Michelle S James and Cindy Patey Brewer, German Studies
Without funding there would be no Sophie project, which is why the first item in this report on the Sophie activities during 2014 must again be an expression of our gratitude to both the ORCA office and to the College of Humanities, on behalf of the faculty members involved, and particularly, on behalf of the many students whose lives have been enriched in numerous ways by their Sophie work. We are aware of the many projects vying for your attention and funding, and are particularly grateful for the support you have given this project over the years. Your grants have enriched the education and scholarship of over 150 students who have been directly employed by the project, as well as numerous others who have been involved in Sophie scholarship through classes and internships. In addition, your generosity has enhanced the research and learning of thousands of individuals across the world who regularly make use of the Sophie online library.
The Critically Annotated Collected Works of Elisa von der Recke
With the exception of money used for supplies such as photocopying, postage, permissions, and the purchase of out-of-print books, all funding in 2014 was applied to student wages. As outlined in our Mentoring Environments Grant proposal, the predominant focus of our work during 2014 has been the Critically Annotated Collected Works of Elisa von der Recke. Volume I of the critical edition is the most significant, and therefore has taken the most time, because it includes the introduction to the entire collected works, a chronology of Recke’s life, a bibliography of primary and secondary works connected with Recke, a photo gallery, and an essay detailing portraits and busts of Recke, in addition to the critical annotations to the texts. With a project this large (Volume I contains over 2,000 pages), it has taken endless hours to bring the work to the point of completion. The main results of our efforts during 2014 can be seen in the following:
- In part as a Sophie employee, and in part through an ORCA project, Katharina Burton finalized the very extensive bibliography, which lists as far as possible all primary and secondary publications relating to Recke. In doing this, she completed work undertaken in previous years by Haylee Ham, Carrie Cox, Heather Capps, Jennie Eborn, and other Sophie researchers. Alec Down then formatted the bibliography in the InDesign program we are using to prepare the collected works.
- Andy Anderson completed a chronology of Recke’s life, building on work begun by Dr. James.
- Alec Down (formerly Smith) completed prodigious work in finalizing Volume I in E-book form. He standardized all formatting of notes and headings throughout the volume, including the means of clearly identifying the body of letters included in Part III of the volume; developed a table of contents comprised of links to the individual documents and their various parts; entered into the InDesign format all scholarly notes and annotations made by Dr. James; entered all corrections from her proofing and careful re-reading of the texts; set up the entire volume in E-book form and inserted all primary documents; and collaborated constantly with Dr. James on editorial and textual details that arose in the preparation of the E-book. He also completely revised and refined the work flow model being used for the project, including setting up new work flow documents to track the progress of text preparation for each volume. The result of his work is that all of Volume I now exists as an E-book, with pages ready for adding the introductions and final notes being made by Dr. James
- When Alec Down graduated in April, Katie Adams took over as student editor of the Recke project. Her specific assignment is to compile Volume II of the series, and as such, she has been directing and overseeing the process of proofing and formatting the texts for Volume II. In addition, however, she has been working very closely with Jenna Gwilliam to organize, simplify and finish the searchable file of several hundred annotations which is included in Volume I, and which will form the basis for the annotation file for Volume II. In this, Katie and Jenna are bringing to completion work which Chuck Richards, Nathan Conder, Daniel Taylor, Gwyn Kutschke, Matt Kearney, Katharina Burton and Andy Anderson pushed forward in 2013. Most of the effort of the Sophie researchers working with Dr. James in 2014 has been directed into this massive project, with the result that most of the words, names and places have been glossed; Katie and Jenna are now consulting with Dr. James to finish the most difficult words which are still left to be annotated.
- Alec Down, Katie Adams and Jenna Gwilliam have formatted all of the texts for Volume II in the InDesign program, while Gwyn Kutschke and Devon Wood have completed the second proofing of most of the texts, including the large travel journals which make up the core of this volume.
- In 2014 Dr. James worked closely with Heather Jensen from the Art History department to bring the Recke portrait essay, which was started by Rob Sowby as an ORCA project, to an essentially final form. In addition, Dr. James has completed the thorough, careful scholarly footnotes and annotations, which only she can provide, for a large portion of the texts for Volume I. Under her direction and following the example of her own annotations, Alec Down created a preliminary version of the scholarly apparatus for the letters in part III of this volume.
