I got an email recently asking me for my final report to wrap up the Editing Modernism in Canada (EMiC) project, which ended April 1. For the past seven years, money from the Federal Government in Canada helped build both a physical infrastructure (Modernist Commons) and capacity (through training opportunities) in order to build a critical community online around Canadian Modernism and beyond. The moto for the project was: “Collaborate. Edit. Learn.”
I have been known to being prone to hyperbole, but my participation in this grant resurrected my career. Even though I was a lone, non-tenure-track scholar at a small, rural, public institution, I was able to join the grant as a co-applicant and benefit from the opportunity to go DHSI on more than one occasion, as well as one on textual editing. It revived and invigorated my long-standing PhD research, which lead to a finished, full book manuscript. I became a part of a large, international network of scholars, working on aspects of Canadian Modernism.
This isn’t the first time I’ve sung this project’s praises, and the praises of the chief architect of the project, Dean Irvine. But I think, given that the funding has ended and the project itself is coming to a close, that I reiterate the elements that made the project so special: it’s openness. The project cared more about what you were interested in studying as a scholar than the institution or title that came with you.
Being included in this project was the chance of a lifetime for me. I just hope that opportunities like this don’t remain so rare that few others will benefit.