversation to help answer a question that perplexes you about the little magazine. Post your conversation before class (category=conversation)

Fri, Sep 15

Biography Project: annotated bibliography due

Warning: HEAVY READING in week 6 – start now
Tue, Sep 19

Metadata Workshop

Biography Project: drafts of Biographies and Bio Templates due before class

Thu, Sep 21

Palladium workshop

Biography Project: comments on biography drafts due before class

Fri, Sep 22

Top 3-5 list of avant-garde writers due (category = wish list)

Warning: HEAVY READING (pace yourself)
Tue, Sep 26

Theory of the Avant-Garde


  • Avant-Garde,” Wikipedia entry
  • “Avant-Garde: Overview and Militancy,” Encyclopedia of the History of Ideas (pdf)
  • Clement Greenberg, “Avant-Garde and Kitsch” (pdf)
  • Peter Bürger, “The Avant-Gardiste Work of Art,” from Theory of the Avant-Garde (pdf)


  • Prep Pages
    • A: your notes
    • B: Revisiting the definitions of the avant-garde you read at the beginning of the semester and reading new theories of the avant-garde, how well do these definitions and theories account for the avant-garde work you’ve encountered this semester? How does Greenburg’s definition of the avant-garde compare to Bürger’s?
    • C: (Bonus Question)  Louis M. Eilshemius, the artist celebrated in Blind Man 2, might be considered the epitome of kitsch: does the attitude toward his work expressed in that magazine match what Greenberg has to say about the relationship between avant-garde and kitsch?

Meet in Rare Books Room

  • Test and apply theories of the avant-garde to works in our Special Collections.

Thu, Sep 28

Avant-Garde Originality & Reproduction



  • Prep Pages: a) your notes; b) How does Krauss’s understanding of originality compare to Benjamin’s? How do they define authenticity? Do they believe originality is still possible?

Meet in Rare Books Room

  • Test and apply theories of the avant-garde to works in our Special Collections.

Fri, Sep 29

Revised biography draft due, including metadata (category = bio-draft2)

  • note: you may be exchanging comments with UGA & Duquesne students before or after this draft

Tue, Oct 3

Theory of the Avant-Garde & its Exclusions



  • Prep Pages: a) your notes; b) On what grounds do Pollock and Hong challenge established formations of the avant-garde? Do their challenges make room for Harlem Renaissance poets?

Meet in Rare Books Room

  • Test and apply theories of the avant-garde to works in our Special Collections.

Thu, Oct 5

Avant-Garde Writer Project

Avant-Garde Writer Nominations Due

Vote for Semi-Finalists

Group Building Activities with Annie Sadler

FRIDAY, Oct 6 (4:30 P.M.) – WEDNESDAY, Oct 11 (8:30 A.M.)

Thu, Oct 12

Avant-Garde Writer Project

Select Avant-Garde Writers and assign teams

Group Building Activities: full value contract & group norms

Mon, Oct 16

Preliminary Reading Assignment due

Create a new post (category = reading list) listing the reading(s) you want to assign for the class you will co-teach. What primary source best represent your avant-garde figure(s)? Do you want to assign any secondary source(s), in full or excerpted? Consider what is a reasonable expectation for your classmates’ to read and prepare for class. As you select your readings, think about what discussion questions or activities you want to pair with them.

Tue, Oct 17

Library Workshop

Meet in the Library Fishbowl
Facilitator: James Sponsel

To prepare for this hands-on session, install Zotero on your laptop BEFORE class, following the set up instructions on this guide to Zotero. If you want guidance on the Zotero install process, you may set up an appointment with a librarian using the online consultation form, or seek help from media consultants, Sun. – Thu., 8-11 pm, in Studio D.

The workshop will NOT include instructions on setting up Zotero, so you must create an account and install the app on your laptop before class.

Thu, Oct 19

Digital Tools & Platforms Flea Market

Revised Reading assignment due before class
Revise your post based on the research you did during and after the Library Workshop. Include any instructions for prep-pages or other required preparation, such as annotations. I will cut and paste your list of reading(s) and assignment(s) into this calendar.