- Because the volume can now be viewed in E-book form, even though the notes and introductions are not all finished, Dr. James has resumed her search for a publisher for the collected works, and is actively sending out proposals, which effort will continue until the Recke collection is accepted.
- As a side note, Robert Sowby, Mallorie Guerra, Margaret Ebeling, David Mann and Luke Swenson have all completed their ORCA projects, and Carrie Cox completed her Masters thesis, by writing introductions to several different sections of the Recke Collection: the general introduction to the edition, Recke’s portraits, memoirs, travel writings, Cagliostro writings, and her religious poetry. These are now ready to be edited and included in their appropriate volumes. In addition, Nathan Conder is finishing the introduction to Volume V, which he began as an ORCA project.
The Missionary Imagination
In 2014, Dr. Cindy Brewer focused her scholarly efforts on selecting and preparing the primary texts to be addressed in her upcoming book, which bears the provisional title The Missionary Imagination. This book has as its subject German-language Christian mission literature: the novels, dramas, autobiographies, poems and essays written by Catholic and Protestant missionaries working in Africa, Asia and the Pacific Islands. Throughout 2014, Eric Smith worked closely with Dr. Brewer in selecting and editing texts, and compiling a review of literature. Consequently he used this experience of collecting recent theoretical and historical scholarship surrounding Mission literature in different languages and countries as he applied for a Rhodes scholarship to study at Oxford University. Kristen Jacobson also worked closely with Dr. Brewer in combing through the extensive collection of mission literature that she and past students have gathered at different church and mission archives across Germany, Switzerland and Austria, selecting the texts to be analyzed in the book, and gathering notes for the chapter on representations of other cultures. Professor Brewer will present a paper which includes research completed by her MEG-funded mentees, Eric Smith and Kristen Jacobson, on October 24 at the 2014 Women in German conference.
Other Sophie Mentored Learning Projects in 2014
- Two ORCA MEG-funded students, Carl Hayden and Ethan Kennedy, worked closely with Dr. Rob McFarland in 2014 on research for his upcoming book Red Vienna, White Socialism and the Blues: Ann Tizia Leitich’s America, which is currently under contract with Camden House Publishers and scheduled to appear in 2015. Carl accomplished a particularly impressive task as he re-traced Dr. McFarland’s MEG-funded archival research from 2002 and 2005, painstakingly canvassing digitized newspaper articles from 1923-1927, all of them written in difficult German Fraktur script. In doing this, he managed to find nine articles by Ann Tizia Leitich that Dr. McFarland and his previous MEG student researchers had missed. These corrections and additions have been integrated into the final manuscript of Dr. McFarland’s book, where Carl is named in the acknowledgements with eight other ORCA MEG-grant funded students from other years. In addition, Carl and Ethan expanded the Sophie Digital Library’s “Journalism” collection by over 1,000 articles, making the site into the largest single collection of German-language women’s journalism available to readers on the internet.
- Alec Down supervised Carl Hayden and Kristen Jacobson as they posted texts collected for Dr. McFarland and Dr. Brewer respectively into the “Journalism” and “Missionary Literature” collections on the Sophie website.
- As webmaster for the Sophie digital library, Alec Down improved and clarified many functions on the website, working closely with Dr. McFarland and Dr. James. Dr. James also supervised Megan Child in the project of listing the genre for each of the texts posted to the library, under the auspices of Alec Down, the webmaster.
The Ann Tizia Leitich book, the missionary writings book, and in particular the Recke collected works are all projects of such an extensive scope that it would be practically impossible to complete them without the dedication and effort of the talented, bright Sophie student researchers. During 2014, our students have spent endless hours in libraries and archives across Europe and in the BYU library, searching online collections, reading, writing, collecting and compiling information, formatting and annotating. They have also spent many hours in meeting and discussing the projects with their faculty mentors, Dr. James, Dr. Brewer, and Dr. McFarland. The students are not mere appendages to the work the faculty are directing—they are the heart of it. Without them, the vitality of the projects would largely be lost. With them, the messy, sometimes frustrating, sometimes apparently endless effort to bring massive works of scholarship to completion is slowly but successfully approaching its goal.