Modern Literature & Culture Research Centre & Gallery

Reflecting on the COVID-19 Year

On March 17, Ontario announced its first death by COVID-19 and declared a provincial state of emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. The closure of businesses and facilities was ordered. With Ryerson closing, my team and I shifted operations of the MLC Research Centre online, which was no small feat given that in-person exhibitions are part of our mobilization through the CFI-funded MLC Gallery and given also that we hold archival materials and rare books. We made it happen, nonetheless, by shifting and adapting our operations with a great deal of dedication, and even sacrifice, by the entire team.

We launched the Pandemic Webinar Series, starting its planning in March as the first of its kind in Canada. At the time of writing this prologue, it is still running — the longest cultural and arts focused initiative addressing the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada. To date we have had 56 international speakers and almost 2,000 participants, offering an international dialogue on the role of the arts and culture in navigating the pandemic and preparing for recovery. Our book on the topic is forthcoming with Routledge.

During this stressful time, we delivered on an ambitious research agenda with five books published and forthcoming and a sixth book in preparation, along with forty-two articles, chapters, op-eds, and other pieces of criticism published—an amazing result by an inspired and outstanding team of researchers. We have launched new partnerships with the AGO, the McMichael Collection of Canadian Art (Kleinburg) and Canadian Women Artists History Initiative (Concordia) for an upcoming hybrid (in person and online) conference entitled Modernisms, Inside & Out (registration form), as well as an exhibition with Carleton University Art Gallery, and special projects with the War Heritage Research Initiative at Royal Roads University.

We revamped our online archival system to make it even more accessible. I invite you to browse our Operation Canada website with its new discoveries, and to explore the ways in which the MLC Research Centre mobilizes publicly engaged arts and humanities. I hope you enjoy this summary of achievements of the MLC Research Centre during a tumultuous and historic year.

Irene Gammel, Director

MLC Director & Executive Team

2020-2021 Summary of Achievements

Research

5
Books published or accepted for publication
42
Peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed articles published, accepted, or under revision
30
Conference papers and invited talks presented or accepted internationally
4
Successful grant applications

Training

21
Students and fellows trained and supervised

Digital Media

11,247
Followers across Twitter and Facebook
21
Stories published on the MLC website
118
New records digitized for a total of 6,930 archived images

Project Spotlights

Operation Canada

Operation Canada: The Canadian War Diary Digital Project

  • Sponsored by SSHRC Insight Grant in partnership with Ryerson University Library
  • 9 diaries transcribed, analysed, annotated, and digitized
  • 12+ students trained
Kathleen Munn (1887-1974), Untitled (Cows on a Hillside), c. 1916, oil on canvas, 78.7 x 104.1 cm, AGO Purchased with funds donated by Susan and Greg Latremoille, Toronto, 2006, 2006/85

Modernisms, Inside & Out: September 30 – October 2, 2021; Conference

  • Organized by MLC (Ryerson) in partnership with the Canadian Women’s Art History Initiative (CWAHI, Concordia University), AGO, and the McMichael Canadian Art Collection (Kleinburg)
  • Funded by the Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art

various interior photos of the MLCRC and its members.


Sponsors And Partners

Ryerson; SSHRC/CRSH; Innovation.ca; Mitacs; UK Research and Innovation

Event Partners

McGill-Queen's University Press; Bloomsbury Visual Arts; Fashion at FCAD; AGO; Canadian Women Artists History Initiative; Routledge

Recent News

Rose Maagdenberg joins MLC

Rose Maagdenberg joins MLC

A BA student (2018-2022) majoring in Creative Industries with specialization in Curation, Print, Publishing, and Business, while minoring in...

Pandemic Webinar #20: Dating, Sex and COVID-19

Pandemic Webinar #20: Dating, Sex and COVID-19

This webinar explores the shifts in intimacy in the wake of COVID-19.

Emi Nishimura joins MLC

Emi Nishimura joins MLC

At the MLC Research Centre, Emi Nishimura provides administration, event, and grant support for the Director Dr. Irene Gammel and her team ...

MLC Annual Report — May 2020 – 2021

MLC Annual Report — May 2020 – 2021

The MLC Research Centre is proud to present a summary of its annual achievements. Read the MLC Annual Report 2020-21: The COVID-19 Year.

The Great War in Literature and Visual Culture

MLC Themes

The Great War in Literature and Visual Culture

Amid the unprecedented social change of World War I, women renegotiated their identities by dramatically changing the way they engaged with the arts. But how did they do so? And how did everyday citizens engage with the war?

Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven

MLC Themes

Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven

Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, considered by many to be the mother of Dada, was a daringly innovative poet and an early creator of junk sculpture. “The Baroness” was best known for her sexually charged, often controversial performances.

Modernism in the World

MLC Themes

Modernism in the World

Recent research has departed from the Euro-centric and national view of Modernism to include approaches and methods studying Modernism across national boundaries and across different art forms to include fashion, dance, performance, technology, and visual culture.

Lucy Maud Montgomery

MLC Themes

Lucy Maud Montgomery

L.M. Montgomery is perhaps Canada's most important literary export. She was prolific writer of over 500 short stories and poems, and twenty novels, including the beloved Anne of Green Gables.

Canadian Modernism

MLC Themes

Canadian Modernism

The works of numerous Canadian authors who lived during the modernist era may well constitute the most central and experimental articulation of Canadian modernism in prose, allowing authors to stage cross-cultural, controversial, and even conflicted identities.

Modernist Biography and Life Writing

MLC Themes

Modernist Biography and Life Writing

Life writing, including autobiographical accounts, diaries, letters and testimonials written or told by women and men whose political, literary or philosophical purposes are central to their lives, has become a standard tool for communication and the dissemination of information.