Meet in our regular classroom
Facilitator: Sundi Richard

Fri, Oct 20

Biography Project: Revised biographies due

Tue, Oct 24

Frances Simpson Stevens

Guest Teachers: Sarah, Maura

Primary Source Readings:

  • Take a look at (and read the description of) Stevens’s last remaining painting, Dynamic Velocity of Interborough Rapid Transit Power Station, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art website:
  • Read Mina Loy’s short story, GloriaThe characters in the story, Gloria and Sophia, are believed to represent Frances Simpson Stevens and Mina Loy as they lived together and maneuvered the male-dominated Italian Futurist Movement. On this database you can read Loy’s typed version, and look at her original, hand-written notes for the story:

Secondary Source Readings:

  • Read Burke, Sawelson-Gorse, and Naumann (pdf posted to class site) in Art in America, paying close attention to the photographs of Stevens’s lost paintings and line drawing.
  • Burke, Carolyn and Naomi Sawelson-Gorse. “In Search of Frances Simpson Stevens.” Art in America, 82.4 (1994): 106-115. Print.
  • Naumann, Francis M. “A Lost American Futurist.” Art in America, 82.4 (1994): 104-113. Print.
  • Please also review Krauss’s Originality of the Avant-garde and Sarah’s bio draft of Frances Simpson Stevens for class. This will help you prepare for class discussion! Be thinking about the process of bringing (lost) art to life.


  • PREP PAGES: Illustrate Loy’s story, Gloria (in any form/ media that makes sense to you!) How does this change your understanding of the story and characters?
  • WARNING: Maura and Sarah will be incorporating your prep pages in their digital project (meaning your work will be online)! You can decide to opt out or include your work anonymously (just let your teachers for the day know), but the more thought you put into this prep assignment, the better!


Thu, Oct 26

Gabrielle Buffet & Francis Picabia

Guest Teachers: Leigha, Bean


  • (If you need a refresher) Skim our biographies that we posted (latest drafts) for background on Picabia and Buffet
  • Gabrielle Buffet Picabia’s “Some memories of Pre-Dada: Picabia and Duchamp”


  • After reading the chapter on Picabia and looking at the online “art gallery”  formulate two questions to potentially raise during class discussion.  After reading the passage by Buffet, develop a paraphrased thesis. Post this on the website under the category “interventions.”

Fri, Oct 27

Avant-Garde Writer Project: Annotated Bibliography due

Tue, Oct 31

Frank O’Hara

Guest Teachers: Royce, Erin


from Lunch Poems:

Other Poems:


Choose one, two, all, or none of these prompts, but please respond to O’Hara and post your response on our class page under the category “Interventions.” Please complete this by Mon, 7:30 so we can incorporate your thoughts into our discussion.

  1. Close read a poem/poems: O’Hara is not a formally experimental poet, but how does he experiment with meaning-making?
  2. Close read a poem/poems: Is O’Hara a personal poet? Does he create intimacy with the reader? Respond to the self who writes the poems.
  3. Is O’Hara kitsch? Is he avant-garde? Does he straddle the line between both?
  4. David Lehman, in The Last Avant-Garde: The Making of the New York School of Poets, discusses those poets’ use of “blagues” (which translates to “jokes” in French):
The blague was the avant-garde gesture par excellence. It denoted a deadpan jest or prank with a thick layer of irony added: mockery mingled with self-mockery, doubt with defiance. The blague, writes historian Noel Annan, was “the joke which threw doubt on everything, poisoned faith and murdered respect.” It took the form of “the spoof, the lark, the snigger and the knowing smile, grotesque mirth and hilarious laughter,” and its intent was to “send up reality.” (Lehman 294)
Write about some “blagues” that you find in O’Hara. Do you agree that the presence of blagues and the gestures they denote make him avant-garde?

Thu, Nov 2

Harryette Mullen

Guest Teachers: Meredith, Ellie


from Sleeping With the Dictionary:


Optional reading:


Prep Page Part A: Fill out this Google form for a class exercise. Write endings to the poem “Elliptical” as if it were a giant fill-in-the blanks. (There are, of course, no right or wrong answers — just go through and fill it out quickly, using your instinct for what you think the end of each sentence might be.) Please have this turned in by midnight on Wednesday (Nov. 1)!

Prep Page Part B: Close read a poem.

Prep Page Part C: Respond to one of these questions.

  1. Pick a poem and a short essay and put them in conversation. What do you as a reader gain from Mullen’s insights on her writing? Do these poems support or contradict the categorizations she describes in “Poetry and Identity”?
  2. Which do you find more of in these poems — a speaker or a subject? Are you more sympathetic to the speakers or the subjects?
  3. Which of these poems would you take with you to a desert island? Why?

Please complete parts B & C on your own and bring them to class.


Fri, Nov 3

Avant-Garde Writer Project: Literature Review due

Tue, Nov 7

Evie Shockley

Guest Teachers: Abbey, Grady


  • Evie Shockley, Introduction to Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry”, pages 1-15 (Found on PDF Page)
  • Courtney Thorsson, “Foodways in Contemporary African American Poetry: Harryette Mullen and Evie Shockley” (, pages 184-188; 203-213
  • Evie Shockley, The New Black, available through the library here:
    • “the defense of marriage act, alternatives to”
    • “never after”
    • “you can’t deny it”
    • “Womanish”
    • “duck, duck, redux”
    • “my last modernist poem”
    • “statistical haiku”
    • “clare’s song”
    • “Dependencies”
  • “Johannesburg mines” by Langston Hughes (


  • Secondary Source Report on introduction: Follow these instructions except for the final step: instead of rhetorical strategies, please answer the following prompt using complete sentences: Respond to one of the nine Shockley poems we read for today with one of the arguments from the critical text(s) in mind.
  • Using Hypothesis, leave at least three comments on any of the selections from The New Black

Thu, Nov 9


Team work on digital resources

Get help from Media Consultants, Sun-Thu, 8-11 pm, Studio D.


Tue, Nov 14


Team work on digital resources

Get help from Media Consultants, Sun-Thu, 8-11 pm, Studio D.

[SWC in DC?]

Thu, Nov 16


Team work on digital resources

Get help from Media Consultants, Sun-Thu, 8-11 pm, Studio D.

Mon, Nov 20

Bio project – final draft of narrative and bio template due by 5 pm (category = bio-final)

Tue, Nov 21

Virtual Workshop

Avant-Garde Writer Digital Resources – prototype 1 due by the beginning of class (3 pm, category = AG digital resource)
UX comments are officially due by the end of class time
(4:20 pm), and must be completed by the end of the day.
Virtual User Testing: 
Since half the class will already have departed for Thanksgiving break, we will conduct the first round of user-testing virtually. Your task is to locate and test a different group’s digital resource, providing constructive feedback in the comment section. If the resource is a website, you may also provide more detailed feedback using our group, but please indicate in the comment that you have done so. Your comments should offer an honest narrative of your process of testing the prototype:

  • What did you notice and do first?
  • What attracted your interest?
  • What confused you?
  • What satisfied your needs?
  • What made you want to explore more?
  • What obstacles did you encounter?
  • What information and instructions do you need that would make your experience more satisfying?

Remember that the first prototype is likely to be very rough, with more obstacles and sources of confusion than of insight. But if you are honest with the creators, you can help them solve problems, save time, and rebuilt early on, before they’ve invested too much time trying to perfect a flawed model. Remember that in digital studies, there is no expertise: only courage, resilience, and a willingness to experiment!

UX commenting assignments for prototype 1:

  • Erin & Royce’s O’Hara Project: Leigha, Ellie
  • Grady & Abbey’s Shockley Project: Erin, Maura
  • Leigha & Bean’s Picabia/Buffet Project: Royce, Meredith
  • Meredith & Ellie’s Mullen Project: Grady, Sarah
  • Sarah & Maura’s Stevens Project: Abbey, Bean

Get help from Media Consultants, Sun-Thu, 8-11 pm, Studio D.


TUE, Nov 21 (4:30 P.M.)-MONDAY, Nov. 27 (8:30 A.M.)

Tue, Nov 28


Avant-Garde Writer Digital Resources – prototype 2 due

Get help from Media Consultants, Sun-Thu, 8-11 pm, Studio D.

Thu, Nov 30


Avant-Garde Writer Digital Resources – prototype 3 due

Get help from Media Consultants, Sun-Thu, 8-11 pm, Studio D.

Tue, Dec 5


Avant-Garde Writer Digital Resources – prototype 4 due

Wed, Dec 6

Digital Studies Showcase

  • Lilly Gallery, 3:30 – 5:30 pm

Dec 7 Reading Day

Final Exam

Design your own domain, or, if you already have one, conduct an experiment in digital avant-garde scholarship or poetry